Reviewed by Vicki
AUTHOR: Lou Sylvre
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 79 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 23rd, 2016
Beck Justice knows holiday sparkle and snappy carols only mask December’s cruel, black heart. He learned that lesson even before he landed on the streets eight years ago, and his recent step up to a tiny apartment and a busker’s permit for Seattle’s Pike Place Market has done nothing to change his mind. But one day in the market, Oleg Abramov joins his ethereal voice to Beck’s guitar, and Beck glimpses light in his bleak, dark winter.
Oleg, lucky to have a large and loving family, believes Beck could be the man to fill the void that nevertheless remains in his life. The two men step out on a path toward love, but it proves as slippery as Seattle’s icy streets. Just when they get close, a misunderstanding shatters their hopes. Light and harmony are still within reach, but only if they choose to believe, risk their hearts, and trust.
Wow. This story is the perfect blending of a holiday romance, deep characters, a bit of darkness, and an authentic setting.
Beck Justice is just getting his life together after some time living on the streets of Seattle. He is a musician, a guitar player, busking at Pike Place Market, he has a tiny apartment, and even a cat. He’s worked very hard to pull himself up, and works hard every day to keep what he has. He’s not fond of December, due to the false cheer of everyone, the fakeness of it all, and the excessive spending. Not having a family, he doesn’t appreciate the holidays, and it’s damn cold and wet in Seattle. He is forced to play mostly Christmas music, since that’s what people want to hear, and he’s got to keep the tips coming in. The one bright bit he gets comes in the form of a man singing with Beck’s playing, but then… poof. He’s gone.
Oleg is part of a large Russian family, who all managed to immigrate to Seattle, and stay together, making music and living near each other. They are loving, and happy, and no one cared a bit when Oleg came out. Even with all of the acceptance and love, Oleg is still missing something. He needs a man, and isn’t finding what he needs in one night stands or back-room hook ups. Walking through Pike Place Market one morning, he hears the sounds of a guitar and stops to listen. Then join in. The man playing finishes his song, and tries to catch Oleg, who panics and runs.
But the two are meant to be together, and the universe puts them in each other’s paths until it happens! Even with drama from Beck’s past, nothing is going to stop this relationship from happening. And it does happen! They work for it, like Beck is used to doing, and the payoff is lovely.
I loved so much about this book! There wasn’t a lot of sex, but damn, what we got was perfection;
He hadn’t known any man would ever do sex the way Beck was doing it, taking his time. He damn near wanted to tear up over the thought of everything he’d been missing, but he was too busy digging the way it felt.
Ugh. So yummy!
The two men are fantastic characters on their own, Beck has issues, but worked so hard to overcome everything. He’s such a good, strong man, even when he could be horrible to a person in need, who had been horrible to him, he takes the high road. I loved him. Oleg too, he’s come from a totally different place as Beck, happy and loved, but he’s maybe created an issue for himself, in needing more than he has. Beck meets that need, giving him love just for himself.
Then there is the city of Seattle. I am a Seattle girl, I’ve lived within 25 miles of Seattle my whole life. I have a total love/hate relationship with books set in my area. I know I need to calm the hell down and stop obsessing, but, it is what it is! Blame Sleepless in Seattle and it’s many many errors…. So anyway, this book is set in downtown Seattle, and written by an author that lives in the state. I am happy to say Lou Sylvre got it right! She gives us enough details to show she knows the area, the weather, the streets, the feeling. She called Pike Place Market by the right name, and gets the atmosphere of the old place just right. She mentions the weather, but didn’t harp on it. Didn’t make it sound worse than it is, even in December. It may seem silly to other people, but I truly appreciate it when authors get my home state right!
I can be a little bah humbugish, and I get tired of fluffy Christmas stories. Even though I feel compelled to read them this time of year. This story was perfect for me, it wasn’t fluffy, but still left me feeling warm and content. I loved the characters, I loved the connection built between these two lonely men, I loved the physical connection between them, I loved the family connection I think Beck is about to get. I loved the story, the background, the drama. I loved the setting, and the details. And I LOVED the ending.
Seriously, give this book a chance, it’s wonderful!