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Publisher's Summary

Keeping secrets is never a good way to start a relationship.

Theo hardly has time to date. Between work and caring for his four-year-old son, there aren’t many hours left over. He’s lonely though, so he joins a hook-up app and starts chatting to a guy called Luke. Luke seems friendly, and they arrange to meet. Theo doesn’t mention that he has a child. It’s early days, and he’s worried about putting Luke off before they get to know each other.

Luke is currently working as Santa at the local shopping mall. He figures Theo never has to know. Christmas will be over soon, and Luke will move on to a new, less embarrassing job. He’s surprised when Theo and a little boy visit Santa one afternoon. Theo doesn’t recognize Luke, and Luke realizes he’s not the only one with a secret.

Despite misgivings on both sides, they start dating, and the chemistry is amazing. But as Christmas approaches, their secrets pile up like colorful packages under the tree. If they’re not careful, they’ll lose the best gift of all - each other.

©2017 Jay Northcote (P)2020 Jay Northcote

What listeners say about Secret Santa

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⭐️⭐️ 4 Star ⭐️⭐️

What a fun listen!!! I thoroughly enjoyed this short Christmas story. I love a single dad story line and this one was perfect, Archie the 4 year old was so fun and I loved the relationship between the mom & dad and also the whole dynamic with the parents and their boyfriends. The relationship between Theo & Luke starts off sweet then gets complicated because of their own action but ends up perfect. I love the idea of both of them being lonely and finding each other on a dating site because we get to go along for the ride as they date and get to know each other. I smiled a lot while listening and giggled a little too! Love the happily ever after ending!! Hamish Long is awesome!! He is always great at Jay's books and with each characters but he was so much fun with Archie!!!

5 people found this helpful

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A fluffy, feel good cosy listen!

This was such an adorable listen! Hamish Long did performed an enjoyable narration and an impeccable audio delivery. A relationship based on secrets is is never the best step especially in a new relationship. But Christmas is a magical time of year. It's a time for forgiveness and coming home and that's exactly what Luke and Theo deserve. This was a sweet fluffy, opposites attract, cosy listen sprinkled with goodness and Christmas cheer!

1 person found this helpful

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Sweet Christmas story

This is a great, quick holiday listen for Christmas. Lots of fun with minimal angst.

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Cute holiday listen

It seems this author is big on lack of communication and miscommunication between couples. I think every book I’ve read or listened to implodes because the characters don’t talk to each other. I do understand a little bit why these two have some of the communication issues they do and thankfully this is a shorter book, so they are resolved quickly…and this is a cute story so these issues are easy to overlook. When they are together, they work well and have great chemistry. They’re looking for the same thing in a relationship, which is surprising for meeting on a dating app. There is no ex drama, and everyone gets along well which enhances the story. Hamish Long did a great job with all the voices in this book. His Santa voice was awesome! This is definitely a great holiday listen!

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  • AT
  • 12-28-20

The perfect listen during holiday prep

It seems as though this author’s writing style is especially well suited for holiday romances. I’d already read four this year when Secret Santa was released on audio, and I happily dove in for a title from Mr. Northcote. Once again, I found myself transported to the scenes he paints, loving the characters, the dialogue, and the romance. Similarly, this narrator is reliably easy to listen to, with a smooth, pleasant delivery that lets the writing shine, and I find myself increasingly looking for new titles he’s worked on. I really liked both Theo and Luke and found the setup of a single dad trying to find his happily-ever-after during Christmas especially sweet. I also liked that Theo’s son, Archie, isn’t a seen-not-heard plot point like occurs in some single parent romances. Instead, he held a believable, age-appropriate role throughout the story. And of course, I wasn’t let down in the least with the physical romance. All in all, Secret Santa was a solid holiday romance that delivered on multiple fronts made better by an excellent narrator. I’d definitely recommend this title. *ACX code received via author's PA. The narrator, author, and PA had no influence over this review*

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Wonderful Christmas story

This was sooo good!! Wonderful and heartwarming. Luke is working as a mall Santa until he starts his new job. He meets a guy on an app and wants to meet him in person. Theo is helping to raise his son. He takes him to meet Santa at the mall. There’s miscommunication between Theo and Nick but love prevails in the end. Sooo good!! Hamish Long, as always does a fantastic job with the narration!! Loved it!

