Title: Glass Tidings
Author: Amy Jo Cousins
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Length: 226 Pages
Category: Holiday Romance
At a Glance: This is a really lovely story of two lonely souls who haven’t had a lot of success in the relationship department and have to work against their own insecurities and fears to move forward in their lives.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: Eddie Rodrigues doesn’t stay in one place long enough to get attached. The only time he broke that rule, things went south fast. Now he’s on the road again, with barely enough cash in his pocket to hop a bus south after his (sort-of-stolen) car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, Midwest, USA.
He’s fine. He’ll manage. Until he watches that girl get hit by a car and left to die.
Local shop owner Grayson Croft isn’t in the habit of doing people any favors. But even a recluse can’t avoid everyone in a town as small as Clear Lake. And when the cop who played Juliet to your Romeo in the high school play asks you to put up her key witness for the night, you say yes.
Now Gray’s got a grouchy glass artist stomping around his big, empty house, and it turns out that he . . . maybe . . . kind of . . . likes the company.
But Eddie Rodrigues never sticks around.
Unless a Christmas shop owner who hates the season can show an orphan what it means to have family for the holidays.
Review: Poor Eddie can’t catch a break. He’s left his sort-of-boyfriend in Chicago and is headed to Texas when the ex’s car breaks down outside a small Illinois town. He’s worked the Ren Faires in the summer and since things didn’t work out with the ex, he’s headed for warmer climes with friends for the winter. But then he accidentally becomes the material witness in a hit and run, and so he’s asked to stay put for a while until the local police can follow up—and, of course, this happens Thanksgiving evening.
The local police officer on the scene, Christine, enlists the aid of a good Samaritan who has stopped to see if he can help. It’s clear to Eddie that Christine and Grayson know each other well, and when it becomes obvious that she needs to leave, and Eddie needs somewhere to stay, Grayson’s big empty house is the answer. Gray isn’t too excited, but he also feels bad for Eddie, who is covered in blood, and cold, and it’s late on Thanksgiving.
When Eddie and Gray get to Gray’s house, things are a bit awkward—as expected. Eddie’s traveling light as he’s always done. He’s tired and cold and dirty, and his clothes are a mess. Gray offers him a shower and a meal, and Eddie’s almost too tired to argue. And he also recognizes something in Gray—desire. Gray almost pushes his luck, but he doesn’t want Eddie to think that this is some kind of quid pro quo arrangement or anything.
Gray is a bit suspicious of Eddie; he can tell Eddie hasn’t had it easy. He’s too thin, he’s too wary, and he’s too defensive and prickly. There are, of course, reasons for this that are revealed as the story unfolds. For his part, Gray is a bit overbearing, tends to jump to conclusions and get a tad bit preachy for Eddie’s liking. But Eddie also is a glass artist, and Gray thinks he could use him in his Christmas Shoppe for the rest of the season, and also sell his glass works. The majority of the story is these two working their way around each other and trying to figure out what kind of a relationship this is. Houseguest and owner? Friends? Employer and Employee? What? There are a number of layers that each is excavating as they reveal more of their past and experiences to each other. And, more than anything, both of them are afraid that this might be, could be, something more.
The subplot of the hit and run, and the search for the culprit, is a nice device in the story as well. There are also some lovely moments with some of the townspeople, and we get to see Eddie at work, revealing his vulnerabilities. There are some good friends that also help both Gray and Eddie see the possibilities rather than the obstacles.
I’ve been a fan of Amy Jo Cousins since I read her wonderful free story Five Dates for the M/M Goodreads group a few years ago. Since then, she’s gone on to publish a number of well received novels and stories, and this one will be a hit as well, I think. This is a really lovely story of two lonely souls who haven’t had a lot of success in the relationship department. They are thrown together in a serendipitous way, and they have to work against their own insecurities and fears to move forward in their lives. If their relationship seems to move pretty fast, well, sometimes that just happens. They literally spend all day and night together for a month, so there is a rather rushed/forced intimacy that seems to be a byproduct of that kind of togetherness. It’s like when you’re a kid at camp and you make a friend the first day, and by the end of the week, you’re crying when you both have to go home. It just kind of happens.
Highly recommended for those who love holiday stories with a little angst and a happy ending…and the possibility of another story for these characters.
You can buy Glass Tidings here: