Book Reviews

Ghostwriter of Christmas Past (2017 Advent Calendar - Stocking Stuffers) by TA Moore at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance / Holiday
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 28-December-2017

Book Blurb

Ever since ghostwriter Jason Burke ended up in loco parentis for his orphaned niece, Mallory, he’s been trying. He goes to parent/teacher events, and he makes packed lunches, so he definitely didn’t mean to forget about Christmas. He just hasn’t celebrated it since he left home under a cloud years ago.

Put on the spot, Jason makes the snap decision to take Mallory to see where he and her father spent their Christmases as kids. The last thing he expects is to run into Tommy, his ex—ex-best friend, ex-boyfriend—who is still living in town… and working as a sheriff’s deputy.

It’s hard to avoid someone in a small town—and maybe Jason doesn’t want to. He got Mallory a Christmas, and maybe now it’s time to get himself a Christmas boyfriend. But first, he owes Tommy some explanations.

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

Book Review

A variation on ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens is an almost obligatory part of any Christmas story collection, and, in my opinion, this year’s contribution to the Dreamspinner Advent Calendar is a particularly creative and well written version of this tale. The clever idea of making one of the main characters a ghostwriter made me chuckle before I even started reading, and as soon as I got to know Jason a little better, I was totally charmed. Tommy was cute and cool at the same time, even though he does start out justifiably angry at Jason, so I was very happy that this ended up being one of the novella-length contributions!

Jason left his hometown because his father’s attitude forced him to go. But when he comes back ten years later, after his brother dies and leaves Jason in charge of his ten-year-old niece, only a few things have changed. His feelings for Tommy are no different than before, even though it takes a while, and a lot of poking from his niece, for Jason to admit that. Jason’s memories slowly return because he now lets them surface, and taking care of his niece and considering her future add to the obstacles he faces.

Tommy is now a sheriff’s deputy and while he is angry at Jason for leaving, he can understand why he did it. Once confronted with the “new” Jason and the fact that the man has nowhere to stay since it was a bit of an impulsive decision to return home, Tommy begins to reconsider his reaction, the hurt feelings, and what might be next.

The look Jason takes at his past by learning about his hometown’s present lets him recognize a few truths. And while he is not a man to easily admit he was wrong, Jason can’t help but wonder what his future would be like if he stayed around this time. Blending past, present, and future in this way may be different from how Dickens did it, but it works just as well.

If you like Christmas stories where men confront their pasts, if you think two lovers who never really had a chance at a relationship when they were younger deserve a second chance, and if you’re looking for a fun read set in a small town, then you will probably like this novella.





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, 57 pages/20113 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 01-December-2017
Price $3.99 ebook
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