The Christmas Leap – Festive Fakes Read Online Keira Andrews

Categories Genre: M-M Romance Tags Authors:
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Total pages in book: 80
Estimated words: 76427 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 382(@200wpm)___ 306(@250wpm)___ 255(@300wpm)
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Fake romance shouldn’t feel this real…

Will: I've never been with a man.

Sure, I've thought about it. Wondered. Daydreamed. Imagined. But I wasn't ready to take the leap.

I have a reputation as a "ladies' man." No one has any idea how curious I am about men—not even my openly bi best friend. Make that former best friend. Michael ghosted me, and I have no idea why.

Michael: The man I love is straight.

It hurt like hell when I had to distance myself from Will. I’ve tried desperately to grow up and get over him, but my carefully constructed life just fell apart—and Will rushes to my rescue.

Now we’re pretending to be a couple to impress his boss at a holiday retreat. We’re holding hands and hugging.

We’re sharing a bed.

And Will just kissed me.

Is my best friend falling in love with me after all?

The Christmas Leap by Keira Andrews is a Christmas romance featuring friends to lovers, bi awakening, first times, and of course a happy ending. This standalone novel takes place in the same universe as The Christmas Deal.

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************

Chapter One

Michael

There was an old saying about best-laid plans. It was probably Shakespeare, and the point was that no matter how carefully you tried to get your ducks in a row, those little jerks had minds of their own.

“I can’t break up with him at Christmas!” Jared’s voice rose incredulously.

Earlier in the day, I’d decided to take the afternoon off work for an early start to two glorious weeks of vacation time over the holidays. After running a few errands, I’d eased open the door of our townhouse to call out to Jared that I’d brought home a surprise—our first Christmas tree together.

But now I strained to listen over the thudding of my heart.

It had to be the TV. Sure, it had sounded exactly like Jared’s smooth, slightly nasal voice, but… It couldn’t have been. After working my butt off at making this relationship a success, I couldn’t have overheard my boyfriend talking about breaking up with me.

Not just my boyfriend—my partner. I wasn’t a kid anymore. Jared and I were partners. Maybe this was a bad joke. Some kind of terrible, out-of-character prank?

Ho-ho-ho?

Jared muttered, “I know.” It sounded like he was in the kitchen at the back of the townhouse. The hardwood floor creaked—which drove Jared nuts even though I thought it added charm. Warm light spilled into the hallway, flickering with his shadow as he moved restlessly. I could picture him pacing by the granite-topped island.

Jared sighed. “There’s no good time to tell him. That’s true. Still. I have to wait until January. He’s so excited about our first Christmas together here. I can’t do it.” A pause. “I know I’m not a Christmas person, but it’s fine. It makes him happy.”

I stood there clutching the twine-bound tree, my nose full of pine. The paper shopping bag on the bristly outdoor mat beneath my feet contained an artisanal mulled wine kit and chestnuts for roasting. And wait, Jared didn’t like Christmas? I knew he wasn’t a fan of tacky decorations and cheesy songs, but…

I’d stashed boxes of tasteful gold and silver ornaments that would fit Jared’s minimalist style under the bed yesterday. I knew he wouldn’t like the idea of dropped needles on the floor, so I’d bought the newest automatic watering system for the tree. The trunk of my Hyundai hatchback was crammed with gifts and rolls of the classiest wrapping paper I could find.

I had planned every detail of our Instagram-worthy Christmas.

Jared exhaled loudly. “I know, Steph. He must see it coming, right? Unless he’s in denial. Fuck, I hate this.”

Oh, god. I’d thought everything was perfect, and now it was disintegrating in front of my eyes. Well, my ears. Rigid, I waited for him to say more to his sister.

I’d always gotten along with Stephanie, or at least I thought I had? She was only looking out for Jared, and it wasn’t about me. That didn’t make it hurt less.

And okay, perfect was a strong word for my relationship with Jared. But everything was pretty good, wasn’t it? I’d been so careful since I moved into the townhouse to keep everything running smoothly. All the experts said compromise was key, and I’d compromised like a champion, hadn’t I?

“It’s only another couple of weeks. I’ll tell him in the new year.” A pause. “I know.” Another pause. “Steph, I couldn’t do it before because we went to Tampa to visit his folks for Thanksgiving. We had plane tickets, and they took us to Universal. And yes, I hate theme parks, but I couldn’t back out.”

I tasted acid. I’d been so proud to show off Jared to my parents. Proof that I was indeed a responsible adult now, and they didn’t have to worry about me or lend me money. They could live their best retired lives.

For too long in my twenties, I’d drifted. Working okay jobs with no future for advancement. Dating okay people while nursing my impossible crush. I had a steady office job now with benefits, and my impossible crush was a hundred percent over.

Gripping the teetering Christmas tree, I braced for thoughts of Will, which were the last thing I needed. Will was straight. He was never going to love me back. I’d had to put distance between us—at least while I got over him. I’d made a plan, grown up, and figured out my life. I was no longer in love with my best friend.

Whether Will was still my best friend was another story, but my hands were full with problems at the moment, including being stabbed by pine needles through my thin gloves as I fought to stay quiet while keeping the Christmas tree vertical.

Jared groaned. “I was hoping… I don’t know. That it would all magically work out. Of course, I should have ended it months ago.”

Months?!

I’d only moved into the townhouse in March. Which meant Jared had decided humiliatingly quickly that he didn’t want me to stay. We’d dated for more than a year before living together. I’d been so freaking careful not to jump into anything. Should I have seen this coming? Had I? My head spun, and I clung to the tree.


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