Title: Phin’s Christmas
Author: Bonnie Dee
Length: 102 Pages
Category: Holiday, Historical
At a Glance: There is a cup of cheer and then some to celebrate in Phin’s Christmas.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Doubt invades a fairy-tale holiday.
Excited to celebrate his first Christmas with his true love, Phin Abernathy searches for the perfect gift for Teddy, the artist who saved him from solitude (The Artist). But his happy holiday dreams are soon threatened.
After a year of living on his own, then with his beloved partner, Phin has mostly banished his negative view of himself. He and Teddy are happily saving toward a house they can share, when a chance encounter with a stranger raises Phin’s old ghosts of doubt, anxiety, and low self-esteem.
Struggling to quell such negative spirits, Phin focuses on volunteering at a children’s shelter. But when he sees his Teddy and handsome Justin Crump (The Medium) in a suspicious situation, it is difficult to control his racing thoughts. Belief in Teddy’s love for him wars with Phin’s fear his lover wants something more.
Phin must decide how far he is willing to go to keep Teddy in his life, and truly embrace his own worth before he can ever celebrate the season.
Review: Author Bonnie Dee delivers the holiday season to her readers a bit early this year, and this sweet and poignant Christmas tale is precisely what I needed right now. Phineas Abernathy and Teddy Dandridge were introduced in this year’s release The Artist, and I loved the way the author brought the two men together. Phin is an unconventional romantic hero in what could be described as a Beauty and the Beast-style story—although Phin is hardly beastly and is more handsome than he allows himself to believe—while Teddy is the artist who sees Phin as lovely and compelling for who he is on the inside as much as for how he looks on the outside. Their love story grew through conversation and proximity, against the odds as well, and Phin’s emergence from the cocoon of his cloistered life to take charge of his future, one he dreamt of spending with Teddy, was the stuff of romance.
In this short novel, Dee gives readers a treat, the opportunity to see Phin and Teddy a bit further along in their relationship and preparing to spend their first holiday together while making solid plans for the long-term… But it isn’t without some turmoil, as Phin’s ingrained insecurities come back to taunt him.
Along with Phin and Teddy, Justin Crump and Albert Henderson, from Dee’s novel The Medium, also make an appearance and play a particular influence in the story—especially for our dear Phin. I not only enjoyed seeing Justin and Albert again (along with Albert’s mother), but I appreciated how they each played a role in Phin’s continuing evolution, and how heartwarming watching him evolve always is. He is such a kind and wonderful character and seeing him have his happily ever after with Teddy (as confirmed bachelors, of course), especially as they spread the joy and generosity and warmth of the season with those less fortunate, makes me happy that Bonnie Dee chose this couple as an early holiday gift to readers this year.
There is a cup of cheer and then some to celebrate in Phin’s Christmas.
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