Title: I Don’t: A Christmas Wish
Author: Kari Gregg
Characters: Seth, Owen
Sub Genre: Holiday Romance, Romantic Comedy
At least he isn’t pregnant.
Seth Murphy campaigned for Maryland’s Question Six, wildly celebrating the Election Day victory for marriage equality. Divorce attorney and live-in boyfriend Owen, however, believes just as passionately that the gay community should focus on a plurality of equal rights protections instead of allocating so many resources and man-hours to one hot button issue.
Owen won’t marry Seth.
Relationship deteriorating, the couple visits the Murphy farm outside Brunswick for Christmas. Seth’s family never considered that Seth and Owen wouldn’t be first in line for a marriage license as soon as same-sex marriage passed. When they find out there won’t be a wedding, their season of miracles is invaded by pornographic gingerbread cookies, frowning church ladies, and a determined father with a tactical assault shotgun.
Neither Seth, Owen, nor their love may survive the family holiday circus to say, “I don’t.”
I’ll be the first one to admit, I hate Christmas. I have hated it for years, with it’s consumerism and it’s false humanitarianism. It is a point of irony that I chose an obvious Christmas story as my first book review for Top2bottom. I hoped against hope for this story, but realistically, I went into this book prepared to hate it, but as Christmas miracles might be…
The story of I Don’t: A Christmas Wish by Kari Gregg boiled down to: Seth and Owen are perfect for each other. They love each other very much, but unfortunately, they don’t see eye to eye on the subject of marriage, which will be allowed in Maryland (where they live) in a month or so. Seth wants to get married, Owen doesn’t. And while Owen has his reasons, the fact that Seth doesn’t agree, (and neither does his family) creates a huge conflict in their relationship. His mother and father have no issues with their son being gay, but will not even consider them not marrying. And thus, the comedy and true conflict explodes.
The story was brought to to life by Seth’s mother and her use of the wooden spoon, and Eddie, his cousin, who loves making porno gingerbread cookies and might be a little gay. The secondary characters, for a short bit of the story, became more interesting and more rounded than the leads. But that was needed in order to understand Seth’s mind set and where he is coming from. But the more I read, the more I fell in love with all the characters, and began to imagine the world through their eyes. And that is a feat not easily accomplished when you’ve read the amount of books I have.
This book had me invested from the beginning. The action never stopped. I had to know what was going to happen and how the characters and the situation resolved itself. Without saying much, there were guns involved, causalities (RIP the microwave), and everyone is shocked at the decisions made. And the comedic edge was kept until the very end, definitively reaffirming this is a romantic comedy.
Finally, regarding the book’s sexual content, I have read many a book where the sexuality is the only thing the author focused on. And that’s fine, if that’s your bag. However, sex can only be done in so many positions and so many times before I find myself wanting to call it the Kama Sutra and start drawing pictures. This is one story that I truly felt the sex was actually needed in the story. It helped the characters connect, and showed a closeness that otherwise would not have been shown.
The last question I ask myself after I read a book: Do I feel inclined to read anything else by this author? The answer to this question is ABSOLUTELY. With characters I could easily read more about, a plot that is memorable, and a story that is truthful and funny, I think reading this story may become one of my Christmas traditions.
Reviewed by: Sam