Mr. Popsalos
by: Lisa Worrall
reviewed by: Amy

2nd Edition
Advertising executive and single parent Luke Fisher has grown painfully aware he becomes less dateable the minute he reveals he has a son. Not entertaining any hope of finding love is difficult, but after six years of failed romances, he’s resolved it doesn’t matter. He has all he needs in life: beautiful son, great job, supportive family.
Until two weeks before Christmas, he believed he needed nothing and no one, but that was before he met Jamie Papadopoulos. Jamie is the most attractive man Luke’s ever seen, and one look into his eyes confirms the feelings are mutual. After one amazing night, Luke’s doubts cloud his reasoning, and, deciding to pre-empt heartache, he throws away Jamie’s number, sure he’ll never see him again.
Luckily for Luke, Jamie knows they could be good together, and he is persistent, eventually wearing Luke down. As their one year anniversary approaches, Jamie knows exactly what he wants to give Luke. The platinum wedding bands have been burning a hole in his suitcase in the attic for two months. But before he can say those four life-changing words, an accident throws their well-ordered lives into disarray.
First Edition published by Silver Publishing, 2011

I really love Christmas/holiday books. This book was nothing that I expected, it was so much more!!!  Luke is an ad-executive, Dad to Reggie and all around great guy. The only problem he has is finding love, a partner and all the guys he goes out with bail on him the minute he tells them he has a son.   He's done with the blind dates and fix ups.   

Jamie is working on his teaching license.  He loves kids and watching their minds grow.  When he meets Luke by chance in a coffee shop, he is immediately taken by him.  But Luke doesn't call him.  But fate has intervened once again, putting them at the same place at the right time. 

I loved reading about Jamie and Luke getting together, with Reggie right with them.  The laughter is contagious, the love is inspiring.  There is so much humor and goodness in this book!!  There is also unexpected twist which will pull at your heartstrings, make you grab the tissues and stay up half the night reading until you finish the book!!  My heart was in my throat, but love and family are what keep them all together.  

This was a fabulous book, I loved every page!!! Funny and goofy, serious and heartbreaking, beautiful and loving.  It has it all!! It's definitely a must read!  Lisa Worrall wrote an absolutely wonderful story!  

I give this book 5 Christmas Presents with big shiny gold Christmas bows (I would give it more if I could!)   Hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 



LUKE TRIED to blink, but was prevented by the thumb currently holding his right eyelid open. He unstuck his tongue from the roof of his mouth and swallowed against the dryness of his throat before mumbling, “Hi.”
“You still sleepin’?” His son stared at him from beneath a mop of curls, his head tilted inquisitively.
Seriously? Luke cleared his throat. “Nope. I’m awake.”
“Me too,” Reggie replied. He tilted his head to the other side. “Wanna get up?”
“Cool.” Reggie continued to stare at him.
After a few moments of silence and a fleeting thought concerning how long it would take for his eye to dry out completely if Reggie didn’t let go of his eyelid, Luke raised his thumb-free eyebrow.
“Gonna need my eye back, dude.”
Reggie’s response was to let go of his eyelid so swiftly, Luke half expected it to roll up and down like a blind in a cartoon, then snap to the back of his head, never to be seen again.
Luke blinked and rubbed at his eye, then sat up and swung his legs over the edge of the bed. Now that he could see, he glanced at the digital clock on his nightstand. He mentally bit his tongue to stop himself from groaning out loud—5:17 a.m.
“Come on, Daddy,” Reggie urged, already at the bedroom door. “It’s decoration day. We can’t be late.”
“Late?” Luke mumbled beneath his breath. “School doesn’t start for another three frickin’ hours.”
“What did you say, Daddy?”
“I said, you’re right, we don’t wanna be late,” Luke said brightly, hoping his smile looked a lot more enthusiastic than it felt. Dr. Spock—or was it Mr. Spock?—had said a lot of things about parenthood, but neither had ever mentioned being awoken at the ass-crack of dawn by a school-obsessed kindergartner with a glitter and glue fetish three weeks before Christmas.
“Daaad.” Reggie drew out the word.
“I’m up, I’m up.” Luke scrubbed his hands through his hair, scratching his scalp. “I’ll meet you downstairs.”
“Dude,” Luke lowered his tone a little so Reggie would get the point, or this back and forth could go on for some time. “I need to pee. I’ll be down in a few minutes.”
“Okay, okay,” Reggie mumbled. “But you’re not gonna like it.”
“Like what?” Luke narrowed his gaze.
“The bathroom.”
Reggie shrugged and was already halfway down the hall when he shouted his reply. “Forgot to lift the seat!”
Luke closed his eyes and briefly considered climbing back into bed, but Reggie would never let him get away with that. Sighing heavily, he padded from the room in his bare feet before returning to pull on his ratty old sneakers. If Reggie had forgotten to lift the seat, he was going to need protection.

