Burying the Hatchet by A.C. Thomas – Release Day Review

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Burying the Hatchet by A.C. Thomas – Release Day Review

Burying the Hatchet

By A.C. Thomas

Release Date: December 7, 2020

This post contains affiliate links.  They are no cost to you but help to keep my little site afloat.  Check out my disclosure.

The Storyline: Burying the Hatchet

Burying the Hatchet Cover Art
Cover Art

Home for the holidays for the first time in five years, Clayton Osborne steps off the plane with a chip on his shoulder and a suitcase full of grief…only to come face to flannel-covered chest with his worst nightmare. It’s Jake Carver, his high school nemesis and guilty crush. Clayton never expected Jake to still be working on his family tree farm. Of course, now that he’s older and wiser, it will be no problem to ignore Jake’s ax-swinging, barb-slinging, larger-than-life presence. Right?

Jake Carver loves his work, running NorthStar Tree Farm like it was his own. He’s let other things in his life fall by the wayside as he poured everything he had into his job. Until Clayton Osborne, star of his teenage dreams and his greatest regret returns home as beautiful and feisty as ever. If Jake just keeps his head down and focuses on his work, he can make it through the holidays without revealing his lingering feelings for Clayton. Right?

The mountains of North Carolina ring with more than Christmas bells when boyhood enemies collide as men. Long-buried feelings blossom and grow while the pair work side by side to save the farm, until Clayton must confront his obligation to return to his job in Chicago. He’s going to have to choose. Does he want his big-city life, or love in the mountains? All of this hinges on whether he and Jake can finally bury the hatchet. Can love overcome the years of conflict in their past?

With the help of a good old-fashioned Christmas miracle, it just might.

Book Specifics

  • Book Title: Burying the Hatchet
  • Author:  A.C. Thomas
  • Publisher: Nine Star Press
  • Release Date: December 7, 2020
  • Genre/s: MM Holiday Romance
  • Themes: Unlikely Lovers, New Beginnings, Coming Home, Enemy to Lovers, Workplace Romance.
  • Length: 127 pages
  • This is a stand-alone book…but gosh, I hope Clayton & Jake come back in another book!!
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What I Liked

Not going to lie, I was interested in reading this book the minute I read the premise.  My husband and I have talked many times about starting a Christmas tree farm.  Now, here is an m/m romance book, Burying the Hatchet, that is based on one.  SIGN ME UP!

A.C. Thomas did a wonderful job building this novel.  It has well-developed characters.  While there are a few ancillary characters around them in a few scenes, the story is truly all about Clayton and Jake.  This really helped to develop them and bring out their flaws, insecurities, and really their hidden passion towards each other.   I enjoyed trying to figure out on Jake’s part what was his attempts to make up his past bullying and which were his ways of woo-ing Clayton.  I also loved how they bumped heads getting to the point when chemistry took over.

I would be remised to not mention the heat in the book.  This was a slow build love story, despite previous untold crushes, but when the connection made, there were some hot scenes.


I do want to give a small forewarning.  The book talks about some bullying of Clayton during his school years for being gay.  There is no violence in the book like this, but this is the seed of the mistrust between Clayton and Jake.   Don’t worry, the book does have a happy ever after ending, but wanted to mention as bullying is a serious issue.

The Bottom Line…

Burying the Hatchet has it all.  Hot, ax-wielding, burly mountain man and a business school graduate who had secret crushes on each other, finding love, ON A CHRISTMAS TREE FARM.  This was not a love at first sight situation (at least for Clayton), definitely a well-developed slow build love story.  Totally recommend for a realistic, feel-good story

Buy Links

About the Author: A.C. Thomas

A.C. Thomas (she/her) avoids flinging herself into the sun by writing LGBTQ+ romance novels with NineStar Press.

Contemporary, sci-fi, historical; she does not let a single genre define her. Or, perhaps it is better to say, no genre is safe from her shenanigans.

Every book promises sweet, heat, and happy endings with a dash of humor.

Come have a read if you love Love!

A.C.’s Social Media Links

Website | Facebook | Tumblr | Twitter |

Coffee Talk with A.C. Thomas

As many of you know, I have a bit of a coffee addiction.   This has developed into a little bit of a sub-theme to my site (BookGemz).  I say it is being a father of three wonderful kiddos, BUT, it is more likely because I can never seem to set my book down to go to sleep once I am engrossed into it. 

However, I have a small tradition of reaching out to the authors to connect on their favorite caffeinated beverages and other little tidbits.   Ms. Thomas was gracious in responding!  


BOOK GEMZ: Are you coffee, tea or energy drink person? 

I am a former preschool teacher and I developed a dependency on Diet Coke while I was still in the classroom to help me keep up with all my kids. I don’t usually drink coffee, but when I do, I make it a treat. The fancier, the better! My absolute favorite is Rüdescheimer Kaffee, which is served with brandy, sugar cubes, and whipped cream. I had it for the first time as a teen visiting Germany and it’s absolutely delicious!

BOOK GEMZ: OK, given the holidays, and Burying the Hatchet is a holiday novel, I am going to curveball this one to you. Do you have a holiday treat that you enjoy?

I love holiday baking. If I’m not writing or wrangling my toddler, then I’m up to my elbows in butter, flour, and sugar. My mother is Dutch, and we make a lot of traditional treats for the holidays. One of my favorites that really defines the holiday season for me, is speculaas. You may have had cookie butter or biscoff, which is speculoos, a very similar Belgian cookie.

Speculaas are fun to make because not only are they delicious spice cookies, but they’re also shaped into intricate designs by pressing the dough into traditional wood forms called speculaasplanks. This is something my toddler can help me with, and something I have fond memories of helping my Oma do during the holidays.

BOOK GEMZ: Oh, they sound wonderful….are you willing to share the recipe?? Pretty Please??

I’ve shared a traditional Speculaas recipe below for you to try for yourself. If you don’t have wooden molds available, you can just roll and cut out cookies like any spice cookie dough.

Warning: Your whole house will smell like Christmas!

   – ½ cups blanched almonds, toasted
   –  1½ cup all-purpose flour
   – ½ teaspoon baking soda
   –  1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
   – ½ teaspoon ground ginger
   – ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
   – ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
   – ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
   – ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
   – ¼ teaspoon salt
   – ½ cup softened unsalted butter
   – ½ cup light brown sugar
   – ½ cup sugar
   – 1 egg

      1. Grind the almonds in a food processor with a couple of tablespoons of flour. Mix in the rest of the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
      2. Cream butter with both sugars, add egg
      3. Gradually add flour almond mixture until just combined.
      4. Refrigerate overnight. Then roll out and press into molds or cut into shapes.
     5. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes until golden brown and delicious.

Burying the Hatchet on Kindle

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Please use my buy links included. I also accept coffee!!


Sorry, it is part of review sites required by the FCC and others:

  • I DID receive a copy of this book from the author or publisher in exchange for an HONEST review.
  • All these opinions are mine and I received NO compensation for this review.
  • This post contains affiliate links.  They are no cost to you but help to keep my little site afloat.  Check out my disclosure.
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