Kinder Thane lost his life partner three years ago and ever since, has folded into himself. He doesn’t speak to friends and only sees his family once a year. Every year on the anniversary of Leland’s death, he spends his time with the ghost of his dead boyfriend.
When Jessie Riley moves in across the hall, it sends his entire existence into a flurry. Suddenly there’s life out there, happiness, the joy of the holidays, and it’s so shocking he almost doesn’t know what to do with it. It gets to be too much but before he can pull back inside and go back to the way he was, Leland has a final gift for him, one that changes everything.
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About the Author
Thianna Durston is a writer by day and supernova by night. Or at least that’s what the faeries tell her. And who is she to deny those pesky *cough* lovely little creatures? She lives in the Pacific Northwest, though her heart belongs elsewhere. In the meantime, until she can return to the place she calls home, she happily lives in a city that still thinks it’s a small town. Thankfully, it has given her muse lots of amusing places to start a story. She is the M/M Romance with a hint of spice side of A Thia Thing
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Having just finished a book that ripped my heart out and left me a sobbing mess, I needed a sweet romance to cheer up my broken heart. So I flipped through my December reading list and saw that I had Leland’s Final Gift in my queue and thought “Perfect! Durston’s male-male romances always warm my heart and its shortened length and Christmas theme should guarantee a tear-free read.” Yeah, no. Rest assured, my heart was warmed, but my eyes were not tear free. My mistake was in not reading the blurb again before starting the novelette. Had I done so and realized that Kinder would be spending time with the ghost of his dead partner, I would have been prepared for the tears. Despite my oversight, I loved this book and it was a great holiday read. Not rereading the blurb meant I was a bit shocked when Kinder’s haste to get inside his apartment was met with the ghost of his life partner. The love between the two was obvious and is why I wasn’t the least bit surprised at the incident that occurred after Leland said he would have to take matters into his own hands in order to force Kinder to move on with his life. It’s also what had me cheering for Kinder as he embraced the holiday season in order to make his new neighbor’s Christmas a happy one despite its less than enjoyable beginning. Because of the novelette’s length, we don’t see all of the time that Kinder and Jessie spend together over the week, but that didn’t keep me from feeling the bond forming between the two men. Despite an unexpectedly gut-wrenching request made by Jessie, Thane’s (slightly wavering) determination to fulfill Leland’s final request led to an awesome New Year’s Eve date and his awareness of what Leland’s final gift was to him. I will admit that I was a little surprised that the physical intimacies were limited to kissing, but it actually worked well for the story as the focus was on Kinder healing and learning to live again. I thought the Epilogue was perfect and my only actual complaint is that the book wasn’t longer. But then, I’m a huge fan of Durston’s writing and her books are never long enough for me, no matter their actual length. Leland’s Final Gift was a wonderful holiday read and I do hope the author gets bitten by the Kinder-bug in the future and we get more of this couple’s story. I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!
It's a Quickie! Light & Fun Read. ** Provided by Promotion in Exchange for an Honest Review ** Judging a Book by it's Cover: Slightly frost-covered model holding ... a rose? In any case, the cover/model struck me as pretty. The synopsis worried me a little, what with the whole "ghost of his dead boyfriend" thing, but the book is not listed as a supernatural or paranormal, so I'd hoped the ghost would not be a prominent character. Looking Deeper: Third-person POV. Imagine losing the love of your life, on Christmas Eve no less, and everyone expecting you to celebrate your once-favorite holiday again. After three years, Kinder is still reluctant to move forward and Leland needs him to let go. Leeland practically hands Kinder a slightly-concussed Jessie, the new hottie neighbor as his final Christmas gift. This is a super-short novella, most could read it over a lunch hour. As such, you lose a little bit of character and plot depth and development. The reader does not truly get a chance to bond with the characters, and this is a true shame, because they seem quite enjoyable. There's not a lot in the way of secondary characters, but a few fun, supporting cameos. The chemistry is hard to determine at first, with eight days of vagueness, them hanging out but not receiving many details. Dialogue is good. Their interactions: believable. The flow of the story was like quicksilver, blink and you miss it. Story-wise, the plot had a lot of potential and some cute little quirks that I imagine were meant to be surprises. I just wish there were a bit more substance to it. The conclusion was solid, no loose ends. Overall, it's a typical micro-novella... it meets it's obligations and hits it's goals without being truly satisfying or fulfilling. It needed more dimension and dynamics. Other than that... Jessup is an awesome character - loved him. If you're looking for a cute, light holiday read, you may find it enjoyable. It is written well and has a pleasantly smooth flow. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Heat Level: 2.5 [PG-13] ~ Score: 3.9 ~ Stars: 4 -------------------------------------------------------------------------