A Caryn Advent Release Day Review: Christmas Grace (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers) by C.L. Miles


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This book really exemplifies what I have come to expect from Dreamspinner’s Advent Collection – short, sweet, low angst, uncomplicated happy ever after.  Pleasant way to spend an hour, but when it’s done, you forget all about it.

Aaron and Craig have been dating for 9 months.  They are taking their romance slowly, because both of them have been burned by relationships in the past, and they want to make sure this one lasts.  The story is told primarily from Aaron’s point of view, and he knows that he is in love with Craig, is pretty sure Craig feels the same way, and he believes they are ready to take that final step.  It’s Christmas Eve, and a snowstorm is in the process of shutting down the city, so Craig takes Aaron to his condo for the first time ever.  But it turns out there is a reason that Aaron has never been there before, and when he finds out what it is, he feels betrayed and runs away.

Of course, the city is shut down by the blizzard, so he only gets as far as the lobby of the condo building, where the very kind security guard convinces him to give Craig a second chance.  Which he does, all is explained and forgiven, and they become a family and promise each other forever.  The End.

With such a short story, it is hard to summarize without giving away any significant spoilers.  So the rest of this review is a bit of a rant on things that bother me, but since they might not be issues for other readers, I don’t knock many stars off for it.  As I was reading this story, it felt like one of those where an author has taken a hetero-romance and just changed one of the MCs to a man.  I really hate that – there is a reason why I started reading gay romance instead of het romance!  So here it is:  Aaron is physically smaller, more insecure, makes less money, has anxiety, and feels that their relationship is not complete until they have penetrative sex.  Of course he is the bottom, that was never in question.  So this was a classic strong man rescues virginal damsel in distress, has sex and marries her trope, just with the gender changed.  I find that misogynistic.  And don’t get me started about anal sex being the be-all and end-all of gay sex:  not only is it heteronormative BS, it also denigrates all the other forms of intimacy that couples can share.  It kind of smacks of Bill Clinton insisting he did not have sex with Monica Lewinsky since it was just a BJ, and therefore didn’t mean anything.  OK, rant over!

Cover art by Brooke Albrecht is sweetly generic.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press |   Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 53 pages
Published December 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language English

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