Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Keith Walker, a mall bookstore employee, is struggling to get through another miserable holiday season while trying to preserve a crumbling long-term relationship. One of his few comforts is his morning coffee made by a good-looking, younger barista. Austin Novak felt an attraction when Keith started frequenting the coffee shop, but he doesn’t think the older man has any interest in him or his graphic novel collection.
A Christmas week snowstorm buries the city and locks Keith’s car into its parking spot. Keith decides to show Austin his gratitude for helping free the car from the ice with a dinner invitation. The meal becomes complicated when Austin meets Keith’s boyfriend, Shawn, and things go downhill from there when Shawn announces he’s heading to Cancún with his coworkers. Keith is caught between keeping his boyfriend happy and keeping his job. But Keith might not need a plane ticket to find the happiness that’s been missing from his life.
Iced by Jon Keys is a well written holiday romance. It flowed smoothly, the characters felt real as did some of the situations. So why didn’t I connect with it better?
It could be Keith and his awful floormat relationship with his existing boyfriend, Shawn. We got to see exactly how badly Shawn treated Keith as well as how far Keith would go to ignore the sheer blatant cheating and humiliating behaviors he exhibited towards Keith, especially in front of Austin. If I had been Austin, I would have been at the door in a heartbeat. This wasn’t one red flag, it was a truckload. Yes, the story worked its way through to a romance, but honestly? It lost me here, and never recovered.
Others, I know are going to see it differently. For them, the recovery, the meet again through the phone call, all of it will add up to a delightful holiday love story. I guess it should have done it for me as well.
But it didn’t. It’s that initial impression that got me and stayed with me. I could never establish a real connection to their relationship after that. See what you think and let me know. I give it 3 stars because its so well written and thought out. You take it from there.
Paul Richmond’s Series brand cover continues to delight.
ebook, 47 pages
Published December 1st 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1635331838 (ISBN13: 9781635331837)
Series2016 Advent Calendar – Bah Humbug