Blame It On the Mistletoe
A Christmas novella, published Nov 17, 2013
Published by: Eli Easton. Cover by Reese Dante.
There is now an Italian edition of this book from Triskell
There is now a French edition of this book “Pour une Branche de Gui” from MxM Bookmark
There is now an audio book version of this book with narrator Jason Frazier.
When physics grad student Fielding Monroe and skirt-chaser and football player Mick Colman become college housemates, they’re both in for a whole new education. Mick is good at looking out for the absent-minded genius, and he helps Fielding clean up his appearance and discover all the silly pleasures his strict upbringing as a child prodigy denied him. They become best friends.
It’s all well and good until they run into a cheerleader who calls Mick the ‘best kisser on campus.’ Fielding has never been kissed, and he decides Mick and only Mick can teach him how it’s done. After all, the physics department’s Christmas party is coming up with its dreaded mistletoe. Fielding wants to impress his peers and look cool for once in his life. The thing about Fielding is, once he locks onto an idea, it’s almost impossible to get him to change his mind. And he just doesn’t understand why his straight best friend would have a problem providing a little demonstration.
Mick knows kissing is a dangerous game. If he gives in, it would take a miracle for the thing not to turn into a disaster. Then again, if the kissing lessons get out of hand they can always blame it on the mistletoe.
M/M Romance Group on Goodreads 2014 Awards — Blame it on the Mistletoe (Best Gay/Out for You — #3, Best Coming of Age — #3, Best Friends to Lovers — #3, Best Humorous — #2)
Favolas de Mezzanotte review of the audio book — “I will listen to it many more times, even in the heat of summer. Thank you Eli Easton for creating this lovable boys and thank you Jason Frazier for bringing them to life.”
5 stars — Review of Audiobook by The Blogger Girls — “As if the book itself wasn’t enough awesomeness, Jason Frazier kicks ass as the narrator. … I am bowled over by how fabulous a job he did. I swear he is Mick.”
Author RJ Scott reviews, 5 stars — “Perfect Christmas Read. I loved both characters so much.”
5 stars The Novel Approach — “I could see and feel every second of that fateful kiss and everything that happened afterwards, right up to the HEA.”
5 stars The Risque Redhead Reads — “You go to work and when your boss asks how your four day holiday weekend was you open your Nook and show her this cover and tell her you read the BEST, the CUTEST, the SWEETEST, the most ADORABLE story and if you can stop giggling and get the damn “It’s Cheese!” grin off your face you tell, no insist that she read this book…NOW!!!”
5 stars Live Laugh Love Books — “Geek + Jock + GFY! It’s an M/M trifecta and I absolutely loved it!!”
4.5 stars Hearts On Fire — “I am a sucker for holiday stories, especially ones that give me the warm and fuzzies. This one did it.”
4 stars Hearts on Fire (from Mandy) — “This is definitely a great holiday read, it’s like a cup of hot chocolate with humor, cuteness and sweetness to warm me up on a cold winters night and a dash of romance as a marshmallow on top.”
5 stars Head Out Of The Oven blog — “I got hooked on the story and could not keep that goofy smile off my face. So for those out there who want to read something lighthearted for once and have great fun doing it, Blame It On The Mistletoe is the perfect book. Loved it!”
B+ Gaylist — “This is a wonderful little gem of a holiday story. I enjoyed every moment I got to spend with these beautiful boys.”
A rating Smitten With Reading — “When things step up, they get hot pretty quickly. I liked how the heat factor immediately exploded when the two kissed. It wasn’t a slow build-up…it was spontaneous combustion”
5 stars Brandilyn Reviews Books — “She [Eli Easton] writes incredibly adorable, dorky, lovable characters and does so with sensitivity and humor.”
4.5 stars Live Your Life Buy The Book — “Ohmigod!! That was so sweet! Such a wonderful Christmas read.”
4.5 stars boy meets boy reviews — “It is cute and lovely and hot at the same time. It is Christmassy and snowy and just perfect.”
5 stars foxylutely blog — “A wonderful short story and I really, really want some more of Fielding and Mick. One of the best character pairings I have ever read. Brilliant!”
4.5 Stars Mrs. Condit and Friends — “The genuine fondness, admiration, and eventually love that these two feel for each other really jump off the page. I was hooked from beginning to end”
“Oh, look!” Fielding said. “They have a new latte flavor—‘Santa’s Death by Peppermint.’ I’m getting that.”
It was the second of December and we were waiting in line at The Coffee Clatch. The campus coffee joint was bedecked and bedazzled with holiday spirit including colored mini-lights, tiny, fuzzy Santa hats on all the espresso machine handles, and displays of giant holiday cookies. Great. Fielding would be bouncing off the walls on a sugar high all month long.
“Do you have any idea how much many carbs are probably in that latte?” I asked. It was more or less a hypothetical question.
“Lots and lots,” Fielding answered enthusiastically. “Oooh! Cookies.”
I was about to get more serious about my sugar lecture when someone pressed into my back. By the feel of the soft curves along my spine that someone was female. Normally that would have been a good thing, but I wasn’t seeing anyone at the moment, and I didn’t care to be sexually accosted in a coffee shop while trying to talk my best friend. More to the point, before I’d had my morning pick me up. A little annoyed, I turned to see who it was.
