“The words of others are mistakes of our hearing, shipwrecks of our understanding.” – Fernando Pessoa
BLURB: Kris Hamilton escaped the rat race in LA to live his dream of owning an art studio and making snow globes in a Christmas-themed town in northern Minnesota. But life in a tiny town isn’t as peaceful as advertised, and being treated like an outsider is making Kris’s Tourette’s flare up. When he inadvertently offends Tyr Tollefson—a beautiful blond giant of a man—Kris is ready to chuck it all. But he strikes up an unlikely friendship with Tyr’s cousin Bun, who shows them the magic of Christmas and gives them both a lesson in love and acceptance.
REVIEW: In this short story that is part of Dreamspinner’s Advent 2013 there are some lessons to be learned by everyone.
Kris Hamilton has Tourette’s. He has been able to keep it under control for the last few years. That is, right up until he moves to a tiny little town in Minnesota that isn’t quite ready for the flamboyant snow globe artist. Instead of being accepted and treated as part of the community, he is pretty much shunned. With all the stress heaped on him, his Tourette’s starts up again and mostly at the worst times!
Tyr Tollefson had gotten out of his tiny hometown. He went to college and was making something of himself. Then his family obligations became serious enough that he had to come back. While visiting a snow globe store in town with his developmentally challenged cousin, Tyr mistakenly believes that Kris is making fun of Bun when he is actually suffering a Tourette’s attack. This sets the two men at odds until one day, Kris comes to Bun’s rescue from the local bully brigade.
Bun is completely smitten with Kris and loves to spend time with him in the snow globe store. This also means that Tyr gets to know Kris and once he understands about his condition, they become close. Finally the two men come together, and Kris believes it could be true love, the kind you only read about in romance novels, even. That is right up until an emergency at Tyr’s home puts their relationship out in the open, and Tyr completely cuts Kris out of his and Bun’s life.
The town turns their backs on both Tyr’s family and on Kris. Eventually Kris just gives up. He is ready to sell his store and move back to LA. He believes that Tyr is leaving town, and with him gone, Kris won’t have anything to stay for.
Right before Christmas, Kris gets a metaphorical kick in the pants from the town doctor, and he realizes that love never comes easy and if he wants this family to be his family, he will have to fight for it. After having a stand-off with the entire town, he goes about making the perfect plan to get his man back.
I really liked this story, but unfortunately, I feel that it fell into the trap some short stories inevitably fall into—the characters were not fully developed and the story was choppy in some parts, and hard to follow. I adore LE Franks’ writing and I will read everything she releases in the future, but this one left me scratching my head. The premise was great, but I just couldn’t get into the actual story.