Author: S.J.D. Peterson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 20, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary, Holiday
Page Count: 51
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Texas native Colt Burrow isn’t happy about his third cold, lonely Christmas in frozen Michigan. But when fate sends him a gift in the form of an abandoned puppy, he can’t keep his heart from melting. With the puppy’s companionship, he doesn’t feel so isolated anymore, and the holidays don’t seem as bleak. He even finds enough Christmas spirit to take Roger tree shopping. But just when Colt’s starting to hope Roger’s owner doesn’t show up… he does, and Colt doesn’t want to say goodbye.
Will Roger end up being Colt’s Christmas heartbreak… or his Christmas miracle?
Being a fifty-page short story, I won’t rehash the blurb.
This is super sweet and one of the more emotionally engaging holiday shorts I’ve read in a while. I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again, writing short stories is NOT easy. The author has to trim away all the extraneous detail and par the book down to the base essence. I thought Peterson did an exemplary job in exactly that with Colt. Colt is wallowing a bit in self-pity, being away from his boisterous Texas family for Christmas. Everyone around him is perky and cheerful and not bothered by the cold. Colt is alone, cold, and along comes Roger and how could he not feel for the pup?
But then, I’m a sucker for a good dog story and we had a captivating little fellow in Roger.
When Roger’s owner shows up, I appreciated how Peterson added Colt’s mixed emotions – anger, resentment, relief that Roger’s Dog-dad really did care for him, sadness…the whole range. I thought demanding to know why Roger wasn’t microchipped and finding out Roger was, added a touch or realism. Both my dogs are chipped, and I’ve wondered if all chip readers work on all chips.
In some ways, the story was almost more about the dog and Colt, than it was about the two guys. Which was entirely okay, it gave the story a different feel and I liked that.
Okay, my review is starting to get as long as the story. Ultimately, this was super sweet, emotionally engaging, and has a very nice happy ending.