In the sunny playground of Palm Springs, growing up was something confirmed bachelor and bad-boy chef Joel avoided at all costs—until a close friend’s death made him reevaluate his priorities. Ever since, he’s been dedicated to helping his widowed friend Perry get back on his feet by teaching him to cook and providing a shoulder to cry on. But when Perry announces that he’s ready to start dating again and then begins receiving gifts from an anonymous secret Santa, Joel is forced to confront the feelings he’s suppressed for so long.
As Joel struggles with jealousy and guilt amid the holiday season, he must decide if he’s ready to grow up and reach for what he’s always wanted but never thought he could have.
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2017 Advent Calendar "Stocking Stuffers."
Joel has avoided serious relationship commitment all his life but now that his friend has passed away and he's been looking out for the husband left behind, has his thoughts changed on love? Having harbored feelings for the grieving husband for years will he take the leap now that Perry has decided he's ready to start dating again?
I'm going to jump right in and start by saying I loved that Joel and Perry are older and more mature than the norm in romance tales. I'll admit that I haven't really reached the point where I want to read that generation on an every day basis but its refreshing when you find one so well written. Add in the holiday element and Chris Scully has brought a wonderful, loving novella sized journey of friendship, second chances, and new beginnings. Throw in secret Santas, jealousy, and some self-denial and you are looking at a lovely holiday gift from the author that will warm your heart and leave you smiling. What more can a reader ask for?
Unique characters. Heartwarming stories. Chris Scully lives in Toronto, Canada and grew up spinning romantic stories in her head. When the tedium of her corporate day job grew too much, she took a chance and found her escape in writing. Now she longs for the day she can make writing a full-time career. Her stories feature everyday characters falling in love. She hopes to write across multiple genres, but you can always count on a happy ending.