Crispin Henry isn’t an adventurer. He learned early on that the world is a frightening place and that home is rare and precious. If his friends didn’t drag him to sports games and ill-advised trips to Vegas, he wouldn’t get out at all—and his trip to Munich for Oktoberfest is no exception. But it’s there that he meets Luka Gabriel, and he learns to take a chance.
Luka is a free-spirited world traveler, working at Oktoberfest to feed his enchantment with new places and new people. His only possessions fit in his backpack, and he depends on the kindness of strangers for a place to sleep. Crispin should know better—but he takes Luka’s hand anyway, and together they turn three nights in Munich into the relationship neither of them has been brave enough to risk—and neither can let go of.
When Luka turns up on Crispin’s doorstep before the holiday season, Crispin takes him in on hope alone. Yes, he knows the odds are good Luka will flutter out of his life again and leave him bereft, but isn’t it worth it to see if Luka is a homebird after all?
So, part of me thinks that during the holiday season I have no business communicating with anyone about anything because the whole thing makes me grumpy and crazy – but… on the other hand it does make me more honest and maybe that’s helpful? IDK. I’m going to be the voice of dissent here – and for that I’m sorry – but…
In any case – I love Amy Lane – she is literally my favorite author ever and I listen to and re-read her books over and over and over.
Of course, when I got this, I sat down and devoured it. As expected, there are parts of it that I absolutely adored. I love Amy’s sense of humor, her style of writing, her characters… she picks common people and shows us their uncommon lives and loves – this is an amazing skill.
I loved her inspiration for this story and found myself picturing the men – both her husband’s work mates and the bartender from Germany. It’s an incredible skill to spin an entire fantasy from one set of circumstantial meetings.
But … the other shoe. Ugh. A lot of this felt too familiar to be fresh and original. We get a flighty guy (so many Amy characters fit this bill – Crick, Patrick, Tate, Scoggins, Mackey, Jefferson, Sonny …) meeting a solid guy who everyone loves but is still somehow alone (the frequent other MC in Amy stories- Deacon, Whiskey, Brian, Skip, Ford, Mason, Ace…) and a fast fall into love (this took place over a weekend) with a fair amount of time and space keeping them apart (like Crick in Germany) until he comes back and we hold our breath til he figures out he’s meant to stay (this felt very much like Richie and Skip or Mason and Jefferson especially). There just wasn’t much in this story that felt new to me.
I appreciated the guys and their support in finding Crispin love and my heart broke for some of the revelations we are witness to – but the story itself underwhelmed me. ☹
I hate even writing bad stuff about Amy’s work because I love it so much.
Maybe, if I hadn’t read so much of her other stuff I would like this one more? I’m not sure.
In any case. I liked this fine, but I didn’t love it and I really wanted to ☹
3.5 of 5 stars
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review