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sweet and spicy holiday romance

Theo and Luke's story melted my heart and my headphones😍🔥. Hamish Long's narration really brought the story to life.

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Santa baby!

Sometimes billionaire cowboys offer exactly the escape you need, but sometimes a dose of sweet, sweet reality works just as well. And that’s exactly what Secret Santa offers. Average guys with average jobs who meet online and fumble their way into a relationship, complete with will-he-or-won’t-he text back, awkward Starbucks dates, and “Is this okay?” hand-holding. A dash of angst and just enough heat to warm you up on a cold winter night. Throw in Hamish Long’s always on-point narration, and you’ve got the perfect stocking stuffer!

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A Christmas Romance for "Santa" & the Single Dad

"Secret Santa" is a Christmas tale of how small lies of omission can snowball into being big secrets, as Luke and Theo meet via an app and begin dating while keeping their personal lives close to the vest for reasons. The irony is that both want a meaningful relationship but are equally reluctant to be open and honest with one another - in this case, Theo not disclosing he's a single dad, and mall Santa Luke not admitting he already knows - and even going so far as to not wanting to admit they'll both be alone on Christmas. Keeping secrets all comes to a head, of course, and how Theo and Luke choose to be adults about it by having a heart-to-heart shortly afterward is rather refreshing. This is a grown-up romance between two nice, lonely guys who in the end realize they're much more compatible than first thought. Narrator Hamish Long delivers another terrific performance, including voicing the female characters and four-year-old Archie. I received this free review copy audio book by request and have left this honest review voluntarily.

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Secret Santa

My first Christmas story of the year! I loved Luke and Theo. I really liked the way they meet and put it out there they want more than just a onetime thing. So when the lying stuff came in I was like why, I totally saw that blowing up in their faces. It wasn’t a bit drama it was what you would expect when someone lies to you. The hurt feelings but they work it out and I enjoyed the ending. Also little Archie was adorable. Kids in books are so fun and I like that they make the characters more real. Loved the narration, I really like that Hamish gives each character their own voice without it feeling forced.

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  • OldLadyStauffer
  • 01-02-21

Great narration of an enjoyable holiday story

This was a fun, sweet story to listen to. I’d say the heat scale was about 3.5/5, for those who are interested. The two MCs had great chemistry, and conversed easily. Theo’s son was an adorable addition. The crisis in their budding relationship stemmed from assumptions and miscommunication, which is very common. I found it a very plausible crisis, but I’m glad it didn’t drag on forever. That’s when it gets frustrating. 🎅 🎄 🎁 I always find Northcote’s stories easy to read, whether their angsty or light, and this one was no different. It was well structured and written, and the characters were all well developed and quite likable. I enjoyed how all of the adults, in Theo’s son’s life, got along. That was very pleasant. I know it’s more common for them not to, but there are a lot of families that do. Northcote seems to have a lot of respect for his characters he creates. I love the authenticity they have, no matter what label, or identity, they fall under. It’s completely refreshing. 🎅 🎄 🎁 Hamish Long did a fantastic job bringing this story to life. I love how vast his range in voices is. He’s a very talented narrator, and I always look forward to listening to his work. 🎙 ❤️ 🎧 📚

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  • V Poulter
  • 12-30-20

Enjoyable short and sweet Christmas listen

I’m a big fan of Jay Northcote’s but until now had only listened to the Rainbow Place series on audio. Jay Northcote and Christmas books go together as well as Jay & Hamish Long now do! Despite being British I find it difficult to adjust to British narrators as I am so used to American & Australian ones, but Hamish is becoming a new favourite. He’s great at adjusting his voice so you know which character you are listening to in a chapter, and I particularly loved his Archie in this - you really got the child like fascination with Santa and Xmas. This is a great read and listen, and having read the book when it was first released I felt the book was enhanced by the narration, and it gave it a new dimension.

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  • AliE
  • 12-26-20

A firm favourite

This is one of those audiobooks where I resented everyday life impinging on my listening pleasure. I so desperately wanted to find out how the initial misunderstandings are resolved. That they have been a few chapters before the end, and then the rest of the book solidifies their relationship,  makes this book even more delightful. I knew the narration by Hamish Long would be to my liking as he is a firm favourite. He brings both main characters to life, but I have to admit that I adore his Archie (Theo's son).

