Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Two men from vastly different backgrounds; one city, one country. They have loved each other for over fifteen years, but the balance of their relationship has always been skewed, with Nathan desperately attempting to make Malcolm content on the ranch, when his restlessness and creative soul drives him to explore the world outside. After all this time, the differences were beginning to create a divide that seemed inevitable. Sometimes, love was not enough.
Then Malcolm’s nephew goes missing and a storm brings Nathan to his knees…
Everything they have is suddenly on the brink of disaster.
It will take a Christmas miracle to show two men that everything they are, everything they need, is tied up in a love that deserves a second chance.
Away in a Manger by JC Owens is one of those short stories that not only seems like a much larger book but one that you wish would go on to fill a series. In just 53 pages, J.C. Owens manages to create a world of characters that feel real right down to the horses and dogs, a ranch that comes vividly to life, and an established relationship between two men that solidifies and deepens before our eyes.
Oh, and a missing teenager finds his way to a new home. At Christmas. And you don’t want to roll your eyes but embrace the spirit, the love that flows from the story and all the “miracles” it contains.
There is a depth and reality to all the characters here, that includes the horses and the dogs that play big parts in this tale. I want to spend more time with all of them. This story and these people cry out for a series of books. I hope the author is listening. Until then, spread out your holiday reading to just one more story and pick up Away in a Manger by JC Owens. I highly recommend it.
Cover art by Kris Jacen. Just gorgeous and perfect for the story.
Kindle Edition, 53 pages
Published December 13th 2018 by MLR Press