HALF AN hour, one dry bathroom floor, and one shower later, Luke trotted down the stairs, fully dressed, his tablet in his hand. He stopped in the kitchen doorway, inwardly cringing at the sight before him. Just smile and wave; he’s only trying to help. He pasted what he hoped was a look of happy surprise on his face and walked into the room.
“I made breakfass,” Reggie mumbled around a mouthful of Cocoa Puffs and waved a milk-covered spoon at the other bowl on the table.
“I can see that,” Luke said, ignoring the bomb site that used to be the kitchen counter as he sat down opposite Reggie. Cocoa Puffs littered the tabletop and there were puddles of milk surrounding the bowl. He bit the inside of his mouth to stop himself from laughing out loud and picked up the spoon. Crunching into his cereal, he held up his hand and made a circle with his thumb and forefinger. Reggie smiled brightly and returned his attention to his own breakfast, slurping milk into his mouth as though he were sucking it through a straw. Luke shook his head fondly, one thought echoing in his brain: God, I love that kid.
“Spaces, dude.” Luke pushed his chair back and stood up. He crossed the kitchen to grab the cloth from the sink and quickly wiped the table so he could safely put down his tablet without it exploding.
“Spaces are boring.”
“Spaces are necessary, otherwise I can’t understand you,” Luke pointed out. For the last three weeks, Reggie had been saying everything on a rush of breath, all his words merging into inaudible grunting sounds. The first week had been cute and funny, the second week had been cute, but this week had been neither cute nor funny. “Now what did you say?”
“I said,” Reggie spoke slowly as though Luke had dribbled on himself, “can… we… go… park… today?”
“Very funny, smarty-pants,” Luke replied with a smile. “And maybe. I have to see a client after lunch but it shouldn’t take too long. It’s my day to pick you up anyway, so if Mrs. Olsen tells me you finished your lunch today, the park is a real possibility.” Luke reached out to pluck a stray piece of chocolate-puffed rice from Reggie’s forehead. How the hell did he get it up there?
“But it’s bloccoli day,” Reggie whined. Luke raised an eyebrow and smiled as Reggie heaved a deep sigh, the likes of which only a six-year-old could pull off. “Okay,” Reggie mumbled and dove back into his cereal.
Luke opened up his e-mails and scrolled through them while he shoveled Cocoa Puffs into his mouth. It had been a while since he’d had cereal for breakfast, and right now he couldn’t think why not.
“I’m gonna put glitter on mine.”
Luke blinked and waited for his brain to catch up with Reggie’s topic change, but he had nothing. “I give up. Glitter on what?”
Nope—still nothing. “Huh?”
“Decoration day, Dad.”
“Ah, right, yeah.” Luke shifted uncomfortably beneath the weighty stare of a six-year-old who obviously thought, even though Luke must be at least a thousand, he knew nothing. “Decoration day.” He swallowed hard as he gazed at his son and felt a sudden pang, as though a hand had closed around his heart, making it ache in his chest.
Reggie looked so much like Sarah when he looked at Luke like he was an idiot. How many times had he seen the exact same look on her face? He couldn’t even hazard a guess. But it had been more times than he had liked, even though he’d give anything to see her standing there, with her hands on her hips, staring him down just as their son was doing right now.
Sarah had left a huge void in both his and Reggie’s lives, although the little boy hadn’t had the chance to get to know her. Reggie only knew his mother through the stories Luke told him. He’d promised Sarah he’d keep her alive for Reggie and that’s what he’d tried to do. The two of them would sit snuggled up together on Reggie’s bed and flip through the photo album Luke had put together for him, so he could look at it whenever he wanted. Reggie would ask him the story behind each photo, soaking up information about his mother as he stared at her face.
Luke and Sarah met in college and were joined at the hip from the moment he’d tripped over the books she’d dropped from her backpack while waiting in line outside the dining hall. Despite their differences—him being openly gay and she… well… not—their bond had started off strong and only grown stronger over the years.
Through countless boyfriends on her side and his, through graduation and beyond, that bond continued, although everyone had expected them to eventually drift apart and go their separate ways. They’d known that would never happen, and she’d often joked that, if she hadn’t found Mr. Right by the time she was twenty-five, she was going to make Luke jizz in a cup so she could have the perfect baby, with his beautiful green eyes and her sense of style. He had, of course, laughed, poured yet another glass of wine, and agreed he would be happy to, but only if the baby could have her determination and his ass. Neither of them knew at the time that she wouldn’t make it that far.
