Author: Brandon Witt
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: MM Holiday
Summary: Fifty-six-year-old Samuel Phillips is all alone on his small farm in the Ozarks, with nothing but a menagerie of chickens, pheasants, turkeys, and other birds as company—which is just the way he likes it. In fact, if Samuel had his way, he’d tear down his neighbor’s house so his solitude could be absolute. One day Faloola, his favorite turkey, escapes, forcing Samuel to make the trek next door. When Raymond Webber—sixty-seven—answers the door as naked as the day he was born, Samuel doesn’t know whether he’s more annoyed… or attracted. The two men are opposites in every way—Samuel is serious, while Raymond believes in free love and herbal relaxation. The weeks leading up to Christmas are rocky to say the least, but some holiday spirit might help them get past their differences….
Review: Warning; this book is full of fowl names! Sorry, not sorry, I’m an unrepentant pun-lover, so it had to be done! The book is actually filled with a humorous, charming holiday theme and a rare feature for romance stories; two mature, seasoned men as the main characters. Samuel knew nothing about Raymond when they met, but Raymond had heard a bit about Samuel from his homophobic uncle, who left him his farm. Samuel, living alone for so long, has become quite curmudgeonly and doesn’t know what to make of the freewheeling Raymond at first, (aside from the swinging genitalia). Then Faloola, the missing turkey, inadvertently becomes a bone of contention between them.
The back and forth between them was amusing, with all the assumptions that Samuel jumped to, and the way Raymond persuades Samuel into a better point of view.Although Raymond is the older of the two, he’s not stuck in his ways like Samuel has become. Strong character building and a nuanced Ozark setting is remarkably good for such a short novella, but that’s only to be expected from the talented Mr. Witt. For a holiday appetizer or tasty literary snack, this will hit the spot. Also the perfect length for a bubbly bathtub read, without fear of pruney fingers.