Reviewed by Tori (Vicki)
TITLE: Regret Me Not
AUTHOR: Amy Lane
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 119 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 4th, 2017
Pierce Atwater used to think he was a knight in shining armor, but then his life fell to crap. Now he has no job, no wife, no life—and is so full of self-pity he can’t even be decent to the one family member he’s still speaking to. He heads for Florida, where he’s got a month to pull his head out of his ass before he ruins his little sister’s Christmas.
Harold Justice Lombard the Fifth is at his own crossroads—he can keep being Hal, massage therapist in training, flamboyant and irrepressible to the bones, or he can let his parents rule his life. Hal takes one look at Pierce and decides they’re fellow unicorns out to make the world a better place. Pierce can’t reject Hal’s overtures of friendship, in spite of his misgivings about being too old and too pissed off to make a good friend.
As they experience everything from existential Looney Tunes to eternal trips to Target, Pierce becomes more dependent on Hal’s optimism to get him through the day. When Hal starts getting him through the nights too, Pierce must look inside for the knight he used to be—before Christmas becomes a doomsday deadline of heartbreak instead of a celebration of love.
Oh yes! A holiday story with some depth! I am a big fan of fluffy holiday stories, but trust Amy Lane to give us one with some drama…
Pierce is a mess. He’s been in a nasty car accident, has asked his obnoxious wife for a divorce, his parents are assholes, and he’s jobless. He’s in Florida recovering at his sisters, but he’s been a grumpy jerk and feels likes he’s worn out his welcome. He takes advantage of a friend’s offer of the use of his condo for a month, and his sister agrees, with the understanding that he’ll be back at her house for Christmas. Pierce gets dropped off, and settles in to be a grumpy bastard. Until he meets Hal.
While taking advantage of the swimming pool at the condo complex, Pierce is helped/harassed by a kid in a pair of sunglasses. The kid actually does help, and offers to help more the next day. It turns out Hal is on his way to a massage therapy license, is a personal trainer, and not a kid. But he does have his own issues. His parents don’t get the gay, don’t get the massage therapist idea, and kick him out for the holidays. He is hiding in the family condo, planning on a nice drinking binge. Until he meets Pierce.
The two strike up an unusual friendship, which turns in to so much more.
I am fond of grumpy bastards that turn out to be softies on the inside. And that is what we get with Pierce. He’s hurting physically and emotionally, and Hal is exactly what he needs. The older Pierce, has experience to offer, but is somewhat reluctant to offer help and love, thinking Hal needs someone his own age, and not so fucked up. But Hal seems to see Pierce as a project. Hal has the ability to work on Pierce’s physical issues, and it turns out he can help with the emotional ones as well.
The two bond over trips to Target, Legos, food, Christmas decorations, and their personal family dramas.
This is a sweet holiday story, that will leave you warm and fuzzy. But there is more to it than that! Both of these men have problems, both have family issues, and both need some serious love. They are able to open their hearts and find that love. And I loved this book! It’s part fluffy and part drama. No real angst, just the family drama that occurs off page, and the two working through some shit. But a little drama is still there, under the unicorn references and stuffed bears! The sex scenes were very well done and realistic considering Pierce’s physical limitations, but also sweet and gentle. The two characters are different and interesting, and I loved the relationship that forms between them. Hal with his need to care, and Pierce will the need for caring. And the ending…. oh yes!
It’s what I come to expect from this author when she’s not trying to rip my heart out. A little fluff, a little drama, a little sex, and a lot of romance!
Definitely put this one on your Christmas list!