Rating: 3 stars out of 5
For Manuel Aguilar, holidays often bring on depressive episodes. But this is his first Halloween in the beautiful Victorian that his lover, Brett, renovated for them. He finds himself eager to celebrate. With the help of the neighbor girl, Poppy, he gets the house all decked out, including Blackberry, the large black and purple spider Brett gave him.
When the spider is stolen, Brett tries desperately to halt Manny’s spiral into depression even as the theft and vandalism disturb his own peace of mind. But whether it was a homophobic act or just a cruel prank, Brett and Poppy are determined to find Blackberry and save Halloween for Manny.
It is a cute Halloween-themed story centering around Manuel and Brett, who are spending their first Halloween in their own house. With the help of Poppy, the teenage neighbor, Manuel has gone all out on the decorations, including the black and purple fuzzy spider, Blackberry, that was a gift from Brett and was sort of a talisman for their relationship. It’s already been a difficult time because Manuel suffers from depression that is worse at holiday time.
In Brett, Manuel has unconditional love and acceptance. There are numerous descriptions of “…the man he loved” and sometimes it was too much. Brett definitely does his best to stand by his man and support him and that part was lovely. They are faced with dealing with the stolen spider, with Poppy, with depression and with repercussions of the theft.
There is a very good chance I will be in the minority for rating this one because while it was cute, it wasn’t memorable for me in any way. I am a super fan of short stories and novellas but this one I felt needed more. Things were a little too simplistic – Poppy and the spider, looking at leaves in the dark, depression. Things needed to be developed more.
The cover, Manuel against a background of the house, is cute but simple.
Sales Link: Amazon
Book Details:Kindle Edition, 70 pages
Published November 19th 2019 by Mischief Corner Books, LLC