Guest Reviewed by Morgan
Title: The Christmas Throwaway
Author: R.J. Scott
Narrator: Sean Crisden
Heroes: Zachary Weston and Ben Hamilton
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: Book – 73 Pages / Audio – 3 Hours, 2 Minutes
Publisher: Love Lane Books
Release Date: Book – November 24, 2012 / Audio – October 17, 2014
Available at: Love Lane Books, Amazon, Audible and iTunes
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Christmas is a time for giving – what do you do when no one gives a damn?
For Zachary Weston Christmas means sleeping on a churchyard bench in the freezing snow with nothing better in his future. Thrown out of his home for being gay, he is left without money or, it seems, anywhere to go.
Until a stranger shows him that some people do give a lot more than a damn.
Ben Hamilton is a rookie cop in his small home town. He finds a young throwaway, fresh from the city, sleeping on a bench in the churchyard on a snowy Christmas Eve. Can he be the one to give Zachary his own Christmas miracle?
Review – Book:
Zach’s father beats him and tries to “convert” him when he finds out he’s gay. He goes so far as to home school him to keep “evil influences” from him. On the eve of Zach’s 18th birthday, when his father intends to force him to enlist in the military, Zach runs away. He doesn’t have much money, doesn’t get very far, but he does end up in the right place at the right time.
Ben is a young, new cop, doing his job, rousting a vagrant on a park bench on Christmas Eve. Zach is scared and cold and unlikely to make it overnight without help, but Ben’s town is small and doesn’t offer much in terms of runaway support. So he offers Zach a place at his mom’s house for the night.
Well, one thing leads to another, and Zach’s story gets told. Everyone falls in love with Zach, and eventually all of Ben’s friends and family are enlisted to help Zach out and to encourage Zach to stay and begin a new life.
Zach doesn’t know what to do. His sister is still in his father’s clutches. Zach doesn’t feel right accepting all this charity, but now that he’s 18, he does have some choice in the matter of his life plan and he doesn’t want to go home.
Zach accepts the help, eventually retrieves his sister, and starts life over with the help of Ben and his family.
Ben, who is 6 years older than Zach, keeps his hands to himself for as long as he possibly can. But between his own attraction and Zach’s, by the time Zach is 19, the two have succumbed and begin a relationship that exceeds friendship.
This is a very packed short story. It doesn’t feel inadequate or rushed. Sure, it would have been nice to struggle along with Zach as he grows. Maybe the tension between he and Ben could have been stretched a bit more. But, overall, it fits nicely into its 73 pages.
Zach has a horrible life, and by comparison, Ben is living in a dream world. The hurdles the couple face are fairly small, and the bulk of this story is really about Zach finding his own way out of a bad past into a bright future.
I loved that the author does give us a final sex scene between Zach and Ben that is quite satisfying!
I really enjoyed this little holiday book and give it 4.5 of 5 stars
Review – Audio:
Sean Crisden is a favorite narrator of mine, and he does a nice job with this as well. There are no over-the-top voices, but everyone is nicely differentiated. Sean’s voice allows you to sink into the story, know who is who without reading along, and his “emoting” is always appropriate.
I give the narration 4.5 of 5 stars as well.
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book for review.*