Leland's Final Gift by Thianna Durston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Having just finished a book that ripped my heart out and left me a sobbing mess, I needed a sweet romance to cheer up my broken heart. So I flipped through my December reading list and saw that I had Leland’s Final Gift in my queue and thought “Perfect! Durston’s male-male romances always warm my heart and its shortened length and Christmas theme should guarantee a tear-free read.” Yeah, no. Rest assured, my heart was warmed, but my eyes were not tear free. My mistake was in not reading the blurb again before starting the novelette. Had I done so and realized that Kinder would be spending time with the ghost of his dead partner, I would have been prepared for the tears. Despite my oversight, I loved this book and it was a great holiday read.
Not rereading the blurb meant I was a bit shocked when Kinder’s haste to get inside his apartment was met with the ghost of his life partner. The love between the two was obvious and is why I wasn’t the least bit surprised at the incident that occurred after Leland said he would have to take matters into his own hands in order to force Kinder to move on with his life. It’s also what had me cheering for Kinder as he embraced the holiday season in order to make his new neighbor’s Christmas a happy one despite its less than enjoyable beginning. Because of the novelette’s length, we don’t see all of the time that Kinder and Jessie spend together over the week, but that didn’t keep me from feeling the bond forming between the two men. Despite an unexpectedly gut-wrenching request made by Jessie, Thane’s (slightly wavering) determination to fulfill Leland’s final request led to an awesome New Year’s Eve date and his awareness of what Leland’s final gift was to him. I will admit that I was a little surprised that the physical intimacies were limited to kissing, but it actually worked well for the story as the focus was on Kinder healing and learning to live again. I thought the Epilogue was perfect and my only actual complaint is that the book wasn’t longer. But then, I’m a huge fan of Durston’s writing and her books are never long enough for me, no matter their actual length. Leland’s Final Gift was a wonderful holiday read and I do hope the author gets bitten by the Kinder-bug in the future and we get more of this couple’s story.
I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!
Check out the Leland’s Final Gift by Thianna Durston blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.
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