Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
This story was very much what I’ve come to enjoy about CJane Elliot’s work. There is angst, but it’s believable, the characters are appealing guys that I’d love to meet myself, they exist in a world complete with good friends who are essential to the story, and they have real jobs and real world concerns. I like this type of contemporary so much better than billionaires and spies…
Brad is in his early 40s, and has been feeling for some time that his life doesn’t really have much meaning or direction, and he feels a “pervasive sense of weariness”. He is a successful lawyer, but winning the big cases doesn’t bring him joy anymore, and certainly doesn’t make him feel that he is making a difference in the world. As Christmas comes around, he is reminded again that he doesn’t have the partner he had hoped and planned for at this time of his life when he was young.
Michael had done some videography of Brad’s depositions, and though he is just Brad’s type, Brad didn’t pursue anything because the case was ongoing, and because Michael seems very young, and Brad doesn’t feel right with that type of age gap. Fortunately for Brad, Michael is persistent, so when the case is over, he asks Brad out. Brad surprises himself by accepting, and is introduced to Michael’s world of unconventional, bohemian friends. Michael is outgoing, impulsive, and wears his heart on his sleeve, and he admires Brad in many ways from their time with the case, but then they also find they both share a love of music and singing. Music is a part of Brad that he’s put aside to fit in with the other lawyers in the firm, and finding someone to share it with, especially someone like Michael who is so joyful, is a revelation. Despite his misgivings about the age gap, Brad is utterly charmed, and starts finding ways to spend time with Michael.
The angst comes in when Michael’s friends start questioning what he hopes to get out of this relationship, and whether he is even serious about it. Michael LOVES the holiday season, and despite his friends’ blasé attitude, he celebrates with gusto. And that always includes falling in love, because isn’t that a thing to do at Christmas? His friends think this is just Michael’s usual holiday crush, and they are persuasive enough that he starts to doubt himself as well.
So this is a story of how two very likeable guys learn to step outside their comfort zones, and find not only love, but new meaning in life. I thoroughly enjoyed this story! One warning though – this is a very politically slanted book. And though I might agree with the politics to an extent, I’m not sure that I really wanted to read about them in my spare time. What started out as introducing a liberal alternative to Brad’s life turned into a full on diatribe against the presidency, the congress, and Republicans in general, and the ranting was really turning me off. I took off half a star for that, but decided that fortunately, the rest of the story was good enough that I could just skip over those parts…
Cover art by Paul Richmond. The Cover is the series cover, cute and cheery but not really relating to the individual stories.
ebook, 50 pages
Published December 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language English