Widower Steven drives to the North of England two days before Christmas to meet his estranged son Andrew hoping for a reconciliation. Steven had rejected his son when, as a 19 year old student, he came out to his parents as being gay. Andrew now lives with his partner Peter who initiates contact with Steven by forwarding on to him the almost childlike ‘Letter to Santa’ that the lad has written asking for a father who loves him.
At first Andrew is hostile to his father’s overtures but the bad weather conspires to strand them all together over the Christmas period. Father and son both experience a steep learning curve, not helped by the father realising that his son’s lover is actually older than he is. Proximity breaks down barriers and the three men work together in the spirit of cooperation and of the season to create a Christmas experience which will change their lives for ever.
If you’ve read the blurb, you know what happens in the story.
Unfortunately, there’s not much else to it. In addition, it’s told from the father’s POV and that eliminates the element of “romance” from this.
I think, if you look at this as “gay fiction”, it could hold some interest, but as a romance it lacks all the elements that make a romance. (Andy does tell the story of how he and Peter met, and he and Peter squabble for a moment when Steven shows up on the door, but there really is not much in this about Peter and Andrew.)
Mostly, this is Steven’s story about making up with his son and that, too, is lackluster. I really wanted Andy to hold Steven up to his ridiculously homophobic, clichéd and bigoted opinions (that he states before and AFTER the two make up) – but he doesn’t.
Though I think the writing was fine as was the editing, I can’t recommend this as a romance at all, nor do I recommend it as a stellar example of gay fiction.
2 of 5 stars
Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review