Title: Comfort and Joy
Author: Selina Brody
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Length: Short Story (46 PDF pages)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
A guest review by Lily
The story of a man traveling to adopt a baby and the man he meets there who gives him a second chance at love. A sweet easy read.
This title is part of the 2010 Advent Calendar: Naughty or Nice
Still grieving after losing his lover, Randy Mallory hopes to find comfort in achieving their dream of starting a family. It’s a tough proposition under the best of circumstances, but even more so since he’s adopting a child from a foreign country as a single gay parent. Randy is sure that little Bahdri will bring joy to his life, but he hadn’t bargained on meeting the loving and lovely Ben Ballard at the orphanage in India. Why did the first man to spark his interest in all the months since Jason’s death have to live on the opposite side of the earth?
Randy Mallory is on his way to India to adopt a baby boy and although he is happy it is a bittersweet experience since he’s traveling alone. His partner was killed over a year ago and now Randy is continuing their dream of building a family on his own. When he arrives at the orphanage he meets, and surprisingly falls for, a young Englishman named Ben. But can anything come of it with such a long distance, and quite a few years, between them?
Comfort and Joy is a sweet story that deals with new beginnings and second chances. Randy is in his early forties and knows it’s his last chance at a family so despite his loss he’s determined to adopt Bahdri. When he arrives he meets Ben who works at the orphanage and is fifteen years his junior. As the paperwork is processed and Randy and Bahdri bond the first initial attraction between Randy and Ben deepens. I liked the fact that this story is a bit slow paced. The men meet and quickly fall for each other but the relationship isn’t rushed. They live very far apart and both men have obligations that they can’t just drop to be with each other so while the initial stage of their relationship happens quickly the path to a HEA ending takes time.
There are no major obstacles to the romance in this book although there was a little bit of angst in the beginning as Randy reminisces about his lost love. The third major character in this story is of course Baby Bahdri and he is well presented in the story. He’s a cute toddler and I enjoyed reading his scenes with Randy especially at the end. Sometimes stories with kids end up feeling wrong when they go overboard on the cute factor but in this case Bahdri never takes over the storyline. He’s just a cute little kid and is written well for his age. Overall Comfort and Joy is a sweet holiday-themed story with nice characters and a satisfyingly happy ending.