Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5
Everything changes with the appearance of Luz Espina’s lifepod. Filo shares many interests with the flirtatious Luz, though Filo’s isolation has strained his communication skills. Still, Luz pushes all his buttons… and reminds him of the last man he was attracted to—an attraction that ended in disaster because the man was straight. When Luz learns Filo has never celebrated a holiday, he vows to cobble together a Claus Day celebration for them to share. But is it merely a friendly gesture… or something more?
Salvaging Claus Day by J. Alan Veerkamp is not the type of story you normally think of when you conjure up your idea of M/M Holiday Romances. Its neither contemporary or even that romance with a touch of fantasy. No, this is straight up science fiction with an HFN ending that you sort of have to decide for yourself what you think is happening within the story.
The starting point is typical hardcore syfy. Filo is a genetically engineered human being, designed for warfare but oddly ill prepared temperamentally for the job. In this universe, that means he finds he has another aptitude (IT software) and follows that into a job in space. Here he’s been living by himself since most of the previous crew left for various reasons. The scenario is real, the descriptions of Filo and his job suitably science worthy and believable. It feels isolated, scary, and tough.
Until you realize that Filo has a visitor on board…Lux Espina. Luz came aboard after an accident and they’ve been dancing around each other the entire time he’s been on the station.
The rest of the small story concerns their evolving relationship, Lux helping Filo celebrate Claus Day, something a genetically modified human doesn’t understand, and watching them come together with hot sex, warm sympathetic emotions and much more.
Then the small twist appears. Such a lovely little thing that sits there evilly daring the reader to keep processing this new thread further in their minds, extrapolating all the possible endings, unable to leave it alone at the simple way the story closes. At least it worked that way for me.
It irritated me in the best way. So yes, definitely not your typical Christmas romance, but a terrific one just the same. I liked it and recommend it as wonderful holiday reading.
Cover art by Paul Richmond is humorous, romantic, and fun as well as being the generic cover for the series. Loved it.
ebook, 34 pages
Published December 1st 2017
Series2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers