Rating – 2 Stars out of 5
As David and Christian grow closer, they have to work together to change Christian’s parents’ views on their relationship. As things get worse, it seems like Christian is making up his own fake version of their relationship in order to please his parents and when David breaks his ankle, things come to a head as Christian’s brand of love gets to be too oppressive. In the face of such overwhelming problems will these two make it?
Christmas Serendipity – 1.5 Stars
This story is haunted by the ghost of exes past. This story is divided into five chapters and in all of them our narrator “David” manages to squeeze in references of him. Now him has no name as far as this story goes, maybe he will actually be mentioned by name in the next two stories, a fact of truly questionable importance but in this story he managed quite successfully to subvert the romance. Personally I question the author’s intentions of creating this unknown big bad ex, the fact that we don’t know his name has created an unwanted mystery around this character and frankly having his pronoun dragged through every aspect of this story truly spoiled the story for me.
Leaving the ex aside (God knows why because the story never managed too), I didn’t quite like David’s character. He seemed very uncertain and came across as calculating, even though it felt unintentional. This may have been the result of the leftover trauma from his douche of an ex but there is only a point till you can justify a person’s behaviour as being a result of circumstances and for me David crossed that point.
The things I liked in this story would have to include Christian. He was such a sweetheart and I really felt bad for him being at outs with his parents regarding his coming-out and I actually sympathized with his feelings of being left out.
Christian & David have potential. They can be an amazing couple however this particular story just teased at that potential. The weird part is that instead of having a continuous development the author kind of first went hot and heavy and then slow and steady, something which was confusing to me because when they went from hot to slow, it felt like things became less intense and emotional.
Serendipity Develops – 2.5 Stars
This one is definitely more interesting than Christmas Serendipity. But I doubt anybody could have foreseen this series of events. This story has a decidedly darker tone than the previous ones because as it turns out Christian has some pretty serious psychological problems and he almost ends up smothering David with his love.
Serendipity Develops deals with Christian’s attempts for reconciliation with his parents and how his attempts to make David and him appear like a straight couple take a turn for the worse and Christian kind of suffers from a mental breakdown.
This story is very invested in its plot line because as stated above a lot is happening. Christian tries to bend over backwards trying to accommodate his parents while David’s reluctance seems to hinder his relationship with Christian’s parents. Personally I wouldn’t have minded David’s reluctance as much as I did because Christian’s parents were definitely not very welcoming themselves but David’s reluctance seemed to carry within itself a grain of indifference, like he couldn’t understand why Christian wanted his parents to be a part of his life. This would have been a perfect time to get a look at David’s own family situation to maybe make us better understand David as a character and his response to this particular situation but there was nothing of that sort done here.
I liked David better he seemed less unsure and more assured despite circumstances. I feel for Christian and I wish we could get his perspective especially regarding his parents and his illness. As a couple Christian and David seem to have survived the storm that I don’t think many new relationships could have survived but I can’t quite decipher what their relationship is made of.
Also, I loved Tony in this book. He was a much needed breath of fresh air.
This story is better than the first but personally I think that there were a lot of things that were started in this book that could do with more exploration and explanation and I am hoping the last one can bring that closure.
The Next Christmas – 3 Stars
This story tells the story of the Christmas that David and Christian spend at Christian’s parents’ house. This story is the best of the three probably because Christian and David are more settled in this story, more sure of themselves and each other.
I liked David’s journey throughout this story, of how he is reluctant to go to Christian’s parents’ house because he fears a hard time, how he convinces himself that not going will be better and how he eventually catapults and decides to go. Also this was kind of symbolic of how far David and Christian’s relationship had come.
I liked how the book dealt with the issue of Christian’s dad, Peter, not being accepting of their relationship and how he doesn’t understand it. I liked how he eventually does come around and how David, Christian and Gloria (Christian’s mother) work together to bring Peter around. On the other hand it felt too easy and it wasn’t very satisfying. I thought with the way things were progressing it would take more time.
Also there was no mention of Christian’s mental breakdown in the previous book and what I didn’t like was that there was no discussion about how it could possibly affect their relationship.
Overall these three stories make for an okay read.
Cover Art by Written Ink Designs. I liked the cover.
Box Set Details:
Kindle Edition, 161 pages
Published May 25th 2016 by JMS Books LLC