Tim Crichton is a wealthy, successful video game designer, who has always kept the different people in his life in carefully ordered compartments. He refuses to allow himself to become sexually intimate with anyone he considers a friend, no matter how much he might want that. It would undoubtedly lead to forever, which is something Tim doesn't believe is possible for him.
Miranda Girard has been friends with Tim since they were both teenagers and has been in love with him nearly as long. Tired of waiting for him to make a move on her, she finally kissed him, only to be soundly rejected. Now, fearing she made a fool out of herself, she's reluctant to attend Tim's Christmas party alone, so she's happy when another of Tim's friends makes her an offer she can't refuse.
Peter Vaughn has been Tim's friend since college and has been living with him until the house he's having built is finished, but the work has been delayed for months. Being in such close proximity for so long to the man he desperately wants, but knows he can't have, is torture. When their building's jolly old doorman nudges Pete toward Miranda on the night of Tim's party, it leads to a scorching encounter none of them ever expected, but which may finally save Tim from the bleak and lonely future, he thought was ahead of him.
Before picking up the A Kinky Christmas Carol anthology, I hadn't really heard of Robin L. Rotham, so I had no idea what to expect from her writing. I'm very pleased to say that I ended up loving Not So Tiny Tim. It was a hot, fun, quick read that was equal parts sweet and super sexy. The love scenes are so scorching, I thought my eReader might go up in flames.;-) But at the same time, they, and the story in general, expressed an emotional connection that's not always easy to find in erotic romance. Not to mention, unlike the first novella in the series, the menage in this one is a permanent one, which was more to my liking. So, ultimately, I thoroughly enjoyed the few hours I spent reading this novella.
Tim, the subject of the title (I'll leave it to the reader's imagination as to why he's called that ;-)), is the nephew of Holly, the heroine of the first novella in the series, Getting Scrooged. He's a successful video game developer, who as part of the Knight clan, is familiar with the trappings of wealth. However, he hasn't really been living life. He keeps everyone he knows in carefully organized compartments: family, friend, or f*ck-buddy, and the last two never, ever overlap. Therefore, despite being in love with them both, he keeps his long-time best friend, Miranda, and his college buddy and current roommate, Peter, solidly relegated to the friend-zone. That all changes when a little magic brings Miranda and Pete together, making Tim long to join in. When we discover his reasons for keeping them at arm's length all this time, it's a very emotional moment that made me a little teary-eyed.
Miranda is a sweetheart, a scientist who's been friends with Tim since they were teenagers and has loved him from afar for thirteen years. It was totally adorable that she'd saved herself for him all that time, while hoping against hope that someday he would see her as more than just a friend. But having heard about Tim's size and kinkiness, she's also adventurous enough to have prepared herself for those things and is eager to take everything that both Tim and Peter can dish out. Miranda is a very loving heroine who's accepting of both men and doesn't hesitate to engage in all sorts of sex play with them. She also knows almost instantly that she wants a future with them both when the opportunity presents itself.
Ever since a close intimate encounter in college, Peter has been attracted to his friend, but he knows Tim's rule about not mixing friends and sex. He just doesn't know why. Peter has spent the last several months living with Tim while the new house he designed for himself is being built, which has only deepened his feelings for Tim. Like Tim, Pete is bisexual, so when he finds the pretty Miranda at a bar, pining for Tim and reluctant to go to his Christmas celebration after having thrown herself at him with disastrous results, Pete offers to accompany her. Both of them hope it might make Tim jealous enough to do something about it. Pete is a Dom who isn't totally overbearing, so I could appreciate how he gently pushes both Miranda and Tim outside their comfort zones and won't take ‘no' for an answer. Although he only marginally knew Miranda before meeting her in the bar, he's totally into her from that very second, so there was never a doubt in my mind that he deeply cared about her too.
While their personalities don't necessarily reflect classic geekiness, all three characters respective professions certainly suggest that they are, and I must say, these are three of the sexiest geeks I've ever read about.;-) I loved how both Miranda and Pete were long-time friends with Tim. It made the connection deeper and much more believable, because of their shared history. Since the story only takes place over a coupe of day's time, Pete and Miranda's feelings for each other develop very quickly, but I could definitely feel a connection there too. Tim's long-held stubbornness about not becoming intimate with friends is pretty quickly overcome as well, so there were admittedly things in the story that easily might not have worked for me. However, the doorman, Frost, a common character in this series, who looks suspiciously like Santa Claus and has magical powers, brought a heartwarming flavor to the story and helped to make the short time span not as much of an issue. In the end, it seems that they were all fated to get together. Whatever it was about this novella, it undeniably hit a sweet spot for me, because I ended up loving it. This may have been my first read by Ms. Rotham, but I'll definitely be taking a look at more of her work in the future.
Note: This book contains explicit language and sexual situations, including spicy M/F and M/M interactions, as well as a M/F/M menage, talk of sex toys, a little bondage, mild dominant behavior, and anal sex, which some readers may find offensive.
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