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  • Lydia Devlin
  • 12-26-20

Beautiful Christmas Romance ❤️

An absolutely perfect Christmas romance, that I am more than happy to recommend! I love Jay's style of writing, and Hamish's beautiful narration, takes this heartwarming sweet romance, and turns it into an absolute delight. I don't want to give spoilers for this, I want to give listeners the chance to immerse themselves and discover just how beautiful this story is ❤️

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  • sarah mitcham
  • 12-26-20

Geek Guy Gets Lucky

Luke was feeling lonely he'd been single for a while and hadn't had any luck on Grindr either until he noticed a new post from someone calling themselves Geek Guy...and only 4 miles away! I loved this seasonally set story based in the UK, and Hamish Long did a great job doing a variety of characters voices, it made a nice change to not have to listen to an American accent.

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  • ButtonsMom2003
  • 12-24-20

Great performance!

I read this book back in November 2017 and I liked it a lot. Now, having listened to the audiobook performed by Hamish Long, I love it. Hamish has performed several books by Jay Northcote and I have loved them all. Theo and Luke have great chemistry with each other but the secrets they’re keeping from each other cause misunderstanding and keep them from forming a close relationship at first. Theo is a great dad who wants to protect his son so he’s reluctant to tell Luke about him because he misunderstood an off-hand comment that Luke made when they first met. Luke’s keeping his job as a shopping mall Santa from Theo because he believes it makes him look less than successful. The secrets create tension between them even though neither of them know what it is that’s causing it. I really liked how these two get along together. Once they finally come clean with their secrets their relationship begins to flourish. I found this to be a very entertaining story which didn’t take me too long to read and the epilogue which lets us know how they are getting on a year later was a great touch. I love stories of this length because they are a perfect way to spend an evening. A copy of both audiobooks was provided to me but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author.

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  • Vania
  • 12-21-20

A lovely and heart-warming Christmas story.

A bit of a comedy of errors, or better, a comedy of lies. But it’s funny and sweet, and in the end, on the lesser angsty side. Both Luke and Theo were very sweet and funny, and sweet little Archie is a treasure. Loved Jay Northcote’s engaging writing and Hamish Long’s fab narration.

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  • HelenMK69
  • 12-20-20

A wonderful Christmas story.

Luke and Theo start chatting over a hook up app, but Luke says something negative about kids and Theo has a young son. He keeps his secret and after they meet both Luke and Theo are keeping secrets from each other making things worse. Things get worse and then one day all the secrets are revealed by accident. This is again a well written Christmas book by Jay and Narrated perfectly by Hamish. As always a HEA from Jay, great book, well worth the read/listen. Secret Santa By: Jay Northcote Narrated by: Hamish Long Length: 3 hrs and 44  ❤❤❤❤ Overall 🎧🎧🎧🎧🎧 Narration 📚📚📚📚 Story Read at 1.15 speed on Audible

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  • LGB
  • 12-20-20

A very enjoyable Christmas tale

This is a lovely, feel-good Christmas story set in the UK. The two main characters, Theo and Luke, are adorable guys who come across as genuine and caring souls. The secret each of them holds provides the slight angst at the start of the story and you wonder how they will resolve this issue when the other finds out the truth. The romance that builds between them is sweet but has enough heat for the length of the story. I’m not usually a fan of stories that include children, but I adored this one with Archie and his collection of soft toys and dinosaurs. The interaction with him only served to show how kind these guys were. What I also like about Jay’s stories is that he includes likeable and supportive female characters and both Luke and Theo had one in their lives. Superb narration from Hamish Long, who has the ability to create a range of voices to match the various personalities–from a deep, sexy Santa voice to a young four-year-old boy—made this the perfect, uplifting Christmas listen.

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  • A.K.
  • 12-19-20

I adored this!!

I have not read this book, but I did listen to the audio version and fell in love with it. I can't believe it doesn't have more stars than it does!! Theo and Luke were adorable and so sweet together. Yes, there was a bit of miscommunication in the start of the relationship, but with both sides wanting to work it out, it was an easy fix in the end. Luke's son was so adorable, too. This was so worth the listen and so quick, when it ended I wanted to start it all over again! Hamish Long is a narrator to watch for. I have loved his narrations!!!