Title: Green the Whole Year ‘Round
Author: Rowan McAllister
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 77 Pages
Rating: 4 Stars
Blurb: Couples counselor Ted Freeman is still reeling six months after his partner left him. He desperately hopes a week of peace and quiet at a quaint mountain cabin will be just what he needs to regain his personal and professional confidence.
Neil Kelly is a computer programmer who just got promoted to full time and is celebrating over Christmas by going on his first real grown-up vacation at the Cabins in the Pines Inn. When he runs into Ted, his longtime crush, Neil can’t believe his luck, and he vows to do whatever it takes to make Ted see him as something other than the dork next door.
Neil wasn’t part of Ted’s plan for the holidays, but he might turn out to be exactly what Ted needs.
Review: Ahh, I love Christmas stories, and it’s that time of the year! It’s cold outside—no snow, unfortunately—the lights are on the tree, and I can curl up with a good book under a fluffy blanket and indulge in a sweet Christmas romance. Green the Whole Year ‘Round fits that bill. It’s short at only 77 pages, but it’s a sweet story with minimal angst that leaves you feeling pretty good at the end.
Ted and Neil are great characters and despite being complete opposites, they go well together. Neil is like an adorable, energetic puppy. And Ted is nursing a bit of heartache after a breakup has left him alone and confused during the holidays.
What made Ted so great was his attempt at figuring out where he went wrong in his failed relationship. As a couples counselor, he’s trying to figure it out so that he can not only move on, but help his clients. Of course, he’s not doing such a great job of it, at least not until Neil comes along and pulls him out of his funk.
Of course, Neil has a few of his own issues. He might be energetic, fun, and rather insightful, but he’s also insecure when it comes to Ted. He understands the place he’s coming from, but at the same time has wanted him for three years and struggles to not push too hard and too fast.
I do wish the story had been longer, but given that it takes place in a very short timeframe, it works. I would love to read more with these characters, though, as they are fun. It would be nice to see them navigating a relationship outside of the winter lodge confines. What would happen if the ex comes back into the picture? What plans does Neil make for them? How would their relationship fare when one partner is constantly excitable and ready to go forward at full speed, while the other needs time to be quiet and reflect? It would be interesting to see all of these things, but there’s just not enough space in a 77 page story.
If you’re looking for a quick read and a sweet Christmas story, give this one a look. It’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
You can buy Green the Whole Year ‘Round here: