Title: The Healing Power fo Eggnog
Author: Jamie Fessenden
Narrator: Robbie Ravena
Length: 1 hr + 55 mins
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release: 15th November 2014
Genre: M/M (Christmas)
Will Sutherland hasn't been home to see his parents in four years—not since they reacted badly when he came out. This Christmas, he’s finally worked up the courage to go home, where he's surprised to find they've taken in a boarder. Ryan Bennett is just a couple years younger than Will, cute, sweet... and openly gay.
As Will deals with his jealousy of the man who's been receiving the love and acceptance he was denied, Ryan finds himself falling for Will's brooding good looks. But Ryan also suspects the Sutherlands may be using him as a pawn in their long-standing conflict with their son. Will this Christmas finally tear the family apart, or is there a chance they can put their hurt and anger behind them?
Well, I could probably sum up my review to this delightful Christmas story from Jamie Fessenden in one word ~ forgiveness ~ because that for me was the main message running through this delightful work. Will and his parents have to find a way to forgive and forget if they are ever going to find the family love they once had and cherished so much.
Will decides to come home and spend a Christmas with his parents. They have been somewhat estranged for the past couple of years. After Will came out to his parents, they didn’t deal with it too well and although religious listened to their priest and made Will’s life unbearable. He’s now come back and to his surprise finds his parents have taken in a lodger, Ryan. Ryan is openly gay and has been thrown out of his family home, being taken in by Will’s parents. This of course is a bit of an anomaly for Will and now the big elephant standing in the room is, why? His parents seem perfectly OK with Ryan being gay and it was definitely not the way they reacted when they found out about Will.
Of course jealously rises up in Will over Ryan which is natural enough because he is enjoying something that he himself had never expereienced from his own parents. Matters are only compicated when Will finds himself falling for Ryan and a sweet romance develops. Will is the more experienced and Ryan somewhat naive but he really hasn’t had much of a chance living in rural America, in the middle of nowhere with Will’s parents. Not the centre of gay life for sure or a lot of choice around to be able to discover one’s sexualtiy. Despite all this however, everyone seems to be dancing around the main issues at hand. Ryan needs to know what Will went through.
Some serious talking is needed and that is what both sides are not good at doing. Will’s parents are carrying on as if nothing had ever happened and they’re now OK with everything. Yes, they have changed their views, their church and now believe that they had made some awful mistakes on the way and had treated Will badly in the past. Ryan doesn’t know about this but when he finds out, starts to question the motives behind Will’s parents taking him in. Then there is Will, yes he has every right to feel the way he does but then he himself is also not without fault. He doesn’t listen or see what is happening, someone who goes on the defence at the drop of a hat throwing hissy fits and getting on his high horse. Not an easy person to talk to or reason with either. So all in all an extreme case of lack of communication.
I could have banged their heads together because if only they would sit down, put their cards on the table, get everything out in the open and be prepared to forgive and forget, then they could all get back to what they once had. As with any situation where people avoid speaking about things it eventually comes to a head in the middle of Will’s parents Chrsitmas party. These scenes are dramatic as well as they are emotional and upsetting. However, in the end everything is out in the open, the things needing to be discussed are done and this paves the way for a beautiful ending where all sides can enjoy the love a family can share. Ryan and Will. Of course all this is given an extra nudge by Will’s mum’s powerful eggnog! A wonderful Christmas story about forgiveness and love because if you can’t do this at Christmas then when else can you do it?
This was the first time I’ve heard Robbie Ravena and was pleasantly surprised. Easy to listen to and pleasant voice characterisations that made the whole thing a very enjoyable experience indeed. He gets the right amount of drama into his narration especially when things got heated and tempers frayed but it was never shouting or screaming just right for the type of conversations this story needed. So I will definitely have no hesitation to listen to anything that Robbie narrates in the future.
Meet Jamie Fessenden
Jamie Fessenden set out to be a writer in junior high school. He published a couple short pieces in his high school's literary magazine and had another story place in the top 100 in a national contest, but it wasn't until he met his partner, Erich, almost twenty years later, that he began writing again in earnest. With Erich alternately inspiring and goading him, Jamie wrote several screenplays and directed a few of them as micro-budget independent films. He then began writing novels and published his first novella in 2010.
After nine years together, Jamie and Erich have married and purchased a house together in the wilds of Raymond, New Hampshire, where there are no street lights, turkeys and deer wander through their yard, and coyotes serenade them on a nightly basis. Jamie recently left his "day job" as a tech support analyst to be a full-time writer.
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