Author: Pat Henshaw
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Mm Contemporary
Summary: When recent horticulture graduate Dr. Fenton Miller arrives in Stone Acres, California, he thinks his only concern is which job offer to accept after spending the holidays working at his cousin’s plant nursery. But after he rents a room from another shorter-than-average man, sous-chef John Barton, Fen falls in lust.
While he’s attracted to Fen, John’s got bigger concerns when two men from his past arrive in town and pressure him to return to San Francisco. Although John tries to stop Fen from getting involved, Fen realizes his lover is in trouble and is determined to protect him.
As the holidays get closer and Fen makes his own enemy, the joy of the season gets lost in the ill will around them. To ensure love triumphs, Fen and John must stand tall to show that short, dark, and handsome is a recipe for love.
Review: Fen is in Stone Acres to help out his cousin while he is debating job offers. He doesn’t want to stay with said cousin, however, since “As a gay man, hearing two lesbians…made me shiver and flinch. If that weren’t enough, having to push aside drying bras in order to take a shower this morning made my hands itch.” Poor Fen. So off he goes in search of a place to stay and fate brings him to the Blue Cottage, the house he’s always loved. His landlord here is John Barton.
John and Fen are both short men but while Fen goes out of his way to be identified as something other as “the short guy”, John sort of just fades into the woodwork and he seems to try not to be noticed. It is not until unsavory visitors from his past show up that you understand why. The two of them make tentative, hesitant steps towards being friends and have to deal with the bad blast from the past (so nasty). There’s also an incredibly unsavory aspect in Jeremy and Boone’s father so Stone Acres isn’t paradise, which made it a little more realistic.
One thing that sort of confused me was the animosity towards Adam and David. That wasn’t apparent in any of the previous books and seemed to come from nowhere. While I appreciate when not everyone in the town loves each other, I needed a little more background for that, since that had never previously come across.
I loved getting to see a little of Freddi Zimmer again, probably my favorite character from this series. This wasn’t my favorite of the series and I felt like I was missing something from the connection of these two.