Book Reviews

A Timely Gift by Kris T. Bethke at JMS Books

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance / Holiday
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 29-November-2019

Book Blurb

Sometimes the right gift can be life-changing ...

On the solstice, Rory’s grandfather gives him a pocket watch he claims will have Rory’s life sorted and his problems solved by Christmas. Rory starts out skeptical, but when he reconnects with an ex he never thought he’d see again, he has to admit there might be some holiday magic at work after all.

Deacon’s life is in shambles, and he’s returned to Syracuse for a fresh start. Running into Rory again feels like much more than a coincidence, and neither of them can deny the passion between them is still smoldering. With the watch behaving oddly at just the right moments, Rory and Deacon might receive the gift of a lifetime ... if they’re willing to accept it.


First edition published by Dreamspinner Press in their Advent Calendar "Stocking Stuffers", December 2017.


Book Review

One of my very favorite things is the opportunity to experience new-to-me authors. Some of those have turned out to be well loved favorites and sometimes auto-buys. Kris T. Bethke is new to me although definitely not new to the world of m/m romance. I was captured by the story, the characters, and the dialogue right from the beginning.

Rory’s grandda is the head of the household regardless he’s in his eighties and his son is alive and well. It doesn’t matter, everyone listens to him. As Rory says, “Grandda’s always right”, but not in a mean or condescending way. He’s an old Scotsman who has lived in upper New York State for sixty years but every once in a while Rory can hear the burr and the lovely accent. So it is when Grandda sits Rory down and gifts him with his pocket watch, obviously handed down in the family and with their family crest on the back.

Far be it from Rory to think his pocket watch can bring about miracles and help him “sort his life” as his grandda said, but he does run into Deacon, his ex from college days, whom he hasn’t seen in over a decade. Then when he forgets to exchange numbers and figures that is that, the watch slows him down from leaving his house… just in time to catch Deacon running by. Hmm. Methinks there might be some pagan magic left in that old watch after all.

A delightful holiday story that I enjoyed greatly, filled with family, old friends, new beginnings, and a hint of solstice magic.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Short Story, 12999 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 02-November-2019
Price $2.99 ebook
Buy Link