A slim blonde in blue eye shadow and a tight pink sweater smiled up at me. She had her hand on my arm.
“Hey, Mick,” she gushed. “Long time no see.”
I recognized her, despite the lack of a perky red and white uniform. It was Regina, a Cornell football cheerleader. Had we ever messed around? I had to actually think about it for a second. But no, we hadn’t. Regina had been into Dylan McDermont when I was on the team. But the appreciative look in her eyes made it clear that Dylan was now buried in the Cemetery of Abandoned Interests. Probably right next to subtlety.
“Hi, Regina. Uh… this is my housemate, Fielding.”
“Hello,” Fielding said.
Regina gave Fielding a quick once over. That was followed by a polite smile and disinterested hello before she turned her attention back to lucky me.
“I can’t believe you quit the team!” Regina put on a cute little pout. “The girls were just chatting the other day about how much we miss seeing your fine ass on the field.”
What do you say to something like that? Why yes, I do have a fine ass, thanks for noticing? or Maybe you and my ass can work out another arrangement?
I went with, “I decided I needed to focus on my studies.”
“Well, you are missed. I was hoping to get to know you better. In fact, the girls were just talking about you at dinner the other night. There seemed to be a general consensus that…” Regina paused, looking coy. “…that you’re the best kisser on campus.”
A surprised huff escaped me. It sounded appropriately dubious.
“I was sort of hoping to test that theory for myself.” Regina blushed prettily at her own boldness and slid her hand from my arm to my chest.
Man. As a freshman, I so would have been all over that. I would have been thanking my lucky stars and my insides would have been auditioning for Riverdance.
Shut up. My parents made me go once. Not a lot of big attractions come to central Pennsylvania.
Anyway, Regina was cute and enthusiastic, and that sweater showed off her C cups to perfection. But getting girls had never been an issue for me. I inherited dirty blond hair and blue eyes from my mom and a rough, lumpy face from my dad. I’d been told I looked like Daniel Craig. I didn’t get the appeal, but I wasn’t exactly sorry for it. Still, by my junior year of high school getting girls became less of an issue than getting rid of them. And Regina was setting off big red warning lights in my head.
“Sorry, I’m seeing someone,” I said, giving Regina a regretful smile. “But it was really great running into you. Say hi to the other girls for me.”
The people in front of us moved and we were up to place our order. Thank the god of awkward moments.
It was a decent enough day considering that it was December in Ithaca, New York, so we took our drinks outside and sat at the fountain. I had my usual hot green tea with soy milk. Fielding had ignored my warning and settled down with his sweet Santa sludge. I’d learned to pick my battles and I let go of this one. He looked too happy for me to be a Scrooge about a little holiday treat.
“Why’d you tell Regina you were seeing someone?” Fielding asked, as soon as we sat down.
Inwardly I sighed. I’d had a feeling I wouldn’t get out of that encounter unscathed. “It’s called a little white lie, Bud. The truth would have been rude: I’m not interested, buzz off.”
“Ah! I see.” Fielding smirked. “Away with thee, thou silver-tongued succubus.”
I laughed. “Piss off, oh ye of the cleavage-which-shall-not-be-touched.”
Fielding chuckled, a low hearty rumbling which made me grin. My science geek housemate hadn’t grown up with a lot of laughter. But Fielding laughed now. He did a lot of things now that he hadn’t when we’d first moved in together. I felt pretty damn good about that.
“But why should her cleavage not be touched?”
I shrugged. “Been there. Done that. Have the T-shirt.”
Fielding blinked at me, a frown of confusion on his brow. “You slept with her? But she said she wanted to test the theory about your—”
Damn. Fielding missed nothing.
“I didn’t sleep with her. Girls like her.” And really, having a thing with three members of the Cornell football cheerleading squad was more than enough for any man. More than that, and I’d seriously have to seek counseling.
Fielding still looked puzzled. He was going to dig some more, I could tell. Because Fielding never let anything go until he’d dissected it to pieces.
“So anyway, you have a late lab tonight?” I asked, artfully changing the subject.
“It’s Tuesday the last time I looked,” Fielding said dryly, as if I should have his schedule memorized. I did, but any port in a storm.
“Right. I’ll plan on dinner around seven, then. There are still two servings of chicken casserole in the freezer. So don’t fill up on Snickers and Pringles from the snack machine, okay?”
I tried to catch Fielding’s eyes to get a confirmation of that, or at least a sign that he’d heard me. It was not unusual for the things I said to go in one ear, get lost in the vast contortions of Fielding’s massive intellect, and never make it to central processing. But Fielding wasn’t gazing off into space, mind on some physics problem or another. No, he was looking at me. More specifically, Fielding was looking at my mouth. He was intently looking at my mouth, a frown of concentration furrowing his brow. He sucked on his bottom lip.
Christ. Something hot rolled over in my stomach. It felt like uneasiness that maybe shared a condo wall with terror. And maybe arousal lived a couple of doors down. It was not a good feeling. I took a hasty drink of green tea, trying to hide my mouth from Fielding’s gaze. It also kept me from screaming like a little girl.
Covering up my mouth seemed to work, because Fielding broke off staring at it and met my gaze instead. There was a light in his eyes that I didn’t care for at all. When Fielding’s eyes said Eureka! it was rarely a good thing.
“Bye,” Fielding said abruptly. He pulled on his backpack and hurried away, head down.