My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Publication Date: November 14th 2014
Genres & Themes: New Adult, M/M romance, Contemporary, Christmas, College, Friendship, Humour, Family
Sloane loves a good mystery. He grew up as the son of two psychiatrists, so he finds most people tediously easy to figure out. He finds his way to Pennsylvania State University, longing for a rural experience, and ends up being lured into joining a frat by Micah Springfield, the hippest guy on campus.
Nothing in Sloane’s classes is as intriguing as Hank Springfield, Micah’s brother and fellow frat house member. Hank looks like a tough guy—big muscles, tatts, and a beard—but his eyes are soft and sweet. He acts dumb, but he’s a philosophy major. He’s presumably straight, but then why does Sloane feel such crazy chemistry whenever Hank is around? And why does Hank hate Sloane so much?
When Sloane ends up stuck on campus over Christmas, Micah invites him to spend the holidays at their family farm in Amish country. It’s a chance to experience a true Americana Christmas–and further investigate the mystery that is Hank Springfield. Can Sloane unlock the secrets of this family and unwrap the heart hidden inside the beefcake?
A most lovely read for the holiday season!
I’m serious. This was one of the fluffiest, ‘awww-worthy’ and excessively Christmassy well-plotted short story I have read so far for the holidays. Forget about this A Christmas Carol classic filled with beloved themes, Unwrapping Hank not only contains comparable in beautifulness ones, but also demonstrates an extra ability to make you smirk, smile, laugh, irradiate with happiness, sigh from contentment and swoon hand on heart. Indeed, this is a rollercoaster of powerful human feelings.
When Sloane and Hulk-looking Hank (or so the author kept making me imagine) are assigned to plan the perfect Christmas party together, things don’t go well.
See, Hank is not too fond of Sloane. But everyone else is! Could Hank be homophobic? Deranged? …Or is there more to the story?
Well, that sure has Sloane’s curiosity. He makes it his new mystery case to unfold Hank’s character. Will he succeed? Will he be able to see underneath Hank’s rocky and solid shell?
I keep smiling thinking back at how comfortable I was reading this short story. Why do some stories have to end? But they don’t. Not really. They will stay still breathing and you know where. In our minds. It will be a pleasure to imagine how Sloane and Hulk’s lives continue *wink* *wink*, even though I would prefer the author being the one to storytell it to us.
The atmosphere was so – sorry for the overused in any common way term – perfect. Perfect for this time of year. Perfect for it succeeded to fulfill the author’s goal which surely was to make us see and feel love! and family! and joy!
By now, you probably know that I don’t give many five star ratings. I mean it. Half of the five star ratings I had given were to manga. Manga, man, manga. Because those can be ‘perfect’ so easily depending on our tastes. Just take an original idea, plunge in and develop an interesting plot and world-building, include endearing characters and mix it all with some astonishing illustrations and voilà! Five star-worthy to me! Am I too easy when it comes to manga? I wonder.
All that to help put some authenticity in my words. ‘‘I just want to convince you…’’ she whispers half-sheepishly.
Let’s get back to the *real* attraction. The writing was noticeably engaging and the plot easily followed. The romance amusing by moments and charming throughout and this whole making me want to save dear Unwrapping Hank for next year too. But, let’s face it; you shan’t be surprised if you see me reading this gem in June!
Ah, time has come. I wish my words were able to convince you just by reading the first sentence but, unless I’m Messmer (whom I’m not, unfortunately…), there are chances I might not have had that effect on you. So this is my last chance. In all honesty, this story is too cute for words, if I dare say, and I’m not recommending it only because it’s M/M romance and everything related to that turns out being some kind of wonder to me – with exceptions – but really because it has uncountable elements that might very likely appeal to you! And…it deserves a chance.