A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2015 Advent Calendar package "Sleigh Ride".
Fruitcake is the laughingstock of the holiday season. But can it be an aphrodisiac instead? Motorcycle mechanic Sam McGuire is surprised to find a gaily wrapped box on his doorstep with a piece of fruitcake accompanying an invitation to a holiday party.
Wondering if he’ll fit in, Sam attends the party—mostly to get more of the fruitcake he falls in love with—and meets Jay Merriweather, his new neighbor. The lure of Jay’s big family and its holiday tradition of enjoying Grandma’s fruitcake hook Sam, as does the sexy man himself.
But Sam can't imagine why handsome, college-educated Jay would want someone like him, who was raised in a children’s home and barely graduated high school. Maybe the magic of the holiday season can help two men who seem so different come together like the ingredients in a well-made fruitcake.
- 4 To Be Read lists
- 1 Read list
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Badass Hero, Class Differences, Opposites Attract
Setting: California, USA
Languages Available: English
Becky on Bike Book Reviews wrote:
What a lovely story! I am familiait with this author, having read her stories before and I have to say I really like her style. With this Christmas telling she offers a lovely, sweet yet very intense and emotional story.
We see on one hand Sam, who owns a motorcycle shop and who is making a living for himself despite his past and his upbringing. You can sense his loneliness and his past still rules his life. I have to say the author did an amazing job on bringing that over to the reader in my opinion.
When he gets an unexpected gift from what turns out to be his new neighbour, he finds himself to trying to be social and attending the party that he got invited too. Even if it was just for the fruitcake which was included in the package.
Which brings in Jay, his neighbor who’s an art deco stylist, and an educated family man. He’s everything Sam isn’t but there is no denying the chemistry between the two men right from the moment they meet. Despite Sam struggling with being totally opposite of charming and social Jay the attraction is instant and there.
That also brings me to the only little form of criticism , if you can call it that. We see and read some sweet interaction between the men, some loving kissing and we are told of more intimate contact. But that last part is all of a page.
I don’t say I am expecting or asking for full on sex or anything hardcore but I really would love to see this author venture a little bit more on the physical side of the relationship.
Back to the story, we see Sam struggling with his upbringing, his insecurties and the feeling of not being good enough for Jay. Jay is trying to be patient but he is having a hard time getting through. With a little bit of help from a little fruitcake bringing, slightly interfering nana, things seem to be turning for the better. Thankfully Jay isn’t the giving up kind of person.
With a wonderful sweet epilogue the author wraps up a wonderful Christmas short, that is well worth reading!
Stella on Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words wrote:
I love Pat Henshaw's books, and this Christmas short is a big reason why, once again she manages to bring a story to life in bold and vibrant color! You will be as delighted by this story as I was!
Sam is a pretty lonely fellow, he grew up in a group home and the only family and friends he has to speak of work for him at his Motorcycle shop, so when he gets an invitation to a Holiday party on his doorstep, he thinks why not, and he decided to try the accompanying fruit cake as well!
Sam enjoys the fruitcake so much that he goes to the party in part for more of it, but what he finds there could end up being so much more! Could meddling family and Sam's insecurities ruin a good thing with his sexy neighbor Jay before it even gets off the ground?
I love this story because it reminds us that we don't have to be the same kind of people to have a spark, and that to get the best things in life, sometimes we have to go out of our comfort zone!
Thanks Pat, for a wonderful Holiday story I will surely reread any time of year!
Blame it on the Fruitcake by Pat Henshaw was my first story by this author and I was pleasurably surprised by it. Although it’s a short, the author did really great, especially with the character of Sam. I could feel his past, his hurts and his feelings. I cheered him on to find some family and forget about the one who abandoned him in a basket. I was so happy he met the sunny Jay and his delicious fruitcake, not a sweets but a truly drug (LOL). I felt the loneliness in Sam, scared to be part of something because he had none in his life and someone like Jay, so different from his nature, doesn’t seem the right person.
I liked the writing, the reading flew easily and I liked the plot and the development of the story. Sweet but not too much, most of all, a real story, believable. There were some funny moments too, when Sam stole the fruitcake.