Will Sutherland hasn’t been home to see his parents in four years—not since they reacted badly when he came out. This Christmas, he’s finally worked up the courage to go home, where he’s surprised to find they’ve taken in a boarder. Ryan Bennett is just a couple years younger than Will, cute, sweet… and openly gay.
As Will deals with his jealousy of the man who’s been receiving the love and acceptance he was denied, Ryan finds himself falling for Will’s brooding good looks. But Ryan also suspects the Sutherlands may be using him as a pawn in their long-standing conflict with their son. Will this Christmas finally tear the family apart, or is there a chance they can put their hurt and anger behind them?
I was predisposed to like this little ditty, as I really enjoy Dreamspinner’s short advent stories. But – that said – this story didn’t do it for me. Will hasn’t seen his parents in over 4 years because of their reactions when he came out. He finally decides to come home only to find they are giving refuge to, and treating like a son – an out and proud gay man. I’m actually surprised he didn’t just turn around and leave.
But my main problem with the story was Ryan and Will’s romance. They were together what? 2 days? And they are declaring their love for one another? Sorry, don’t buy it. I wish they had been interested but it hadn’t gone as far as the “L” word, because that kind of instant love is lust and whenever that happens, I have a hard time seeing it as an HFN ending – because I can’t see it lasting. The story would have been better for me if A: there would have been an epilogue of maybe a year later where they were still together or B: they had kept it at the flirting, gotta get you into bed, stage.
The narration was good. The narrator gave Will and Ryan different voices so I knew who was speaking. I’m definitely going to look up more works narrated by Robbie Ravena to find something longer and see what other voices he can do.
Story Rating: 3 stars
Narration Rating: 4 stars
Overall Rating: 3 stars