Reviewed by Ami
Title: Christmas Blues
Author: Leigh Jarrett
Heroes: Ryan & Michael
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 146 pages
Publisher: Steambath Press
Release Date: November 12, 2019
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: After Ryan lost his wife to cancer, leaving him with three kids to raise on his own, he never thought he’d find any kind of companionship ever again. Especially not with someone like Michael.
The last time Ryan saw his little brother’s annoying childhood friend, Michael, he’d been a geeky, pimply-faced thirteen-year-old. That was just before Michael and his family moved to New York.
There was an eight-year age difference between them, and being in college at the time, Ryan had never wanted to waste his breath talking to some immature teenage kid when he could be doing homework or making out with his girlfriend instead.
Sixteen years later, a chance meeting at a coffee shop in Denver changes both of their lives. Michael, recently divorced from his wife, has two kids of his own, and a thriving recording studio.
He’s no longer the Mikey Ryan remembers.
Getting the whole brood together for a Thanksgiving crafting extravaganza, and their mutual love of the blues cements Ryan and Michael’s friendship into something neither one of them could have ever expected. Christmas is fast approaching.
How far will their newfound friendship take them?
Leigh Jarrett is a new-to-me author, so I am not familiar with her works. However, the blurb promises age-gap in addition to brother’s best friend trope, and it’s Christmas novella. That’s why I decide to give it a try.
Now, it started good for me. Both men are no longer married – Ryan lost his wife to cancer while Michael is a divorcé. Being dads for young kids as well as childhood relationship since Michael is Ryan’s younger brother’s best friend, make them reconnect rather quickly. I enjoyed that process.
But then Ryan discovers sexual attraction towards Michael and it goes to sexual exploration journey (since both men have never been with other men) and I got BORED. Nothing makes me skim holiday romance stories (or most stories, in that case) fast that pages and pages of sex scenes.
On top of that, the ending feels VERY rushed. There’s an objection from Michael’s ex-wife, then a threat, which suddenly is resolved in the next chapter. Also, another objection from Ryan’s younger brother, that is dismissed in the next minute. For me, it is like the author forgets to add conflict to the story and injects it in the last minute *shrugs*
Overall Impression: It was okay
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*