What's Santa Got to Do with It (A Bent Oak, Texas Novel) by Bix Barrow

Holiday chaos for accountant and author Baz and Steve, a CEO forced to take a break from work. Somehow Bix Barrow has written a romance that includes a rescued rabbit, recovered letters to Santa, an estranged famous family, a friendly hitman, all sorts of supportive friends and family, and falling head over heels for a super hot neighbor. SNik read What's Santa Got to Do with It.

From the blurb:

A late-awakened bi guy and his secret crush try to play Santa for some kids. But there’s a hitman blocking the chimney...

Have you ever been locked out of your apartment shirtless, holding a wet rabbit and getting served with legal papers right when your super-hot neighbor walks by?

Maybe it’s just me.

After Baz stops to help, I finally have a chance to show him there’s more to me than the loud parties and one-night stands he’s witnessed over the years. And I find out he’s more than just an aloof work-from-home accountant. Who would’ve guessed we both love superheroes and have big hangups about Christmas?

When Baz finds a bunch of letters to Santa in the recycle bin, helping those kids’ holiday wishes come true is the perfect way for us to spend time together.

But we didn’t expect to get yelled at by the kids’ neighbors. (Okay, maybe the binoculars were a bad idea.) And we didn’t expect my estranged brothers to show up and take over Baz’s apartment. (Okay, but as a side effect, he’s staying at my place...)

And we never expected to interrupt a hitman in the middle of a job.

What’s Santa Got to Do with It is a semi-low-angst, humorous holiday romance featuring a bi-awakening, a chonky rabbit, learning work-life balance, forced proximity, avoiding THAT Christmas song, reconciling with (some) family, interfering friends, and a hitman with a heart of gold.

What’s Santa Got to Do with It is part of the Bent Oak, Texas series but can be read as a standalone. Characters from previous books do make an appearance but knowing their backstories is not necessary to enjoy this book.

SNik's Review:

Fourth in series (Bent Oak, Texas), but can be read as a standalone. Close proximity. Instalove. Dual POV. 

Workaholic Steve is forced to take some time off, but he doesn’t expect to be rescuing a rabbit, falling in love with his neighbor, attempting to be Santa Claus for a whole third grade class and wrangling his estranged family all in the week before Christmas. 

Baz is an accountant by day and a writer at night, but finally getting to know his neighbor Steve is maybe the best thing that has happened to him in years, even if it's been a whirlwind of a couple of days co-parenting a rabbit, reading letters to Santa Claus and finding out that their other neighbor may be some sort of hitman. 

This story was humorous and chaotic, with so many storylines going all at once with some romantic moments and steamy times and plenty of zany secondary characters. 

Baz and Steve really connect on so many levels, and communicate honestly about their feelings as well as accept all parts of each other, past and present. 

A really entertaining read and a fun couple that find each other while living through some realistic and some bizarre circumstances.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Heather's Review:

I'm going to admit that I only read half the book... then went back and read the other half... you see, I put down this book because it alternates between the main story and excerpts from a story 'written by one of the characters' and I have a really hard time flipping between two plots... but when I contacted the author I was assured that I could read the book without reading the excerpts and that while they enhance  your reading experience, they don't substantially add to the plot timeline... so that's what I did!

I really enjoyed getting to know Baz and Steve, revisit some of the other Bent Oak characters and meet even more new friends!  This was an action packed story with a good balance of romance and suspense, couple and wider story... Please note, trigger warning for violence, death of a non-character, and discussion of past death of a spouse.

I look forward to reading Philip's story next, and hopefully following Steve's siblings when they find love and sort out the mess their father left them...

Rating: 4.5 Stars 

Miki J's Review:

I was thoroughly entertained by this story - an absolutely brilliant concept. So, this one could be read as standalone—the only spoilers being who's with who. 

Now, this book, there are 2 separate stories that run alongside each other. One is the actual story, and the other is a work of fiction... with some "truth" to it. It was a bit weird initially, but once I got into the groove of the storytelling, it was like picking up clues. And as for the main story - what an absolute hoot!!  

I love Steve - his PG-rated swearing and that epic rescue had me in stitches!!  But more so; I felt for him... always trying to prove he was invaluable. Wanted to give him a hug. As for Baz - he did make assumptions but did make up for it... and it was sweet that he could enjoy Christmas again.  

This truly was a brilliant book - 2 guys who've been battered by life and in a very short span of time find family/friends and, of course, love... and a hitman... bahahahahaha

Rating: 5 Stars

What's Santa Got to Do with It is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.