Author: Matt Burlingame
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 12/01/2016
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay, Gay Fiction, Winter Holiday
Thirty-three-year-old technical writer Laurence Hart is a modern-day Scrooge when it comes to the holiday season—and the rest of the year too. He doesn’t like most people, they don’t like him, and he’s happy to keep it that way. Over lunch with his best friend, he receives a fortune cookie promising him true love. The next day, forced to work on a holiday charity committee or lose his job, he meets Nick, a jolly ginger giant who loves all things Christmas. Together they face numerous obstacles to put together a holiday fair to raise money for children in foster care in only four days. While Laurence has to mend his curmudgeonly ways to make the event a success, Nick’s holiday magic might mend Laurence’s heart.
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2016 Advent Calendar “Bah Humbug.”
Laurence fits the definition of a scrooge, there’s no doubt about it. He doesn’t want to hear the Xmas songs, detests decorations, and does not want to help organize the annual Xmas charity event held at at his company each year.
Unfortunately for him, the universe and a fortune cookie fate are conspiring to change all of that.
I like the way we slowly learn the reasons for Laurence’s feelings towards Christmas. I like how he and his friend Amanda look out for one another, even when they don’t behave perfectly towards each other. And I like the Nick seems to have explanations for everything.
It makes me wonder… 😉
The writing is solid, if a little too detailed in some passages, with every gesture or action described, like clicking the button to shut down an iPad and everything that surrounds this activity. It was almost clinical.
However, this is small potatoes when compared to the wonderful cast, and the wee bit of magic woven all throughout this tale.
Second chances and a box of chocolates are what we have here. Many moments in this story are ones I’ve experienced myself, or certainly feel universal. These make it easy in understanding and enjoying these characters in a short story. By the end, I was left with questions for which I can fashion my own answers, and Laurence and Nick’s future is tops among them.
This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.
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