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Making the Naughty List

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Daryl Banner

Book Information:

This bad boy is about to get everything he wants for Christmas.

Sweet, humble, soft-spoken Daniel always tried to be a good person, despite the hell his family put him through every Christmas.

But when he meets the hot and cocky bad boy Cass who crashes his holiday weekend with the family, Daniel learns what it’s like to break all the rules, live dangerously and proudly make Santa’s “naughty list”.

Includes: Steamy situations, a “fake boyfriend” dilemma, tiptoeing around an uptight family, soul searching, and an unexpected touch of holiday magic.

A Magical Holiday Male/Male Romance.
Photographer: Eric Battershell

Books by Author:

Daryl Banner Books


It was that special time of the year.

Cookies with faces.

Sleigh bells.

Bulb-shaped lights playfully chasing each other around the perimeter of every suburban rooftop.

Magical flying reindeer.

Gingerbread. So much gingerbread.

Mall Santas.

And there stood Daniel, right in the merry middle of it all.

“Excuse me,” he said as he tried to make his way through the busy store.

But his voice was so meek, no one actually ever excused him. In fact, he doubted anyone even heard him.

It was okay. Daniel was used to being invisible.

“Pardon,” he begged as he tried to get between two stout men who blocked his way down the aisle. But the bearded men were too busy gossiping about each other’s wives to hear him, soon bent over with deep-throated guffawing, their eyes teary with laughter as they slapped one another’s backs and continued chatting.

That was okay, too. Daniel simply chose a different aisle.

When he finally had chocolate treats picked out for all the kids in his family (as he had already gotten gift cards for the adults), he headed toward the cashier, only to find himself at the back of a very, very long line.

Daniel hugged his big shopping basket full of gifts, tired-eyed, and waited.

It felt like an eternity before he was, at long last, next in line.

But then: “Oh, no, no, no,” complained the older woman behind him, fretting as she checked the time on her wristwatch. “At this rate, I’ll never make it to the kids in time. Why me? Why today, the day before Christmas Eve??”

Daniel glanced wearily over his shoulder, observed the sad grandmother (he could only presume) and her cartful of household snacks, cookies, and a premade butter cake, then said, “You can go ahead of me, if you like, ma’am.”

The woman’s face exploded with elation at once. “Oh, you’re an angel, kind young man! Thank you, thank you!” She rushed ahead of him with her cart, then peered back and added, “Merry Christmas to you. You deserve everything you asked Santa for.”

Daniel gave her a tiny smile.

He was sure she meant it in humor, seeing as he stood before her as a thirty-year-old man. Still, the fact was, Daniel never asked Santa for anything, even when he was a kid.

That was due to the simple fact that he stopped believing in Santa Claus at an early age—earlier than most.

And he certainly didn’t believe in Christmas miracles anymore, either.

Or magic.

Just as the woman ahead of him finished up, a wrapped chocolate reindeer managed to fall out of Daniel’s basket. He let out a tiny sigh and crouched down to retrieve it off the cold, reflective tile of the store.

When he stood back up, someone else had gone in front of him.

“Oh, excuse me, I was next,” said Daniel.

The man’s broad, muscular back in a tank top gave no response.

Daniel was normally a far more patient person. But today had been especially trying—and especially long. “Excuse me,” he tried again.

His voice was so soft, however, it was lost in the cacophony of noise all around him—screaming children, chatter, squealing shopping cart wheels—and his words went unheard.

He hugged his basket once again, resigning himself to waiting just a touch longer. What was one more person, anyway?

Until a voice came from that broad, muscular back: “You’re gonna have to try harder than that.”

Daniel flinched. For a moment, he wasn’t sure who the man was talking to.

“I’m talking to you, cute stuff.”

Daniel blinked, confused. “I’m … I’m sorry, I don’t understand.”

The man turned to face him completely. “Really? You’re apologizing to me? After I cut ahead of you in line?”

Daniel’s gaze fell upon the man in wonder.

And he found himself frozen to the bone.

And not because of the weather.

Rugged, handsome, brawny, beautiful—the words barely touched how astonishingly gorgeous the man was in every way. His striking face was instantly punishing to the heart. Stunning at first glance. So good-looking, it hurt to gaze on him. The man had an immediately and permanently impressive air about him.

It was as if Daniel was certain he’d never again gaze on anything more beautiful.

He was every and any word Daniel could possibly think of in such a paralyzed state of mind.

And racing state of heart.

“You look flustered,” observed the man. “Are you alright? Or should I call the supermarket doctor?”

Daniel came to at once, the spell broken. “There … isn’t a supermarket doctor.”

“Ah, so he does speak!” he exclaimed confidently, chuckling.

The man wore black, low-hanging jeans that hugged a set of tight, thickly muscled thighs, and the black boots on his feet kept the man solidly planted in front of the cashier. He wore nothing on top but a loose white tank, which hung off a tapered, muscular form. His broad, tanned chest was dusted with dark hair, and his arms were thick and veiny with corded muscle.

And atop his head sat a Santa hat.

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