Reviewed by Morgan
Title: Silent Night
Author: Erin E. Keller
Genre: MM Holiday
Length: 39 Pages
Publisher: JMS Books
Release Date: December 3, 2016
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Pete is an improbable Santa Claus ringing his bell on the sidewalks of New York. He might need this job, but he doesn’t have to like it. Impulsive and a little rough around the edges, Pete has a big warm heart, and when he sees the homeless man reading a book on the pavement, he is intrigued.
Lucas is a deaf-mute who fled an ex-boyfriend who wanted to use him as a prostitute. He is cold and isolated, but the very not-ordinary Santa Claus ringing a bell nearby makes him smile.
When Lucas is attacked and robbed, it gives Pete the opportunity to invite him home for Christmas. But can they live together long-term? Will Lucas’s bid for independence break their hearts or bring them to deeper understanding?
First published in 2014, this is a very short story about falling in love at Christmas.
(First, I have to say I liked the original cover better)
Pete is a grumpy, under-employed Santa, drumming up business for a clothing store one Christmas when he spies a homeless person reading in a doorway. After being insulted by said person – Lucas – when he attempts to give him some money, Pete figures nothing good ever comes from being nice anyway and proceeds to walk away.
Lucas didn’t mean to insult Pete, he just couldn’t tell what Pete was saying because Lucas is deaf and mute. Lucas apologizes and from that point forward the two strike up a fast-moving relationship.
Because this is a very short story the author has to pick and choose what to show or tell us, using few words. On the one hand, I think Erin Keller does a nice job of really creating two characters with distinct personalities. I loved the fact that Lucas has a disability but doesn’t let it define him, nor does he let it bring him down.
Pete is very curmudgeonly and it was really sweet watching him warm up to Lucas.
The first half of the story really worked for me. The way the two met, how they moved from strangers to friends and the beginning of their relationship. For me, it all fell apart when the story jumps to the next Christmas.
I won’t tell you what happens, because that’s the bulk of the story, but I was surprised the author chose to make such a big leap and turn the story in that direction.
Honestly, there’s enough “stuff” that this would have made a lovely novella or even longer story, but as it is it felt really rushed and was very unsatisfying.
The writing was fine, the character development really good and the premise interesting, but the execution left me a bit confused and feeling like I missed a bunch of the “good stuff”.
It’s an interesting story, definitely full of holiday warm fuzzies, and an easy way to pass an hour or so.
Overall Impression: It was good
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*