At twenty-two, Sarah was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He’d stayed by her side through all of the surgeries and the chemo, never more proud of her than when she’d held her head high and kept the smile firmly on her face, even when she’d been huddled over the toilet, her small frame wracked by the abuse of the chemicals they’d pumped into her body.
She’d been given the all clear and life had returned to normal, until three weeks before her twenty-fourth birthday, when Luke found her unconscious on the bathroom floor of the apartment they shared. The tumor had come back, twice the size. They’d been told that all they could do was attack the cancer with chemo and buy her some time.
Sarah had dried Luke’s tears and, during their Friday night ritual of wine, pizza, and cheesy movies, told him that she had had some of her eggs removed before her first surgery, just in case the cancer ever came back—so would it be okay if he jizzed in that cup now?
At first he wouldn’t listen to her, wouldn’t even discuss it. Discussing it would have meant acknowledging that a baby meant no treatment and no treatment meant no Sarah—and he hadn’t been ready to do that.
Not until she’d looked him in the eye and said, “Either way, I’m going to die. And I’d rather die knowing that a new life came out of this giant clusterfuck, and there is no one in the world I would rather make that life with and trust that life to than you.” She’d wiped away his tears and kissed him softly. “I know you’re up to the challenge, Fisher. I trusted you with mine.”
The doctors had told them they were insane; they probably wouldn’t even be able to get pregnant after all the chemo Sarah’s body had been subjected to. Luke had just smiled. They didn’t know Sarah like he did. There was nothing that woman couldn’t achieve once she wanted it badly enough.
He’d spent fifteen minutes in a sterile-looking room with a copy of GQ and filled his cup as he’d faithfully promised. Her egg had been inseminated in a petri dish and then implanted in her womb. On their first try, they’d both been huddled over the pregnancy test, staring open-mouthed at the two lines in the result window. Despite the doctor’s reservations, they were pregnant.
Sarah had hung on as long as she could, wanting to see their son just once before she let go. But she slipped into a coma at thirty-four weeks. They’d performed the C-section three weeks later, and Luke had been there to hold her hand. He’d stared in awe at his son when they’d placed him in his arms. Only a few minutes old, and a red-faced, wrinkled Reggie waved his fists angrily at the world, as if he’d known he was going to begin his life without his mother.
Two days later, while Luke had been feeding Reggie at Sarah’s bedside, she’d opened her eyes. He’d barely been able to see through his tears as she’d reached out a hand and smiled when the baby’s tiny fingers curled around one of hers, the expression on her face one of pure joy. Then she’d closed her eyes and, a few minutes later, gently slipped away with her son holding her hand.
He sighed inwardly. This time of year always made him especially maudlin. Not that he didn’t miss Sarah every day, but around the holidays, even when surrounded by their extended family, he wished there was someone Reggie and he could spend their own Christmases with. Someone with whom they could create new traditions and memories.
Not that Luke had any illusions of that happening anytime soon. His track record with men since Reggie came along hadn’t exactly been stellar. The list of bad dates definitely outweighed the good. He’d met some assholes before he’d become a father, but the ones he’d met since had redefined the word. As soon as he mentioned he had a kid, they got this stunned look in their eyes like a deer caught in the headlights and bailed. He even had one excuse himself to go to the bathroom and never come back. Not to mention the guys his best friend and boss, Chris, had set him up with. Considering Chris probably knew him better than he knew himself, why the moron had thought any of them were a good match for him was beyond Luke.
There’d been spits-when-he-talks, the sneezer, and the bathroom Houdini. Followed by the guy with more hair growing out of his ears than on his head, the excessive farter, the pig-snorter, and the foot fetishist. Not forgetting the one who’d offered Luke some of his steak at dinner, which he’d then proceeded to put on his own tongue and suggested Luke retrieve. Luke shuddered at the memory and shook his head.
Why couldn’t he be that guy? You know, the one who bounces through life, doing what he likes and taking what he wants. The kind of guy who wouldn’t think twice at having a casual hookup, no strings attached. ’Cause getting relief from a hand that wasn’t his own wouldn’t go amiss once in a while. But therein lay the problem. Luke wasn’t that guy. Had never been that guy. Not even in his youth, which wasn’t even the slightest bit misspent. Luke was the dating kind, the going-steady kind—the boring kind.


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