- File Size: 4789 KB
- Print Length: 159 pages
- Publisher: NineStar Press (December 4, 2017)
- Publication Date: December 4, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B077GF59RM
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#603,504 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #2327 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender eBooks > Romance > Bisexual Romance
- #9823 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender eBooks > Romance > Gay Romance
- #10161 in Books > Gay & Lesbian > Literature & Fiction > Fiction > Romance > Gay
Christmas Cookies Kindle Edition
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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Eighteen months after the sudden, unexpected death of his husband David, Russ is trying to get his life back on track. At his daughter’s request, Russ digs into David’s recipe box to try and bake up a batch of her favorite cookies. While the idea of resurrecting the family tradition of distributing Christmas treats to friends and neighbors appeals to him, Russ isn’t much of a baker.
Needing some help with the more complicated recipes, Russ signs up for a baking course and is immediately attracted to the cocky young instructor, Amos. Between misunderstandings and lack of communication, it doesn’t take long for Russ to see that Amos has some serious issues.
As the story progressed I wondered what continued to draw these men back to each other? Amos is such a mess, even if he is young and gorgeous I doubt he’s worth all the work. And Russ is so self absorbed he can’t see anything from Amos’ perspective. It doesn’t look like he’s a healthy choice for Amos either. Russ comes right out and states that he is diminishing his own self worth by objectifying Amos. Clearly neither of them is ready for a relationship.
Mustafic does a beautiful job with Russ’ character. She gets deep into his mind and explores what motivates him and how he feels. His bisexuality is a large part of who he is and each of the characters confront him with their own opinion and preconceived ideas. Whether they are accepting or not, Mustafic makes sure Russ has the opportunity to enlighten them both.
While Christmas Cookies is not your usual warm and fuzzy Christmas tale in the end what I enjoyed most is how complex the characters are. These folks aren’t idealized. We see them make mistakes and jump to conclusions. They say things without thinking, and hurt others’ feelings both accidentally and on purpose. Even though I didn’t always like them, I got drawn in and felt invested in their story.
Christmas Cookies rather abrupt ending surprised me, but after thinking about it I see how it works for this story. Russ doesn’t need another happily ever after right now, he just needs to take a chance, open his heart, and try and “Christmas cookies” are a good place to start.
It’s been over a year since the death of his beloved David and Russ still isn’t ready to join the real world, and certainly not dating anyone one else. But the path back is started when his daughter asks for David’s cookie recipe, so she can bake her favorites.
Russ has clung to all things David and isn’t sure he can get past someone else doing the things David did. And he’s scared, if he lets anyone in or to do the things David did, will he start losing the memories of David? Would that be disloyal to the great love of his life? But maybe it’s time. He decides to take a baking class, then maybe he can make the cookies and keep that piece of David close to him.
Amos is the baker teaching the class. And the first person that has sparked any interest in Russ since David. Amos is used to guys like Russ doing a one and done type of thing. A night of passion, then moving on. But he doesn’t want to move on. He’s getting mixed signals from Russ though. And so, follows the story of Russ opening his heart again. Of Amos realizing he’s worth someone’s love for more than one night. For them both, with a little help from friends and family, they get to their forever.
The cast of secondary characters are wonderful in this story. His kids are so real and believable. Although, as good as Russ and Aubrey got along, I started to wonder why they divorced. I found one thing that bothered me about this story. I would have liked more of the back story about Russ and Aubrey. What happened that lead to their divorce and how did Russ meet, fall in love and married David? But that’s me. Otherwise I loved this story.
So he tries. He finally opens the recipe box (and how hard did that have to be?) and he pulls out some of the cookie recipes. And he tries to make them with not great results. Russ can cook but he’s never had to learn to bake. “That’s right, you have me and I’ll always bake whatever you want for you.” Russ opened his eyes and stared down at the card in his hands. “Not always, David, not always.” That made me outright cry because we always think we have so much time, that we will always be there for the ones we love and sometimes we make promises that life doesn’t allow us to keep. But Russ loves his kids and he’s going to do what he can to make things better.
Russ has wonderful kids and an ex-wife who is still one of his best friends. The fact that she keeps trying to set him up with people, even treasures like Amika, annoys him but she really does have his best interests at heart.
He is a tradesman who gets called out at odd hours for emergencies and one such call takes him to an apartment where an obnoxious ex-boyfriend stuffed a t-shirt in a vent of a lovely man. Who turns out to be the teacher for the baking class Russ decides to take in an effort to make the holiday better, to try to get some life back in his life.
When Russ tells Amos why he’s taking the class, that his kids miss the cookies, a misunderstanding happens that Russ doesn’t correct. Amos is a good person and he wants to help. That he is attracted to Russ is a bonus, but he’s kind and offers to give Russ help with making those treats. “I want my kids to see that I’m okay, that things with me are okay now.”
So they embark on baking and along the way they get to know each other. Russ deals with the feeling of betrayal that there is another man in David’s kitchen. Amos deals with betrayal when the misunderstanding blows up in Russ’ face. There is some difficulty with Russ’ son, RJ, who acts at one point like a complete and utter ignorant pig. There is baggage from Amos’ past and all of it combines to make things complicated for these two. Add in that Russ isn’t good at getting back into dating with his fear of forgetting David and he’s just awkward about it and it’s really a difficult thing. “I’m not looking for a replacement for him, and I thought you should know that.”
This ends on their beginning, you can’t really call it an HEA because they are just getting started. But I’m pulling for them, family is pulling for them and they are willing to work at it. So Merry Christmas, darlings.
Most recent customer reviews
I really liked Russ, and I think the grief part of the story was really well handled.Read more