Title: Dear Santa, Dear Dad
Author: T.J. Masters
Release: 14th December 2016
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: M/M (Christmas)
Two days before Christmas, widower Steven drives to the North of England to meet his estranged son, Andy, hoping for a reconciliation. Steven rejected his son when, as a nineteen-year-old student, Andy came out to his parents. Andy now enjoys a happy and fulfilling relationship with Peter, who initiates contact with Steven by forwarding an almost childlike letter to Santa, in which Andy asks for a father who loves him.
Andy isn’t quick to forgive his father, but the bad weather conspires to strand them all together over the holidays. Father and son experience a steep learning curve, not helped by Steven’s realization that his son’s lover is older than he is. But proximity and familiarity have a way of breaking down barriers, and if all three men can work together in the spirit of cooperation, this Christmas might be one that changes their lives forever.
First Edition published by Amazon Digital Services, 2013.
Years after disowning his son for being gay, Steven travels to Andy’s home and tries to mend their broken relationship. When he gets there, he finds many things to come to terms with, and top of the list is that his son’s partner is a year older than himself.
The story starts with a letter to Santa, which broke my heart. Andy asks Santa for a dad who loves him. Gulp, swallow the tears.
What follows is a novella full of love that would melt the most frosted of hearts.
After an icy start to their reunion, mother nature and a wonderful partner called Peter, intervene to help fix what is broken. Andy and Steven sit down and catch up on life. During the process, Andy asks the question why?
I found this an extremely emotional and interesting story to read. It made a hell of a difference reading this from Steven’s POV, too. All too often this type of story is told from the Son’s POV. Told in the first person, I got a blow by blow account of the meeting and Steven’s thought process. Sadly, Stephen lost his wife – who had been in touch with Andy. The event opened his eyes to him being an ass.
Stephen analyses, his own reactions, his son’s choice in partner, what to ask, what not to ask. There are awkward silences and embarrassing moments as he witnesses the affection between Andy and Peter. Then, while learning what’s happened to his son in the years they’ve been apart, he reflects on things he’s missed, while trying to overcome prejudices and preconceived ideas. He also faces his regrets, as it is clear to him what a wonderful young man his son has grown up to be.
Dear Santa, Dear Dad is a lovely short Christmas story of hope, realization, and forgiveness. It is emotional while also bringing a smile in the snow. This story ticks all the yuletide boxes.
Meet T.J. Masters
T.J.Masters lives in Hertfordshire just north of London,England. After a long career in school teaching T.J. decided to use his passion for books, learning and the sharing of knowledge and to start writing. T.J. believes that he has many stories to tell, books to write and a head full of characters that he wants everyone to meet. T.J. Masters is the pen name of retired school teacher and Life Coach Tim O'Rahilly who lives in semi-rural Hertfordshire with Ian, his Civil Partner of thirty-two years. Following a thirty-three career in school teaching T.J. took early retirement in order to follow a new path. After qualifying as a Life Coach T.J. also decided to do something about his long held desire to write and get published. With a passion for books, learning and the sharing of knowledge. T.J. woke up to the knowledge that he had stories to tell, books to write and less than half a lifetime left to do it in. The author describes what he does as "writing passionately about passionate men". In fact T.J's books are inhabited by a wide variety of real characters in believable settings. There is a whole list of planned writing in the Gay Romance and BDSM fields as well as some non-fiction projects. Dreamspinner Press published TJ’s first novel Taking the Gardener in 2013. As well as the Dreamspinner books, there are also several self-published stories including a monthly series called Working Hard. Loving Harder. As a man with wide ranging interests, T.J’s readers will not be in his books long without meeting fascinating characters, tasty food, great music and geeky science. Alongside this passion for life-long learning and the sharing of knowledge, T.J. also found an outlet for his inner geek and has become a great advocate of social media in various forms. Blogging has become a great outlet for T.J’s many interests including the writerly ones. The author runs several websites where he blogs regularly and he loves to interact with his readers, friends and followers on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.