Book Title: The Healing Power of Eggnog
Author: Jamie Fessenden
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Will Sutherland hasn’t been home to see his parents in four years—not since they reacted badly when he came out. This Christmas, he’s finally worked up the courage to go home, where he’s surprised to find they’ve taken in a boarder. Ryan Bennett is just a couple years younger than Will, cute, sweet… and openly gay.
As Will deals with his jealousy of the man who’s been receiving the love and acceptance he was denied, Ryan finds himself falling for Will’s brooding good looks. But Ryan also suspects the Sutherlands may be using him as a pawn in their long-standing conflict with their son. Will this Christmas finally tear the family apart, or is there a chance they can put their hurt and anger behind them?
Firstly let me be clear, based on the blurb this is not a book I would usually choose to read, but I was feeling sentimental in the run up to Christmas. That said, I enjoyed this novella much more than I expected, it was full of first love, jealousy, heartbreak and finally forgiveness.
Will Sutherland is gay and returning home for the Christmas holidays for the first time since he left for college after coming out to his parents. To say his parents didn’t take the fact he is gay well is an understatement and there is an undercurrent of animosity between parents and son when he does return. Unbeknown to Will while he’s been away, his parents have given a home to a young gay boy Ryan Bennett who they openly love and acknowledge is homosexual.
There is an instant attraction between Will and Ryan which is full of firsts for Ryan who is a virgin in pretty much all areas of gay love. Whilst away from home Will published an erotic m/m romance novel and he gives a copy of the book to Ryan who reads and devours it. When things are really bad between Will and his parents Ryan brings up the subject of the book and tells them they should be proud of their son.
It is at that point we discover that his parents have not only read the novel multiple times but marked passages significant to themselves and Will. I realized that whatever the story of the novel, it mirrored Will experiences and his parents had recognized themselves and have done what they could to make amends. With Ryan they were behaving as they now knew they should have done with Will, and that really tugged on the heartstrings. So much so that I was in tears reading that whole scene.
This book ends on a theme of reconciliation and hope; perfect for reading around Christmas time. Jamie Fessenden is an author I will certainly look out for in the future.
Reviewed by Smidgeson