A Barb the Zany Old Lady Advent Release Day Review: Dear Ruth by Kim Fielding

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Dear Ruth,

I’m not in the mood for Christmas. After a romantic relationship went up in flames, I returned to my hometown in rural Kansas. Then my mother passed away. I’m really busy with my job as fire marshal—and now with my mother’s advice column, which I reluctantly took over. There’s a sexy newcomer down the street, a guy with a young daughter and an unfortunate disregard for fire safety. He seems to want to be friends, but that creates problems that may be too hot for me to handle. The last things I need right now are flammable holiday decorations and too much holiday food. How am I supposed to give good advice to others when I can’t seem to get my own life straight?

—Bah Humbug in Bailey Springs

A very enjoyable holiday story, this one is the perfect stocking stuffer—all the goodies of Kim Fielding’s enjoyable imagination into just fifty-two pages. Though short, this one packs a punch. 

Bryce Reynolds is the Deputy Fire Chief in the small town of Bailey Springs. Grieving over the recent loss of his mother, he’s not sure he’s going to celebrate Christmas this year in any way other than covering at the fire station for the guys with families.  When he spots his new neighbor and his daughter hanging purple lights on their porch, he offers his assistance and finally meets Noah Costa and Harper, who wants to be a firefighter when she grows up. 

His mother’s BFF is the owner of the town’s newspaper—still thriving despite the electronic media available.  The paper thrived, in part, due to his mother’s advice column, “Dear Ruth.” Now, somehow, he finds himself agreeing to take over the column.  Channeling his mother’s thoughts and past words of advice, he’s pretty successful at it.  In fact, he’d like to write his own letter—something that would attract Noah to him.  Though sure Noah is straight, he can’t help but want a chance to at least kiss the attractive older man. Something about him just rings true for Bryce. 

It isn’t until he receives a Dear Ruth letter that asks for advice on how to attract an oblivious love interest that things start to perk up for both men.  Do they get a HEA?  Well, as much as one can in a short holiday story.  But at least they get the chance to find their way to a HEA. 

Heartwarming, with the just enough character development to make this a perfect holiday romance, I highly recommend this to lovers of MM warm and fuzzy contemporary romance.

This story does not have the same cover as many of the other Advent Calendar stories from Dreamspinner Press.  Cover art is by Alexandria Corza depicts a gift box and fire truck, with the story title written as a gift tag at the top of the page. The cover is simple, colorful, and perfect for this story. 

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 52 pages
Expected publication: December 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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