Like the last few years we at Love Bytes are reviewing the whole dsp advent calender
There will be a review posted each day throughout the month of December.
Let us know what you think of the reviews and the stories and have a chance to win a fabulous giveaway.
First Prize: 10 Dreamspinner Press ebooks (winner’s choice)
Second Prize: 5 Dreamspinner Press ebooks (winner’s choice)
Third Prize: 3 Dreamspinner Press ebooks (winner’s choice)
Reviewed by Becca
TITLE: Christmas Grace
SERIES: 2017 Advent Calendar – Stocking Stuffers
AUTHOR: C.L. Miles
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 53 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 1, 2017
Christmas has been a lonely time of year for Aaron since losing his family fifteen years ago. But now he’s seeing Craig, and though Aaron is sure they belong together, both have been hurt in the past, so they’re taking things slowly. So far, Craig has been supportive of Aaron’s struggles with anxiety—struggles that cost Aaron relationships in the past.
On Christmas Eve, Aaron is closing his bookshop when Craig surprises him with a specially planned evening. Will this be the night they take that final step and deepen their physical relationship? Aaron hopes so, but things aren’t that simple. Craig has been keeping a secret…. Can Aaron take his place as part of a family again and accept the love he’s missed for so long—or will he find that some deceptions are too big to be forgiven, even with the help of some Christmas grace?
I’ve never read anything by this author and when I saw the blurb for this story, I was definitely ready to give her a try. I’m so glad I did. This was one of the sweetest Christmas stories I’ve ever read. So full of love despite past heartaches. Just what Christmas needs.
Aaron has had a hard time around Christmas for a long time. His family gave him the boot when he was younger and he’s been on his own ever since. Plus having a horrible ex boyfriend that deeply hurt him, doesn’t make things any better. But this year, he has Craig. They’ve been dating for almost a year and they haven’t said the ‘I love yous’ or consummated the relationship, but Aaron hopes that maybe they are both finally ready to take those final steps. He thinks he’s finally ready. He worried about Craig though, because he feels like Craig has been holding back a little. When he finds out what it is, he is shocked….and angry. He feels like he’s been lied to and it’s bringing up all the past anxieties and insecurities. But he loves Craig and doesn’t want to give up his relationship. He doesn’t know what to do.
Both Craig and Aaron have had very bad past relationships that have left them leery and not trusting. You can’t help but love them both though, because they are trying so hard to move on and love each other. It takes a lot of courage to do so. With Aaron’s anxiety, it hits him even harder than most. He ends up with anxiety attacks that are horrendous, leaving him with no air. Something his dumbass ex hated. But wonderful Craig helps him and he falls in love a little more. It’s the little things. I see both of them struggling so hard to let go and trust and love. It’s hard. What they have, though, is beautiful. It’s a gift to each other that they have both needed. At Christmas time, it just feels more magical. Despite not liking surprises because of his anxiety, though, Craig gives him the best gift of all. Something he has always wanted. They just have to be a little more trusting and open a little more in order to receive what each other has to offer.
Christmastime is a magical time of year, for many. But for some, it’s hard. Not having a family of your own to enjoy time with often brings up memories we don’t want to remember. So when something good comes along, we have to grab with both hands and hold on tight. I hope you enjoy this warm story where they learn to hold on tight. It’s sweet and beautiful and one I plan to read again and again for years to come.