Author: Rick R. Reed
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary Holiday
Two men. One Christmas Eve that changes the courses of both their lives.
Henry’s homeless and only wants a warm place to sleep on the coldest night of the year. A forgotten open window in a darkened house entices Henry inside with the promise of warmth and comfort. He knows it’s wrong, but he promises himself he’ll be out before the owner wakes on Christmas morning. Except he oversleeps and the homeowner, Jim, discovers a bearded stranger sawing logs under his dining room table. When the shock and the drama that ensues dies down, Henry and Jim discover that they might have found, quite unexpectedly, the Christmas miracle they’d both been longing for—love and home.
It’s hard to imagine an author could put so much life into twenty-one pages. During the holiday season Henry and Jim meet in extremely unusual circumstances when Henry spots an open window during a snowstorm and can’t resist the opportunity to rest and warm up a bit before he’s forced to continue on. Henry is homeless due to having lost his job and then his apartment and then his car as life threw domino hurdles at him, one after the other, and he couldn’t regroup fast enough. He decides to throw caution to the wind and spend a few hours in a stranger’s house, with plans to be out before dawn.
But as luck would have it, the warmth lulls him to sleep and Jim finds him the next morning. Having recently been abandoned by his lover—to his wife and children!—Jim doesn’t immediately react the way he thought he would. Instead, he and Henry share breakfast and Jim decides to take a chance on his future. Told retrospectively twenty years after this event, it’s quite evident the men got their HEA.
I highly recommend this little holiday goodie. The only problem I have with it is that it enticed me to want more—it piqued my interest and led me to wonder what they went through to get where they are today. And that’s actually a good thing. Not many writers can say so much in so few words. I also want at least a dozen more holiday shorts from this highly talented author. By all means, don’t overlook this stocking stuffer.