Title: Warren’s Peace (Dreamspinner 2018 Advent Calendar Daily Warmest Wishes)
Author: Emjay Haze
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Holidays
Page Count: 54
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
The holidays are a time for second chances.
Warren Blessing lost his wife (two years ago), and his kids decide he’s been alone too long. They send him on a holiday singles cruise so he can meet someone new.
On the flight from Chicago to Miami, he sits next to an attractive man, but when the flight’s over, he doesn’t think he’ll see him again.
Fletcher Hammond is a professional mystery shopper for vacation destinations and travel. After a split from his unfaithful fiancé, he’s embarking on a singles cruise. He meets a lovely gentleman on the flight, whose conversation and cocktails help Fletcher through his fear of takeoffs, but he doesn’t expect to see him again.
As if by fate, a meeting in the ship’s dining room renews their mutual attraction. But can they build a relationship with distance and baggage working against them? Or will they part ways when they return to port?
42-year-old widower Warren Blessing is going on a post-Christmas cruise with the encouragement of his college-age kids. They want him to find a nice woman, but Warren thinks: “No one could replace Sarah. Besides, he missed being with a man. Maybe it was time for him to embrace that side of himself again.” And when he sits next to a gorgeous friendly man on the airlane – and then learns he is on the same cruise – insta-love blooms and the two men spend the cruise together, exploring the ship and each other.
The story moves quickly without a lot of character development, lots of “tell” versus “show” and some very choppy dialogue. For example, talking about Warren’s children, Fletcher asks: “It seems they’d turned into fine adults. You should be proud of yourself. So you’re bisexual.” And when Warren tells his children of his bisexuality, they accept this in about a hot second or two (“I knew it,” Stephanie screamed in the phone. “That’s so cool.” and “Is he hot?” Warren wasn’t expecting that answer from his son.)
I liked the framework of the plot and liked the chemistry between Fletcher and Warren but would have liked a bit more nuanced dialogue and character development. 3.5 stars.