Title: Cole in His Stocking
Author: Nya Rawlyns
Rating: 2.5/5 stars
“There’s no place more festive, more glorious than the Big Apple during the Holidays. Jake Richardson loves the city, loves the lights and the hustle and bustle … but being alone again has put a real damper on his Christmas spirit.
Cole O’Neil is marking time as he plans his escape to a new life in the country, doing what he’s always dreamed about. When he encounters Jake at a party, he’s completely unprepared for the vision with curly auburn hair and sinful green eyes.
What starts as an embarrassing accident sends both Cole and Jake on a journey of discovery, but with time running out will they be able to find the courage to accept the magic of the season and to believe in each other?
Holiday M/M romance short story (25659 words)” (description from Goodreads)
Leading into the last months of the year, I tend to lean toward holiday-related stories. That’s one of the reasons I gave this one a shot. It’s also an M/M romance. Being that I want my holiday reading to be more diverse than in the past, this was a great choice for me.
But, as you see from my rating, this story didn’t shine through for me as much as I had hoped. It has a great premise. And to quote the description “There’s no place more festive, more glorious than the Big Apple during the Holidays,” maybe I held it up to those words too much. One of the main things I felt hurt the story was the way the point of view was written. It’s a third person story, told from both Cole and Jake’s points of view. While this is normal, I didn’t feel that the switching between the two was balanced enough with the telling of the story, nor were the transitions always very smooth.
Along with that, I think the characters were too inside their own heads for the reader to see the full story, the full relationship blooming. It was slightly a case of telling more than showing due to this. It also didn’t give way to much in the way of showing a “festive…Big Apple.” I felt the holiday aspect was lost to being a mere mention.
Even though I didn’t feel emotionally involved in the relationship, the characters, and their issues, there was early promise with this novella. Maybe it needed to stick to following one character’s POV. Maybe it just needed more room to flesh itself out and not be bogged down inside of the men’s heads. It wasn’t totally put off of reading Rawlyns again. The author is good with her words, when looking closer at a sentence. I’m hoping other works could suit my tastes better.
If you’d like a copy of this novella, you can find it on:
About the Author:
Crossing boundaries, taking no prisoners. Write what’s in your soul. It’s the bass beat, the heartbeat, the lyrics rude and true. Nya Rawlyns is the pseudonym of a writer who cut her teeth on sports-themed romantic comedy and historical romances before finding her true calling in the wilderness areas she has visited but calls “home” in that place that counts the most: the heart. She has lived in the country and on a sailboat on the Chesapeake Bay, earned more than 1000 miles in competitive trail and endurance racing, taught Political Science to unwilling freshmen, and found an avocation in materials science. When she isn’t tending to her garden or the horses, the cats, or two pervert parakeets, she can be found day dreaming and listening to the voices in her head.
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