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To be home for Christmas, they must bridge the distance between them.
Charlie Yates is desperate. It’s almost Christmas and his flight home from college has been delayed. For days. Charlie promised his little sister Ava he’d be home for her first holiday season since going into remission from leukemia. Now he’s stuck on the opposite coast and someone else grabbed the last rental car. Someone he hasn’t even spoken to in four years. Someone who broke his heart.
Gavin Bloomberg’s childhood friendship with Charlie ended overnight after a day of stolen kisses. With years of resentment between them, they don’t want to be in the same room together, let alone a car. But for Ava’s sake, Gavin agrees to share the rental and drive across the country together.
As they face unexpected bumps along the road, can Charlie and Gavin pave the way to a future together?
Keira Andrews. Check.
Holiday story. Check.
Road Trip. Check.
New Adult. Check
Second Chances / Friends to Lovers. Check.
Anyone wanna guess if I loved this story? :) Here’s a hint: I LOVED IT!
Here’s where your heart strings get ready to be tugged: Charlie Yates is desperate to get home to Connecticut (from his university in San Francisco) for Christmas. He promised his younger sister, newly in remission from leukemia, that he’d be there. Unfortunately, a winter storm is making it impossible for him to do so. I mean, C’MON! If ever there is a set up for a reader to root for someone, to want so badly along with them for them to get what they want, to hope for a holiday miracle…this is it.
That miracle, the hero, appears in the form of Charlie’s former childhood friend, Gavin. Gavin also goes to school in the area and is also trying to get home to Connecticut. And he also happened to have rented the LAST car available to drive cross-country. And after some wrangling and ego-swallowing, here starts our road trip.
The boys haven’t talked in years, not since a fight at a pizza place while they were still in high school. The flashbacks to the days when they first met (when Gavin first moved to town), when they first became attracted to each other, when they shared their first kiss, when they experienced their first heartbreak…were surprisingly powerful for me. I wanted more. The emotion was so genuine and clear.
As they drive cross-country, they start to break down the walls they’d built around the anger-of-their-youth and finally, years later, start talking it out. Though I liked the present day interaction, it just wasn’t as strong to me as the flashback parts. Something about the two of them felt very…young, even with the fact that they WERE young (still teenagers). But the situations they were in felt very adult. And this disconnect had me feeling off sometimes.
Still, as we make our way towards the HEA, I loved the family times, the coming out times, the stand-together times, the I love you times. All of it made for a seriously happy reader basking in the glow of the tropes that are my crack!
Wonderful holiday read!