Title: Christmas Grace (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers)
Author: C.L. Miles
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2017
Genre(s): Holiday M/M
Page Count: 53
Reviewed by: Susan
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Christmas has been a lonely time of year for Aaron since losing his family fifteen years ago. But now he’s seeing Craig, and though Aaron is sure they belong together, both have been hurt in the past, so they’re taking things slowly. So far, Craig has been supportive of Aaron’s struggles with anxiety—struggles that cost Aaron relationships in the past.
On Christmas Eve, Aaron is closing his bookshop when Craig surprises him with a specially planned evening. Will this be the night they take that final step and deepen their physical relationship? Aaron hopes so, but things aren’t that simple. Craig has been keeping a secret…. Can Aaron take his place as part of a family again and accept the love he’s missed for so long—or will he find that some deceptions are too big to be forgiven, even with the help of some Christmas grace?
I loved the premise of this story, but I do have to say that the execution was not that great.
Aaron and Craig have been dating for 9 months, but with both of them burned in the past they are still taking it slow. So Aaron is very surprised when Craig takes him out on a surprise date and they end up in Craig’s apartment, since Aaron hasn’t ever been there. But there is something Craig needs to tell Aaron….
I thought this would be a slam dunk for me. I absolutely love to read about couples getting more intimate with each other after taking it slow. But this just missed a certain flow. Every event or conversation felt off somehow. I especially had a hard time with the way everyone talked. It just didn’t feel authentic.
I also had a big issue with the secret Craig kept from Aaron for 9 freaking months! I get why he didn’t want to do anything so soon about it, but I didn’t understand why Craig couldn’t just tell Aaron and slowly work their way up to it.