Book Reviews

Last Place in the Chalet by Sue Brown at One Hat Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance / Holiday
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 20-November-2020

Book Blurb

When there’s no room in the resort for Angel, will a broken-hearted man give him the last place in the chalet?

Noel leaves for his Christmas vacation with an engagement ring in his pocket. But he boards the plane alone when his boyfriend dumps him in the airport. He decides to spend his vacation skiing, drinking, and nursing his broken heart.

With a storm approaching the resort, and his ski chalet overbooked, Angel finds himself without a room. Will anyone give him somewhere to sleep for one night? His last hope is a bed in The Last Pine chalet.

If Noel and Angel start out as reluctant roommates, they soon discover they have deeper feelings for each other. With their eccentric chalet mates encouraging their relationship, Noel realizes he has a decision to make. Is this a rebound romance or the real thing?

 

 

First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, December 2019.

 

Book Review

“New beginnings are disguised as painful endings.” ~ Lao Tzu

The last thing that Noel Garrett expected to hear from his boyfriend, Adam, is that not only does Adam not want to go on the vacation that they had planned for months, but that he doesn’t want to be with him any longer. Noel is stunned, but he’s worked so hard for this trip that nothing is going to deter him. Noel dumps Adam out at the curb and, with a heart feeling like lead, he gets on the plane that will take him to a winter wonderland where he’d hoped to propose to the man who just dumped him.

Noel is deeply affected by what just happened; he is almost catatonic with grief. Someone next to him shakes his arm to tell him that they are taking off; he needs to put on his seatbelt. As he fumbles with the seatbelt, the man next to him, Angel, helps him adjust it. During their trip Angel continues to help him, even though Noel is embarrassed by being seen at his worst and would have rather wallowed in his pain. Judging from Noel’s physical reactions, Angel is concerned that he is either drunk or sick and asks Noel what’s wrong. Noel blurts out that he was just dumped. Angel doesn’t dismiss his feelings, but tries to encourage him as well. When they arrive at their destination, they part ways with a wave and a smile, not expecting to see each other again.

Angel’s vacation certainly is not going the way he hoped. His accommodations become a nightmare when the place he was to stay at ends up being flooded and therefore become uninhabitable. Management scrambles to find an alternate place for everyone to stay. There’s no room for him at the inn. He is tired, hungry, and frustrated. Finally Angel ends up at the lodge where Noel is staying. Angel is introduced to Don (the innkeeper), the three Wiseguys, (three Kings) Frankie (Frankincense), Goldie (Gold), Marv (Myrrh) and a very pregnant woman named Maria (Mary) who tells him that her husband, Joe (Joseph) is working and can’t be there.

After some consideration, Noel agrees to allow Angel to stay with him. Right away, Angel sees that Noel is in bad shape; his nurturing nature kicks in and he reaches out to help him. His helpfulness is not taken in the manner in which it is offered. Noel, still stinging from having been in such a vulnerable position with Angel, does not feel comfortable with his offer of help that seems more like interference and bossiness. Things are strained between them, mostly due to Noel’s state of mind. For convenience’s sake, they share a bed which isn’t as uncomfortable as either thought it would be. It isn’t until Noel discovers that Angel has his own “demons” – he experiences terrifying nightmares from events in his past – that the dynamics change between them. As the week progresses, so do the feelings between the two men. Is it a rebound relationship, or is it a door opening toward happiness?

Sue is a master storyteller with great characters, many of whom are flawed, but in this case, she has managed to skillfully combine The Christmas Story with a contemporary MM love story, even keeping the same themes: love, peace, and goodwill to all. Kudos to you, Sue, for pulling this off.

 

 

 

 

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

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 274 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 20-November-2020
Price $4.99 ebook, $10.99 paperback
Buy Link https://www.amazon.com/Last-Place-Chalet-proximity-Christmas-ebook/dp/B08LJWV791