Christmas is a time for giving – what do you do when no one gives a damn?
For Zachary Weston Christmas means sleeping on a churchyard bench in the freezing snow with nothing better in his future. Thrown out of his home for being gay, he is left without money or, it seems, anywhere to go.
Until a stranger shows him that some people do give a lot more than a damn.
Ben Hamilton is a rookie cop in his small home town. He finds a young throwaway, fresh from the city, sleeping on a bench in the churchyard on a snowy Christmas Eve. Can he be the one to give Zachary his own Christmas miracle?
One of my favorite things about holiday stories is the sense of hope that they give you. This holiday tale forced me to work a little harder for the happy but in the end, it delivered in full. I always enjoy Christmas stories and I’m easy to please when it comes to a man in a uniform, so it’s not a huge surprise that this story worked for me.
Ben is a rookie cop in a small town and he’s harboring a massive heart behind his Kevlar. When he comes across a young homeless guy sleeping on a bench in the dead of winter, he follows his protecting nature and brings him home. The home may be his mother’s house but when you live in a small town, traditions hold fast and ‘home’ is where his mom is. When he discovers Zach’s reasons for fleeing his own home, he takes it personal. No child should suffer the pain inflicted from their parents the way Zach has. He is attracted to Zach but hormones take the back burner when true affection begins to burn. Ben wants the best for Zach and he’s determined to give it to him.
I really enjoyed how the story begins with a mysterious haze and quickly pulls you in. It’s obvious Zach’s home life was horrid but once Ben reveals the extent of the monsters he faced before he was thrown out, I ached for him. The emotions are high and bright. Scott weaves this story in such a manner that I was engaged from the first page to the last. It never lulled or dragged. The writing was outstanding.
Characters that warm your heart. I wanted to hug Zach. I wanted to hug Ben. Most of all, I wanted them to hug and hold each other. Zach has endured more than he should have and is lucky he survived. Ben swoops in and rescues him but it’s not one-sided, Zach rescues him right back. Love can be such a powerful force and the way these two fell for each other was so touching. I absolutely adored Ben’s mom. What an amazing woman! She is the glue that holds this story together and I have great respect for her endless ability to soothe and comfort. The storyline was powerful but it was the cast that truly made this story shine.
Due to the length of this story, it unravels slowly in the beginning and picks up the pace near the end. The end felt very full and slightly rushed…but I was so happy I didn’t mind. The smexy doesn’t take place till later (which I appreciated the growth between the guys and the time jump) but that doesn’t stop it from sizzling!
If you are looking for a tender holiday tale with an emotional tug on the heartstrings…look no further.