Title: Twenty-Nine Hours to Eternity (Dreamspinner 2018 Advent Calendar – Warmest Wishes)
Author: Elizabeth Noble
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2018
Genre(s): Fantasy Romance, Holidays
Page Count: 30 pages
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Being gay and pagan can make for a lonely holiday season, as Ian knows well. He’s used to celebrating alone. The last place he expects to meet a like-minded guy is at LAX during a twenty-nine-hour layover.
Ian’s never felt so comfortable or compatible with another man, even if there is an air of mystery to Race.
Race is no stranger to holiday isolation, and he decides they should seize the opportunity they’ve been given and observe the Saturnalia the way it was meant to be. A grand celebration ensues, where every moment is special and every meal a feast. The ancient traditions take on new meaning as the men find meaning in each other. But each of them has a destiny and for their paths to continue together, it’ll take a kind of magic that hasn’t been seen in centuries.
Bottom line – I loved this unusual unexpected holiday story from Elizabeth Noble. From the very first page, we think we know what is going to happen and the tension builds as each chapter gives us a countdown of how many hours are left to eternity. But what happens between the expected and unexpected is wonderfully done.
Flight attendant Ian has a long long layover at LAX and meets a man, Race, whom he feels he has known forever, and marvels at their easy connection. They are both pagan and celebrate the winter festival of Saturnalia. FYI, Saturnalia was a major Roman holiday celebrating the god Saturn and we still see its influence in our celebrations of Christmas, Epiphany, the Feast of the Holy Innocents and the western European custom of a “Lord of Misrule.” Roman poet Catullus called Saturnalia “the best of days”. (Thanks, Wikipedia!!).
And although time is short, Ian feels he and Race (short for Horace) have indeed spent the very best of time together. The ending is surprising and it lends a bittersweet feeling to the tale but I love how Elizabeth Noble turns this holiday story into something unexpected and totally beautiful. 5 stars and a Recommended Read.