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REVIEW: Heart of the Holidays – Pat Henshaw

Heart of the Holidays - Pay Henshaw

Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: MM Gay

Reviewer: Linda, Paranormal Romance Guild

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About The Book

Everyone hopes his road to happily ever after will be carefree and smooth, but too often hair-pin turns and detours seem to get in the way.

Having thought he was on the road to forever before, former Silicon Valley programmer Dan Lassiter is leery about pedaling down it again. His elderly companion Charlie urges him to get to know Rick Reardon whose bakery is across the street from Dan’s bicycle shop.

Under the watchful eye of Charlie, Dan and Rick take tentative steps toward each other, all the while trying to avoid potholes such as exes, homophobes, and family problems.

As summer turns to fall and then winter, they hope that the road will be smooth going from their first date and first kiss to having what Rick’s sister euphemistically calls their “sleepovers.” At each step, though, they are tripped up and wonder why there seem to be so many bumps in their road.

Maybe Dan and Rick should heed some of Charlie’s sage advice, or maybe they should listen to their hearts instead of the ghosts from their pasts.

The Review

Daniel Lassiter has left Silicone Valley behind and found Sidetrack, California where he opened Dan’s Cycles – a place where people could ride for an hour, a day or however long they wanted. Most of the bikes are used and refurbished, but if a new one is desired, he can accommodate that request too. Since Sidetrack is a tourist town, his bikes are always on demand. 

Dan, along with his elderly friend and companion Charlie, have found a place that is peaceful – where they can leave all their past problems behind them. Then Dan finds himself attracted to Rick Reardon, the owner of Rick’s Rack Bakery.

Even with Charlie’s constant pressure to go over and start a conversation, Dan is fearful. He’s had relationships he thought would be forever, only to be left broken hearted, and he’s not going through that again.

Rick is as attracted to Dan as Dan is to him, but he has more courage to actually do something about it. He goes over to the bike shop and asks about bikes for his niece and nephew, who are coming to live with him. Rick’s sister Patty’s husband walked out on her and the kids moving his new girl into their home and leaving Patty homeless.

Rick makes the leap and asks Dan out to dinner. Once Dan can get his mouth to move, he readily accepts.

The first date is a major disaster, leaving both Dan and Rick totally embarrassed after Rick’s ex-husband comes to their table begging Rick for forgiveness.

Confusion ensues, and only the intervention of their friends and family has a chance to put things right again.

Charlie was a major focal point in this story, but I felt his presence was unnecessary. The story was strong enough without him.

Putting the past where it belongs and taking a chance on a new beginning is what Heart of the Holidays is all about, and the surprise ending is worth the wait.

The Reviewer

I am an avid reader the mother of 3 sons and grandmother to seven grandchildren. Since retiring I have been doing more reading while volunteering as a CASA worker. CASA is an organization that works with the family court system to ensure that children are in the best living situation. There are way too many children that get overlooked in the foster care system and I visit homes and make visits to the parents. I was born and raised in New York and my husband of 50 years and I live in Upstate New York.

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