RATING 5 out of 5 stars
In the sunny playground of Palm Springs, growing up was something confirmed bachelor and bad-boy chef Joel avoided at all costs—until a close friend’s death made him reevaluate his priorities. Ever since, he’s been dedicated to helping his widowed friend Perry get back on his feet by teaching him to cook and providing a shoulder to cry on. But when Perry announces that he’s ready to start dating again and then begins receiving gifts from an anonymous secret Santa, Joel is forced to confront the feelings he’s suppressed for so long.
As Joel struggles with jealousy and guilt amid the holiday season, he must decide if he’s ready to grow up and reach for what he’s always wanted but never thought he could have.
This is exactly what I’m looking for in a holiday short, to be engaged and conquered by the characters and the plot since the first words. That’s exactly what the author gave me with this story. I fell in love with Joel and Perry from the start and I couldn’t wait for them to finally act on their feelings. It took some time but that time was needed to better see and understand both men and their minds, I felt their thoughts in my mind and the deep love they shared for each other and for the beloved Dale.
I want to recommend this short story in the Dreamspinner Press Advent Calendar and actually, all the books Chris Scully writes.
The cover art by Alexandria Corza is simple and clean but I don’t like it. In my opinion it misses a connection with the story.
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 66 pages
Published December 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language English