Book Reviews

Dear Ruth (2017 Advent Calendar - Stocking Stuffers) by Kim Fielding at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance / Holiday
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 01-December-2017

Book Blurb

Dear Ruth,


I’m not in the mood for Christmas. After a romantic relationship went up in flames, I returned to my hometown in rural Kansas. Then my mother passed away. I’m really busy with my job as fire marshal—and now with my mother’s advice column, which I reluctantly took over. There’s a sexy newcomer down the street, a guy with a young daughter and an unfortunate disregard for fire safety. He seems to want to be friends, but that creates problems that may be too hot for me to handle. The last things I need right now are flammable holiday decorations and too much holiday food. How am I supposed to give good advice to others when I can’t seem to get my own life straight?


—Bah Humbug in Bailey Springs




A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2017 Advent Calendar "Stocking Stuffers."

Book Review

I may not be as big into the holiday season as a lot of people are, I no longer decorate or get a tree, but I greatly anticipate the daily Advent Calendar releases from Dreamspinner Press. I adore watching other people find happiness at a time of year that can be really tough on people. I was crossing my fingers and holding my breath for Bryce throughout ‘Dear Ruth’ as he certainly deserves more than his fair share of joy.

Bryce moved back to Bailey Springs, Kansas two years before, after a disastrous end to his only long-term relationship. He figured he’d stay for a bit, spend time with his only other living relative, and then move on to another larger city and a firefighting job. Well, as it turns out, Bryce likes living back in his hometown. He likes the slower pace, the little house he bought and restored, and his job as deputy chief of the fire department. He certainly wasn’t expecting his mother to pass away at such a young age and he’s definitely not prepared for her best friend, and owner/editor of the local newspaper, to offer him his mom’s advice column. He reluctantly agrees but only to help out the paper which is struggling in the Internet age.

I loved the view of a smaller town around the holidays. The author showcased it beautifully and made me long for that simpler life. Which is exactly why Noah and his daughter, Harper, moved there from California. Well that, and the fact that living there is dirt cheap. Noah wants to get serious about his writing and after losing his job as the marketing director in a vineyard, he figures he has enough for them to live comfortably for a few years while he writes and spends more time with his daughter.

Neither Bryce nor Noah expected to find each other as they weren’t looking, but I’d like to think that Bryce’s mom was matchmaking from beyond. I laughed several times over Bryce’s inability to get a clue in regards to Noah’s not so simple hints. I fully agreed with Noah metaphorically throwing his hands up in the air and grabbing Bryce to plant a kiss on him. Yay! I was cheering the whole way. Bryce, naturally, had to fret and overthink for a bit but he finally got his act together.

‘Dear Ruth’ is a sweet, lovely holiday story that shows the true meaning of family. I enjoyed every moment of it.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 52 pages/15680 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 01-December-2017
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link