Reviewed by Kat
TITLE: Holiday Weekend
SERIES: Buchanan House – Book 5
AUTHOR: Charley Descoteaux
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 125 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 16, 2016
Ryan Orchard moved from small-town Idaho to Portland almost two years ago and still feels like a hick. When Paulie Nesbitt dumped him, he wasn’t even surprised. Despite losing twenty-five pounds since then, Ryan’s confidence is nonexistent, and his life has stalled. Not only is he convinced the career he wants is beyond his reach, he’s given up on relationships. A new job at a familiar restaurant—and his gorgeous coworker—could be just what Ryan needs to believe in himself again.
Glenn Hernandez might be the only nineteen-year-old in Portland who dreads his days off. Between his horrible housing situation and the ever-present temptation to crawl back into the bottle, Glenn prefers to keep busy. He volunteers at the Elliott Foundation House, a homeless shelter helping LGBTQ former sex workers. As an alum of the shelter himself, Glenn finds it hard to leave his past behind. But when the new server at the trendy restaurant where he works catches Glenn’s eye and works his way into his heart, Glenn finally has a reason to start a new life.
Oh Charley, just when I think you have made me fall in love with all the people I could around Buchanan House, you make me fall even harder for two more!
Ryan Orchard felt like he is always going to be “just some country hick from White Bread, Idaho” trying to make it in the big city. He had left home, and his family, for Portland and the chance to be his true self. After being dumped by his boyfriend, Paulie, he was just going through the motions. He had dropped twenty-five pounds and was pretty proud of that fact. Now, with money tight from a roommate moving out, he is in the local pub for one quick brew, since he is limiting his meager funds and managing his weight loss also. While talking with the bartender, who tells him that Puddle Jumper, Paulie’s old restaurant that he managed before moving to the coast and marrying his true-love Nathan, is hiring. Ryan knows that the owner pays well and it’s a good job. Then walks in a young man that steals his breath away. After scoping out the obviously underage beauty, Kel explains that the young man, Glenn Hernandez, also works at Puddle Jumper as a waiter. When Ryan lands a job as a waiter, alongside Glenn, sparks begin to fly, but they just don’t seem to be progressing. Ryan senses that something is up with Glenn but doesn’t push. He is fearful that his neediness/pushiness is what drove Paulie away. “Holiday Weekend” is the story of how these two damaged and discarded young men deal with their own personal baggage/demons and try to forge a relationship.
I was excited when I read that Charley Descoteaux had written a novella for the holidays. I originally started this series to feel closer to my old stomping grounds, Lincoln City, that I had grown up in. I then kept returning because this series is so well written and the characters felt like old friends. I was even more excited to learn that it was about Ryan, Paulie’s ex-boyfriend. I had felt bad for how he had been left, but I had really wanted Paulie and Nathan to work out, so his story was exciting to get. What I hadn’t figured on was how heartbreaking his and Glenn’s stories would be. These two young men, that were literally ex-communicated from their homophobic families for their sexuality, was so hard to read. You can’t help but to root for them, and their HEA, but it was a hard fought battle. They had so much hidden internally that they were fearful to share with each other.
It was nice to get to catch up with the old gang and see how they were progressing in their relationships. I found it particularly amusing how everyone was commenting on Tim’s “walk”. I was also thankful that Paulie and Ryan seemed to have found some closure so they could continue on as friends. Paulie’s generosity was particularly warming. It was also nice to see Evan seeming to be happier and settled nicely.
“Holiday Weekend” is the fifth book in the “Buchanan House” series. I really think, in my opinion, that you need to read the whole series, in order, to get the most out of the dynamics of these truly wonderful and caring people. I am hoping that we get more in this amazing series. I know that author Charley Descoteaux had not originally planned this book in the series but I am so thankful that she added it. Ryan’s story really needed to be told and included. This is a must-read series for me! I couldn’t set this story down.