The most important thing in a romance or erotica novel is the relationship between the main characters. In XXXMAS ALE, those characters are Blake, a good looking but honorable warehouse supervisor, and Dani, the new assistant brewer. At the annual holiday party, Blake meets Dani for the first time and it’s lust at first sight. What ensues is a dispassionate sex scene in the brewery.
Blake is given good characterization and the reader does get a good feel for who he is. Dani, on the other hand, is given barely any personality. What are her motivations other than having sex with a hot guy? If their relationship was going to be merely a one night stand to scratch the lust itch, then the story would be fine, but that is not the case. Ms Crowe tries to force the possibility of a lasting relationship and it falls flat.
Perhaps the story would’ve been better if it was more than 14 pages in length, but as it stands now, XXXMAS ALE didn’t live up to its synopsis.