Amy Jo Cousins
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Eddie Rodrigues doesn’t stay in one place long enough to get attached. The only time he broke that rule, things went south fast. Now he’s on the road again, with barely enough cash in his pocket to hop a bus to Texas after his (sort-of-stolen) car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, Midwest, USA.
He’s fine. He’ll manage. Until he watches that girl get hit by a car and left to die.
Local shop owner Grayson Croft isn’t in the habit of doing people any favors. But even a recluse can’t avoid everyone in a town as small as Clear Lake. And when the cop who played Juliet to your Romeo in the high school play asks you to put up her key witness for the night, you say yes.
Now Gray’s got a grouchy glass artist stomping around his big, empty house, and it turns out that he . . . maybe . . . kind of . . . likes the company.
But Eddie Rodrigues never sticks around.
Unless a Christmas shop owner who hates the season can show an orphan what it means to have family for the holidays.
Twenty percent of the proceeds of this title will be donated to The Trevor Project.
M/M Holiday Romance ~ 2nd Chance undertone.
> > Judging a Book by it's Cover < <
Snowy scene with a glass ornament in the foreground, a shadowy figure midway back and a small, lit home in the distance. Catchy font, legible. Synopsis sounds intriguing and makes me pull for Eddie already!
For me, it was not the cover nor the synopsis, but an excerpt that I'd read in the author's newsletter that tormented me worse than a feline with catnip!
> > Looking Deeper < <
Eddie's a drifter, a glass-work artist that travels the Renaissance circuit. Trying to make his way down to Texas to the winter camping grounds, his borrowed car breaks down leaving him on foot. Walking through the nearby middle-of-nowhere town, he witnesses a horrific accident and local police officer needs him to stay in town for statements and possible identification. Gray's been a self-imposed social introvert since his boyfriend up and left him without so much as a work almost a full decade ago. He runs his Christmas Shoppe and comes home to canned goods and old books.
They were an unlikely pair with more luggage than the belly of a 747 passenger plane. They had a very choppy relationship, but it felt natural and believable to both characters. There were a few enjoyable secondary characters. Although the timeline only spanned from Black Friday to New Years, the plot seemed a little heavy and read as if it was longer. There was dimension, dynamics, and plenty depth within the story and its cast.
Most of the conflicts were self-imposed and resolved fairly easily, with mature and open conversation and making the conscious effort to make minor self-adjustments for the better.
Predictability is a funny thing... in hindsight, I should have seen what I failed to catch as I read the book, so I was taken be surprise just a little bit. The conclusion, for the couple, is solid and satisfying, but the loose endings left for Adrian and Lily-Rose was slightly disappointing.
Overall, it was a well-written story, strong plot, enjoyable characters. Eddie mentions the Bristol Renaissance Faire a few times and I had to smile in memory as I'd gone to the Bristol Faire almost every weekend it was open from 1989 - 1992. Good times, Good people!
Rating: [R] ~ Score: 4.1 ~ Stars: 4
⭐ ⭐ **** Disclosure of Material: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the Author/Publisher with the hope that I will leave my Unbiased Opinion. I was not required nor asked to leave a review, positive or otherwise, and my opinions are just that... My Opinions. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising". ***** ⭐ ⭐