Three books, three days… I’m sure it comes as no surprise that day two of my countdown is all about Ibiza on Ice, book two of the For the Love of Christmas! series—now only 0.99 US!
Confession time: I have a really big soft spot for Ibiza on Ice. Sure Aston, the main character, isn’t exactly going to win person of the year in any competition—he’s not even going to make the nomination list. He broke up with his boyfriend, Dan over Dan’s hideous Christmas sweater, and for most of Ibiza on Ice, is trying desperately to prove to Dan and the world that he made the right decision.
So, yeah. Aston, not a great guy.
But there’s always two sides to every story. As a kid whose parents went through a bitter divorce, I learned this really quickly. Even today, with several decades of happiness with new partners between them and the divorce, they both have two very different versions of events. And while they both believe they’re telling the truth, their truths are incompatible with each others. And I don’t think that means one of them is lying, or that their memories are faulty. I think there is more than one truth.
Take Aston and Dan.
Dan wore the sweater knowing Aston’s reaction would be bad. He had an inkling it would be relationship ending bad—but he went ahead with it, giving Aston the ultimatum, ‘it’s me and the sweater—or not at all.’ Aston responded the way most people do when given an ultimatum. He stuck in his heels—one of Aston’s better traits is his tenacity. He didn’t expect Dan to be serious about his sweater, because Aston could never have feelings that strong for a tacky jumper. So when Dan not only left, but found a new boyfriend, Aston was left scrambling. That’s not a nice place to be, so if Aston lashed out, can you really blame him? Break-ups suck, no matter which side of them you’re on.
The second thing is that if Dan and Aston were meant to be, no amount of ugly sweaters could have prevented them from living happily ever after. That the sweater was enough to precipitate a break up says a lot about their relationship. Aston appreciated Dan’s good looks and healthy lifestyle, Dan respected Aston’s dedication to his fitness regime. They had a mutual interest in health and working out, but is that enough to base a relationship on?
As it turns out, no. And not only are they both better off out of the relationship, but they’re got the potential for happiness that they could never find together—and I think that’s a good thing. Not all relationships work out. Recognising that something isn’t working and moving on is a lot healthier than trying to make a round peg fit in a square hole.
The final clue that the break up was a good thing is the effect Laaksonen has on Aston. From the moment they meet, he’s challenging Aston’s assumptions about what he wants and what he believes. Being around Laaksonen pushes Aston, forcing him to question, and finally grow and change—and I will be the first to admit that Aston has a hell of a lot of growing to do.
But he’s like one of my naughty kids when I taught English in Japan. No matter how disruptive they were in class, or what fresh hi-jinks they’d come up with during the school breaks, you couldn’t help but love them. Aston’s my naughty kid.
Ibiza on Ice.
Tired of being ridiculed as the man dumped in favour of an ugly Christmas sweater, Aston is determined to get revenge–by having his dream vacation at Ibiza’s hottest clubs! He’s even planned a social media campaign to make sure his ex, Dan, knows exactly what he’s missing.
When a snowstorm strikes, and Aston’s media campaign takes off before he does, he finds himself propositioned by his unwelcome roommate Mike: trade vacations, or Mike will out Aston as a fake. Desperate to save his reputation, Aston finds himself in Finland–and falling hard for a man with a sweater almost as terrible as Dan’s. Worse, Laaksonen cares as little about impressing people as Aston cares about being nice. Aston knows he has too much self-respect to fall for a man so hazardous to his reputation. But the long Polar Night poses the ultimate test to his Ibiza club dreams…
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