“There were moments, he’d always believed, when you could feel your life changing around you. He could feel that weight in the air now, every crisp detail of the medieval walls around him heavy with significance.” – Amy Rae Durreson
Amy Rae Durreson is prepared to take you on a journey with the ghost of Christmases past in Gaudete, yet another holiday treat in the Dreamspinner Press Advent anthology. These are not actual ghosts, mind, but the figurative ones that are visited through flashbacks woven into the present tense of the story, relating the beginning of the friendship between Jonah Lennox and a boy named Callum, a once-a-year friendship that seemed destined to last forever. But then again, when you’re a boy who’s only just beginning to discover who he is and what he desires, forever sometimes has a way of ending abruptly, and all too often, painfully, for the fear of being different.
The reading of this novella was utterly effortless, as the author’s writing style is not only engaging but her characters brimming with charm and warmth and with the hope and uncertainty which springs from a decade-long separation that came on the heels of conflicted feelings and misunderstanding. Jonah and Callum’s relationship wasn’t built in the present but was seeded in childhood and seemed fated to only grow with time.
Meeting again at Christmas was inevitable for the two men, if for no other reason than their memories bound them to each other and they both wanted it so very much. The setting and circumstances were destined to provide the perfect timing for this yuletide tale of second chances that’s short on conflict and long on the faith that now is their chance, and with this new beginning, Jonah and Callum have indeed found the best of days and will be happy for many more of them to come.
I don’t hesitate for a moment to cheer for this made-for-Christmas romance, the perfect way to warm the heart on a cold winter’s day.