Book Reviews

Christmas in July by Barry Lowe at Lydian Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 05-October-2014

Book Blurb

All it takes is a little love to warm his heart.

Kauko Sallinen has fled the cold climate of his native Finland for the warmer climes of Australia where he hopes to spend all his spare time sunning himself on the beach, and surfing. And he wouldn’t mind finding himself a bronzed Aussie to complete the picture. But he arrives Downunder to the coldest winter in one hundred years. Even worse, he’s staying in a hotel in the Blue Mountains which specializes in the celebration of Christmas in July, without any hope of a holiday romance. Just when he thinks things can’t get any worse, he slips during a bush walk, injuring his foot. But things aren’t all bad when the doctor who calls to attend his injury is exactly what Kauko ordered, except the doc has a secret that could bring their budding relationship to its knees.


Book Review

A Fin moving to Australia to escape a love affair gone wrong is probably a little extreme, in terms of sheer distance traveled, but I can definitely see the logic in it. And, as it turns out, this story is about so much more than Kauko trying to find a new home. Initially, that is exactly what seems to be going on, and the tone is lighthearted, even humorous, as he experiences the differences in landscape, culture, and lifestyle. But as he meets sexy Dr. Miles and begins to delve deeper, everything suddenly appears in a new light, and levity is hard to find. I loved the depth of this story as it unfolded, and while I am not normally a fan of “bittersweet”, this one caught me, pulled me in, and didn’t let me go—in a very good way.

Kauko works in IT, which is lucky for him, because when he decides to relocate to the other end of the world, he has no trouble finding a job. Before he starts working for his new employer in Sydney, he  ends up in the Blue Mountains so he can see all the Australian animals he has always been curious about in the wild. Unfortunately, he ends up slipping on a wet stone and sprains his ankle. A doctor who also stays at the hotel ends up helping him out, and they begin a slow romance. Kauko is uncharacteristically flirty with Miles, and almost throws himself at the man of his affection.

However, Miles has a secret, and the distance between them only grows when Kauko finds out what it is. A tragedy unfolds, and Kauko almost loses the man he now knows he loves. How can he ever believe a word Miles says when he has so clearly violated Kauko’s trust? But it was the other tragedy that drove tears to my eyes, and as wonderfully written as it was, it touched me deeply.

If you like stories with strong characters who encounter real-life situations, if you enjoy men who take big steps to change their lives only to wonder if they ended up biting off more than they can chew, and if you’re looking for a read that is in turn funny, sweet, and deeply emotional, then you will probably like this touching novella as much as I did.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 82 pages/15508 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 01-August-2014
Price $2.99 ebook
Buy Link