The Dickens With Love by Josh Lanyon
Very few people can successfully mix romance, humor and heartfelt suffering as Lanyon does in To Dickens With Love. My initial interest in the story came from its quirky description involving glow-in-the-dark condoms, and I was happy to see that its humor stayed consistent throughout, sometimes sticking with straight amusement and other times going with a more sarcastic, jaded laugh.
But this story is much more than just a good laugh. Our jaded and desperate narrator is put into a morally questionable situation that he feels he must fulfill, both because he needs the money and also because he yearns to be "back in the business," no matter how dark the dealings are for him, at the moment. Of course, things begin to take a turn for...well, not the worse, but they do take a turn once he meets the quietly handsome Crisparkle.
This is a perfect Christmas tale, good any time of year (I read it in the autumn), but probably sweetest during the holidays (I plan to read it again then, just to keep myself in the spirit). This is a story about love, forgiveness, redemption, hope and...well, it's a Dickens' tale.