Book Reviews

Late for Christmas by Amy Lane at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance / Holiday
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 10-May-2022

Book Blurb

Cassidy Hancock hates being late—he’s pathological about it. Until the crisp fall morning when he pauses to watch his neighbor’s handsome son chase his dog down the sidewalk… and gets hit by a tree.


Mark Taylor sees the whole thing, and as a second-year medical resident, he gets Cassidy top-notch care. In spite of himself, he’s fascinated by his mother’s stodgy neighbor, and as he strives to help Cassidy recover from a broken leg, he begins to realize that behind Cassidy’s obsession with punctuality is the story of a lonely boy who thought he had to be perfect to be loved.


Mark and his family are far from perfect—but they might be perfect for Cassidy. As the two of them get to know each other, Cassidy fantasizes about the family and happy-ever-after he never thought he’d have, and Mark starts to yearn for Cassidy’s wide-eyed kindness and surprising creativity. But first they have to overcome Cassidy’s fears, because there is so much more fun to be had during Christmas than just being on time.


Book Review

Shame on me for not reading this wonderful gem when it released! ‘Late for Christmas’ ranks right up there with Amy Lane’s other holiday novellas, ‘Freckles’, ‘Going Up’, ‘Christmas Kitsch’, and ‘If I Must’. It’s absolutely everything I need around the holiday season, from found family, hope and laughter, to love. Cassidy and Mark’s story is one long sigh of rapture from beginning to end.


Cassidy grew up abandoned and in foster homes where at an early age he learned that if he was just “perfect”—clean, neat, tidy, and always on time—maybe someone would love him. Yes, my heart broke over some of Cassidy’s emotional reveals, but my admiration for this man grew as he certainly could have ended up bitter and mean. Instead, Cassidy is a shy introvert who radiates kindness. It’s no wonder Mark falls so hard and fast.


Mark grew up in the kind of family Cassidy always dreamed of. He’s moved back home to live above his mother’s garage after his father passed away. Mark is in his medical residency in orthopedics and it’s just pure luck, and Gus-Gus, that he happens to be there when the dead tree falls on Cassidy breaking his leg. Mark and his mom don’t know much about this next-door neighbor other than the fact that he’s very quietly been mowing Mark’s mother’s lawn, raking the leaves, trimming the trees, and cleaning the gutters, since Mark’s father died. The whole family immediately steps in to help Cassidy inadvertently giving him the one thing he has always wanted. A family.


I fell for Cassidy. I fell for Mark. I fell for the entire Taylor family. And, of course, I fell for Mark’s dog. This novella has everything I could ever want in a feel-good, not too angsty, found-family holiday story. It’s a typical Amy Lane in that it’s not so typical after all. I look forward to reading it again during the holiday season.



DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been purchased by the reviewer.


Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 121 pages/42336 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 30-November-2021
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link