Book Reviews

The Puzzle Box (2017 Advent Calendar - Stocking Stuffers) by CC Bridges at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Military/Former Military / Romance / Holiday
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 10-December-2017

Book Blurb

Elementary school art teacher Cole Peters is expecting a lonely Christmas this year while his longtime boyfriend, James Carducci, is on deployment with the Army. However, a box from James contains puzzles that lead Cole on a scavenger hunt through the greatest moments of their relationship. Together with his best friend Liz, Cole works his way through each clue.

The final puzzle could lead Cole to a gift beyond his wildest expectations.

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

Book Review

I can’t imagine the pain that loved ones of active duty, deployed military personnel suffer during the holiday season. The stress and worry over their safety is simply magnified by the thought they won’t be with you and the rest of your loved ones. Or, in Cole and James’s case, Cole will have to spend the holidays without his soul mate for the first time in five years. That alone had me hoping and wishing right from the beginning of the read that somehow these two men might get a little holiday magic coming their way.

As I walked with Cole through his memories of the past years with James, I was hit with some fairly heavy emotion. I know what it feels like to miss someone down to the marrow of your bones and to wish with all of my being for a puzzle box like Cole received. It’s not possible for me but I relished the journey I took with Cole and James. From the first time they met as freshmen in high school and James saved him from some bullies, to their first kiss in Central Park, I shared Cole’s bittersweet memories. Beautiful memories that he hadn’t thought of in a long time.

‘The Puzzle Box’ is a beautiful holiday story. It reminded me of the very best things about being a couple and the soul deep joy of spending time with your beloved. Much thanks to the author for the reminders.





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 Short Story, 31 pages/9465 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 01-December-2017
Price $1.99 ebook
Buy Link