A guest review by Sirius.
Summary: One man looses everything and learns what is really important in life and finds love along the way. Sweet story, but not a perfect one for me.
Sometimes it takes losing everything to find what you really need.
When Judah went to prison for insider trading, he lost everything he thought was important: his business, his money, his power. But when he gets out, homelessness strips him of the one thing he has left: his self-respect. When another homeless man saves him from a beating, he begins to learn to rely on the goodness of those around him.
For Toby, life on the streets has become familiar. Comfortable. So comfortable he wonders if he’s given up on changing his life for the better. Then comes Judah. Formerly rich, newly homeless, all his pride and attitude gone along with his material possessions. Helping Judah feels good. Their unexpected connection—physical and beyond—feels even better.
Their shared situation nurtures a growing closeness that blossoms into something deeper. But when change comes knocking, it will take all their strength to keep fear and insecurity from tearing them apart.
I like Ally Blue’s writing, so I decided to try her holiday story despite my conflicting relationship with Christmas stories. I did like the writing and the characters, but the story still ended up being a mixed bag for me.
What I really liked about this book was a strong theme about how easy it is to become homeless – no matter whether you are poor or rich, or middle class, anybody’s life can take an unexpected turn for worse and we could end up on the streets. This story did not hit me in the gut as strongly as say “A note in the margin” by Isabelle Rowan, but it was still a welcome reminder (for myself) not to take what I have for granted and remember that there are always people whose situation is much worse than mine.
While I liked Judah and Toby together and separate, overall I was not that enamored with the development of their love story. First of all I thought Judah switched from the ass to decent guy initially too fast – I mean I understand how what happened to him was supposed to be a catalyst for him maybe to go back to better part of his nature, but I still did not quite buy it. I needed more time.
In fact I was not quite sure what the story was telling me with the character of Judas? You can only get back to what is truly important to you once you are stripped of material possessions? Was Judah in a sense a modern Scrooge? (His story is different, I am only talking in a sense of him realizing how little material possessions mean).
I enjoyed them together once they actually got together, I thought they had the sweet chemistry, but I just really did not buy a reason for a mandatory separation. I mean, seriously I have read story where the author lead me to the mandatory separation being basically the high point of the conflict between who the men were and this story was not it in my opinion. Again, I understand how the story was trying to tell me that who Judah was indeed was the reason for such separation, but I felt that at some point the “real person” Judah disappeared and he started to think as a character from romance novel.
I *really* liked Toby, but as much as I cheered when his situation improved, I needed a bit more elaboration on that, because sadly no, I was cheering for good people of the world, but no, after year on the streets, I cannot imagine anybody hiring him for the position like he was hired. I guess this is why this is a Christmas story.
Recommended with reservations.