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 south 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.
Confession #7 of a bookhoarder and bookblogger: I tend to request/receive ARCs from authors whose previous books I own but haven't read. (I know, I know... SMH)
PRO: Obviously there's a reason why I bought their books so it makes me quite excited to start the ARC and when I do end up liking it, I'm doubly excited to get to the author's backlist, if/when I get to it
CON: If I don't end up liking the ARC, then I'm stuck with all those books I've paid for which I won't likely end up reading (and sadly, Amazon Canada has no lending feature)
There is a method to my madness, buried in there somewhere... I think...
Lucky for me, for a first Amy Jo read for me, this is quite a treat! Amy, whose older books I own but haven't read, fortunately, gave me a nice holiday story that has some meat to it. YAY!!!
When I requested this, knowing it's a holiday read, I thought I was gonna get an easy light read that's all gonna be just gooey right for the holidays. It was an easy read but I got so much more out of it.
Eddie was just passing town until he inadvertently became a witness to a crime. Gray just happened to be friend of the town cop who inadvertently had to act as temporary host to Eddie until his friend sorted things out. Neither one wanting to be at the position they found themselves in, but they didn't have a choice. Ok, yes they did, but as good people, they understood there was only one right choice.
Begrudgingly, they started their temporary arrangement. And I guess it's what they both needed. As they get to learn more about each other, it seems there's an attraction there. And they actually like each other, whether they admit it or not. But they're at different stages in their lives. How do you reconcile that?
Eddie and Gray's interactions have such a delicious bite to them. Their individual sense of humor is nuanced that it produced interesting dialogues. Their individual pasts shaped the kind of men they are, and I understood the fears behind their concerns. How their feelings grew felt honest. It was sweet to see how these two seemingly opposite personalities complemented each other in a way they needed.
For an easy read, the characters are quite layered. The story moved naturally and nothing felt disingenuous. For a holiday read, it's heartwarming beyond the usual holiday fanfare. It's got depth that didn't weigh down the holiday spirit, but rather, it enhanced the feelings that a holiday read is meant to evoke. My only wish was that this was a tad longer. I know I would have been even happier if each of their pasts was explored more which would have provided more complexity to their emotions, but I get it. Then, it may have been too heavy a read for the holidays.
Regardless, I'm glad I got the opportunity to read this. Now, I can look more forward to Amy Jo's other books in my TBR.
Now if only I could multitask books...
Thanks for dropping by!