It’s Christmas, and Justin’s life is fraying at the edges. The family business he took over instead of going to art school is bleeding money, and his boyfriend of seven months cheated on him. Under these circumstances, family gatherings can be rough, but Justin believes he has everything under control. That is, until Elliot, his former best friend (and the first guy to ever break his heart) unexpectedly shows up at the holiday dinner party.
With both of them still nursing the wounds of the past, it might take a real Christmas miracle for Justin and Elliot to learn to appreciate the art of second chances.
This is a second-chance-at-love novella, set at Christmas time.
Justin is feeling like a failure. The family business he's tried to keep afloat for so long, foregoing his own dreams and ambitions, is not doing well, and he can't bear to face his parents as Christmas approaches, especially his father who has cancer. When an unexpected guest shows up at his mother's invitation, hope flares for a moment as Justin is reunited with Elliott, his former best friend and first love who ghosted him.
Justin experiences moments of bitterness, as I would have expected, but he tries very hard to put a smile on his face and enjoy his family's Christmas traditions. Confronted with Elliott, he's at once angry with his meddling mother and wary, but also thrown headfirst into reminiscing about what might have been.
The unresolved issues between Justin and Elliott obviously come to the forefront sooner rather than later, and I thought the author did a nice job exploring these emotions organically. The 2nd chance romance is perhaps a little bit rushed, considering the time frame, and the one intimate scene fading to black seemed like a missed opportunity to further explore the changing emotions between the two MCs.
The book ends with a nice HFN. Overall, an enjoyable novella, perfect for curling up by the fire with a hot cup of cocoa nearby.
** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher via Netgally in exchange for an honest review. **
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