Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
Its December 23rd and things aren’t going well for David as the days head into Christsmas. Only days before David had just been dumped by his philandering boyfriend, and now he has just been fired from his job at the pub. Only his friends, Tony and Cathy save him from a lonely and despairing Christmas when they invite him to spend the holidays in the flat they share in a small town in England. Unbeknownst to David, he will not be the only guest invited.
Handyman Christian decided that now he had a boyfriend it was a good time to come out to his parents and bring the new boyfriend home for the holidays. Unfortunately for Christian his parents weren’t overjoyed about the news that he was bringing home a significant other that was male and that Christian was gay, so they disinvited him to their Christmas. Then Christian’s new boyfriend promptly dumped him saying he couldn’t take the drama. Alone and unwelcome in his family home, Christian has no where to go until his friend Cathy invites him to share in the holidays with her flatmate and their friend, David.
As the good food is cooked and the beer flows, a connection is made between David and Christian that offers a chance of becoming something deeper and quite wonderful. But their painful pasts lurk just outside the door, waiting to enter and ruin the tentative start on romance and love. Can David and Christian find the strength to move into the future and leave their past behind or will they lose the chance at love this special Christmas has offered them both?
As we head into the holidays, another lovely way to add to the warmth of the season is the pleasure of reading stories set in this season of celebration and love. Christmas Serendipity is just that delightful story that will warm your heart and leave a smile on your face. I am unfamiliar with Liam Livings but based on this story alone, I will certainly be seeking out more of his stories in the future.
One of the most frequent issues I have with holiday stories is the saccharine quality that can overpower the best of them, leaving the romance and characters almost too sweet to be palatable. But here nestled in a flat in a small village in England, the four characters of this story, David, Christian, Tony and Cathy, never fall into that trap. Instead I found them to be engaging, funny, and very, very human. It didn’t matter whether they were trying to organize Christmas dinner or locate that last tree to be hauled up into the flat, this group of friends were people I enjoyed spending time with, foibles and all.
At forty-five pages, Christmas Serendipity is just that, a serendipitous holiday short that offers a chance at love and family to four people, especially David and Christian who need it the most. I would have loved a little more of Christian’s back story as well as David’s rocky relationship history. Yes, Tony’s character ventures into cliche, but it’s a delightful cliche and I adored him as much as I did David and Christian. And yes, there was that scramble to bed and sex, albeit a sofabed, but Livings explained that away nicely via drink and desperation of the holidays, a stressful event that has caused more than just a couple of out of character behaviors from people. So I can say I definitely can recommend Christmas Serendipity as a story to put on your holiday reading list. Grab this up and a hot toddy or two and enjoy the warmth of the holiday season!
Expected publication: December 8th 2013 by JMS Books