Title: If Only in My Dreams
Author: Keira Andrews
Pages/Word Count: 143 Pages
At a Glance: This one was definitely another win for the fa-la-la-lidays!!!
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Charlie Yates is desperate. It’s almost Christmas and his flight home from college has been delayed. For days. Charlie promised his little sister Ava he’d be home for her first holiday season since going into remission from leukemia. Now he’s stuck on the opposite coast and someone else grabbed the last rental car. Someone he hasn’t even spoken to in four years. Someone who broke his heart.
Gavin Bloomberg’s childhood friendship with Charlie ended overnight after a day of stolen kisses. With years of resentment between them, they don’t want to be in the same room together, let alone a car. But for Ava’s sake, Gavin agrees to share the rental and drive across the country together.
As they face unexpected bumps along the road, can Charlie and Gavin pave the way to a future together?
This is a gay holiday romance featuring new adult angst, enemies to lovers, and steamy first times.
Review: If Only in My Dreams, Keira Andrews’ holiday novella for 2015, was such a lovely read. In its simplest form, it’s a road trip story about two young guys butting heads over their bitter feelings surrounding their past. But, at its heart, it’s so much more than that. This story has plenty of depth, the right amount of drama, and a TON of heart.
Charlie and Gavin are on a race across the country, desperately trying to make it home in time for Christmas. In time to keep an important promise that Charlie made to his kid sister, Ava. As the trip progresses, and their story unfolds, we learn more about what happened between them, as well as what is going through Charlie’s head with regards to Ava’s remission, and why it is so important to Charlie to make it home by December 25th.
The core of the story is, of course, Charlie and Gavin’s estrangement, and why they haven’t spoken in four years. I enjoyed so much how this all played out. Both boys are incredibly sweet…just good, good guys. They were both so hurt and confused when things got mixed up between them – they were only fourteen, for crying out loud – and I thought Keira did a great job of conveying their emotions. I did have mixed feelings about the dual POVs in the story…I typically love getting into the heads of both MCs, and here it was so effective in letting us know what each were thinking during any given pivotal moment. BUT, I also felt like there were maybe too many skips back and forth. It wasn’t just one POV per chapter, sometimes it would switch even within a chapter, and I found myself more than once having to double check who was narrating. That little niggle aside, though (it could just as easily be classified as an ‘It’s not her, it’s me’ situation), I loved how Keira took us on the journey by giving us both insights.
As always, Keira Andrews is a fantastic storyteller. I truly loved both Gavin and Charlie. Gavin’s emotional talks with his parents – especially with his dad – were so well done. Charlie is amazing at how he is able to open up to Gavin, and make himself vulnerable; and, I loved the maturity they both showed in their forgiveness. There are many humorous moments, too. Boys being boys and all that! And, steam. GAH. Keira never fails to bring the heat. So. Much. Heat. Which is also so well done, given their age, with plenty of realistic inexperienced questions and awkwardness added in.
This one was definitely another win for the fa-la-la-lidays!!! A little bit of Christmas, a little bit of Hannukah, a lot of feels. Loved it.
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