Dana reviews Homebird by Amy Lane (Published by Dreamspinner Press, December 18, 2018, 200 pages) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Crispin Henry isn’t an adventurer. He learned early on that the world is a frightening place and that home is rare and precious. If his friends didn’t drag him to sports games and ill-advised trips to Vegas, he wouldn’t get out at all—and his trip to Munich for Oktoberfest is no exception. But it’s there that he meets Luka Gabriel, and he learns to take a chance.
Luka is a free-spirited world traveler, working at Oktoberfest to feed his enchantment with new places and new people. His only possessions fit in his backpack, and he depends on the kindness of strangers for a place to sleep. Crispin should know better—but he takes Luka’s hand anyway, and together they turn three nights in Munich into the relationship neither of them has been brave enough to risk—and neither can let go of.
When Luka turns up on Crispin’s doorstep before the holiday season, Crispin takes him in on hope alone. Yes, he knows the odds are good Luka will flutter out of his life again and leave him bereft, but isn’t it worth it to see if Luka is a homebird after all?
I am a big fan of Amy Lane. She pulled me in with her mastery of angst and pain in her novels, and I stayed for the sweeter, more light-hearted fare. Homebird does have a touch of angst, but it definitely falls on the sweeter side. Which is definitely appropriate for a holiday novel.
A good portion of this book takes place in Germany where Luka is working as a waiter during Oktoberfest. Crispin visits there with a group of his friends. Before I go further, I have to say that this is one of the greatest pack of buddies I’ve ever read about. Crispin met them at work and while he has tagged along on other trips, he has never really known his place in the group, especially because he is hiding a part of himself from them. As the story progresses, we learn that they were very aware of who he was and how important he is to them. Crispin is a great guy who surrounded himself with the best of friends.
When these guys meet Luka at Oktoberfest, he falls easily into their group with his really easygoing charm. He also has an immediate connection with Crispin. With Luka, Crispin feels more daring. They have a ton of chemistry with each other, but Luka is a traveler and Crispin loves having a stable and permanent location. Amy Lane’s books generally end up with a happy ending, I admit a bit of me worried how they would make it work. Their connection was strong though. Over the next month or two, they both missed each other until Luka made his way over for a visit.
Both of these characters have known loss and that drove both of them in different directions. A relationship between them will require both of them to take chances. I really love these characters. Crispin’s friends and sister are secondary characters who are as important to the story as the two main characters. I love how reflective and in touch with their emotions the author’s characters are. The romance in this book was sweet and there were a lot of hot scenes between Crispin and Luka. It was a feel good story for the holidays.
9/10 Pots of Gold (90% Recommended) – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
Amy Lane has two kids who are mostly grown, two kids who aren’t, three cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and gay romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.