Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: The Puzzle Box
Author: C.C. Bridges
Series: 2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers
Heroes: James & Cole
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 31 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2017
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Elementary school art teacher Cole Peters is expecting a lonely Christmas this year while his longtime boyfriend, James Carducci, is on deployment with the Army. However, a box from James contains puzzles that lead Cole on a scavenger hunt through the greatest moments of their relationship. Together with his best friend Liz, Cole works his way through each clue.
The final puzzle could lead Cole to a gift beyond his wildest expectations.
As someone who’s recently been shown the wonders of Escape Rooms, I’ve fallen in love with them and the puzzle boxes they hold (I totally blame this on HC, btw) so when I started reading this one and that first puzzle box showed up, I was jumping for joy! I absolutely adored this book. I loved the whole concept, I loved that James was sending these little mysteries to Cole and I loved that it took Cole down memory lane of their most special moments in their life.
While I loved this one, I thought it was a little predictable in the end. I mean, anyone should be able to guess where the clues will ultimately lead Cole. However, I thought the addition of Liz made things really sweet. I also wished this one had been a bit longer. We really don’t know either character, even with the flashbacks (which surprisingly I didn’t hate for once!) so it would have been nice to actually get to know them.
In the end, this was a great little Christmas story! I loved the puzzles and the memories that went along with them. I loved the fact that Cole and James had such a solid relationship and the little ‘surprise’ at the end. I wish it had been longer so we could have explored more of the relationship and the characters but as it is, it was a sweet, pick me up story. Definitely give this one a go!
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*