Melissa reviews Glass Tidings (2016 Holiday Charity Bundle) by Amy Jo Cousins Published December 5th 2016 by Riptide Publishing, 226 pages.
Eddie Rodrigues doesn’t stay in one place long enough to get attached. The only time he broke that rule, things went south fast. Now he’s on the road again, with barely enough cash in his pocket to hop a bus south after his (sort-of-stolen) car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, Midwest, USA.
He’s fine. He’ll manage. Until he watches that girl get hit by a car and left to die.
Local shop owner Grayson Croft isn’t in the habit of doing people any favors. But even a recluse can’t avoid everyone in a town as small as Clear Lake. And when the cop who played Juliet to your Romeo in the high school play asks you to put up her key witness for the night, you say yes.
Now Gray’s got a grouchy glass artist stomping around his big, empty house, and it turns out that he . . . maybe . . . kind of . . . likes the company.
But Eddie Rodrigues never sticks around.
Unless a Christmas shop owner who hates the season can show an orphan what it means to have family for the holidays.
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Why I read this book: It’s the Christmas season and I thought this would be a cute read.
This book turned out to be deeper and more emotional than I expected. I thought, from the blurb, this would be a cute Christmas story with low angst. I’m not saying the angst was a ten, but it certainly wasn’t a one. Sheesh, I can’t really describe how complex a character Eddie Rodrigues is. He’s a traveling glass artist who sticks to the Renaissance fairs, moving place to place based on the weather. His upbringing wasn’t the best and despite that, he’s a very nice person. Granted, he’s sneaky and can talk someone into doing what he wants, but not in a mean way; he has rules, and to him those rules are everything. And it’s the rules that make Eddie such a complex guy, seriously.
When Eddie witnesses a hit a run, he’s guilted into staying in town, and Grayson Croft is the loner who is tasked with housing him. It’s a hilarious scene to watch Eddie and Gray eye each other with wariness, and Eddie – based on his past experiences and “you don’t get something for nothing” – thinks that Gray expects sex, or at least a BJ in exchange for letting him stay in his house. Gray is no saint and he’s tempted, but his morals stop him from taking advantage of Eddie.
I enjoyed watching these characters interact with each other. They couldn’t be more different!!!! Really, Gray grew up with a loving family (dead now) never worries for money and has a nice house, runs a business, and does what he wants. He’s lonely but he’s come to realize that’s what his life will be like. Then Eddie bursts into his quiet house and suddenly Gray is starting to realize things don’t have to be the way he thought they did.
Eddie’s life was the opposite of Gray’s. He didn’t grow up in a loving family, he’s always broke and living basically in poverty. He has no home, no car, barely any clothes (since he needs to travel light) and he is constantly moving around from town to town following the fairs.
These men compliment each other. Eddie brings Gray out of his grouchy loner status, and Gray teaches Eddie that not everything comes with a price and that his rules aren’t always right.
This was a well written story with more complexity than I expected. There is also the mystery of the hit and run that Eddie witnessed in the beginning, but that is solved (though I have unanswered questions as to what happens to the person who did it, and the victim’s recovery).
FYI, there are sex scenes, but this isn’t an erotic tale. I didn’t even care that the sex scenes were mostly off page (not always). I enjoyed reading about them getting to know each other, learn their quirks. Highly recommend this one. 8.5 pots/4 stars (because I was left with questions about the hit and run; maybe there will be a sequel).
😀 Happy Holidays!!
Amy Jo Cousins lives in Chicago, where she writes contemporary romance, tweets more than she ought, and sometimes runs way too far. She loves her boy and the Cubs, who taught her that being awesome doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with winning.