Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Pete is an average guy with a crappy seasonal job dressed as Santa Clause and advertising for a book store in New York City. While internally whining about said crappy job, he keeps noticing a homeless man with a book who is not very successful at begging in front of his store. Although Pete thinks of himself as a jaded hardass who really doesn’t care about other people, he decided to give the man a whole dime (in present day NYC? What good did he think that would do???), but the man’s response – or rather lack of – was unexpected. And made him want to know more, especially when he saw how cute the homeless man was.
Lucas is deaf, mute, orphaned, friendless, and recently homeless when he refused to sell his body. Despite circumstances, he has continued to try to find a job, and escapes into his book when life is just too hard. He doesn’t really know how to beg, and is way too soft and naive to survive on the streets, but something about Pete just drew him in. On Christmas eve, Pete came to find Lucas to offer him a meal. An initial misunderstanding between them led to Lucas getting assaulted and losing what few possessions he had, so Pete, feeling responsible, took Lucas home. Where the expected happened in a fade-to-black scene, which was actually very sweet.
This next paragraph will be a spoiler, so you may want to skip it! After the meet-cute, there was a disconcerting jump to the next Christmas Eve, with a flashback from Pete telling how they got together and both found satisfying jobs, but Pete was over-protective, possessive, and an insensitive jackass who treated Lucas like a child, so Lucas left. Now that it’s Christmas Eve, Pete needs to win him back. Which he does, being a possessive and semi-violent jerk. And though he recognizes what he did wrong, he seems helpless to do any better. And Lucas goes back to him because he loves him despite how he acts sometimes.
Doesn’t this seem like a perfect set up for an abusive relationship?
And to cap things off, there were grammar and spelling mistakes, and I got the sense that this was written by someone who really isn’t all that familiar with American culture, and American English.
Cover art by Written Ink Designs is nice, and the photo captured the two men well.
Kindle Edition, 39 pages
Published December 3rd 2016 by JMS Books LLC (first published November 24th 2014)