Continuing my reviews of the Dreamspinner 2012 Advent Stories, here are two sweet stories for your Holiday Reading:
Last Tree Standing by Julia Talbot
Rating: 3.75 stars
When Foster needs a Christmas tree at the last minute for his roommate’s little girl, he went to the only Christmas tree lot in town that still had a tree for sale. But someone else got there and needed a tree too. Dr. Levi McBride is in desperate need of a tree for the children in his cancer ward at the hospital when their supplier failed to show up. Both men need the tree and work out a deal that will not only get each man the Christmas tree he needs, but just perhaps that romantic love both have been searching for.
Last Tree Standing is a sweet, endearing short story about two men finding each other at Christmas time. Foster and Levi are both such lovely men and the mission they re on is a wonderful one, they each need a tree so as not to disappoint children at Christmas, One for his roommate’s daughter whose dad didn’t pick her up for Christmas as planned and the other for sick children in a hospital. As they compromise and find a solution to both their problems, the attraction between them grows until by the end of the night, they realize that they are also perfect for each other. A short story with its heart in the right place.
Rating: 3 stars
Coby Darling is back in town and his former lover, Baker Brockton is surprised to see him. It has been a year since Coby left town after breaking up with Baker over his closeted status. Coby wanted Baker to acknowledge that Coby was his boyfriend and Baker wanted to keep their relationship hidden as well as the fact that Baker was gay. Now Coby is back to see if Baker has changed his mind and ready to renew their relationship if he has.
Baker is still firmly in the closet but Coby gives him one last chance at love. Will Baker take it or will Coby leave, this time for good?
I really wanted to like this story more than I did. Johnson gives us two characters, only one of whom I liked. The other, Baker, was just too much a cardboard character for me to make that job into believing his reasons to be closeted and for cutting off Coby to begin with. Just the fact that Baker says he still loves Coby but is furious that the demands to be to be out are the same just didn’t make any sense. And the device Johnson used to bring Baker to his senses was not radical enough for me to believe his change of heart. Still, if you want to look no further than a simple love story between two young men who love each other above all odds, this just might be the one for you.