Book Reviews

Small Miracles by Ellen Holiday at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 02-May-2013

Book Blurb

When runaway Cal Harrison steps into a bar to escape the freezing rain, he meets Matt Kirkland, who buys him a meal and eventually takes him home for the night. But Cal's been on hard times, and he doesn't believe something as good as Matt could possibly happen to him. Not without setting him up for disaster. So Cal leaves—only to discover Matt’s not just a rich kid but a well-known millionaire. Soon Cal begins to question whether he should have swallowed his pride and left his difficult life behind.


Book Review

A miracle is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as 'a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development or accomplishment.'  Cal Harrison from 'Small Miracles' by Ellen Holiday, was forced to leave his home and venture out into the world with nothing but the clothes he was wearing. He's been on the streets a year and is completely disillusioned about life. It will take nothing short of a miracle to restore his faith in human nature and in himself.

Cal is about as down as he could be when he sneaks into the bar where he meets Matt. I loved how the book started: “Fat rain drops plopped onto the wooden slats that lined the floor of the bar, spreading in dark stains. Cal shuffled in half-inch by half-inch, head lowered. He felt bad about the wood, but he felt worse about himself, and the shivers wouldn’t stop.” Using the bad weather to set the mood of bleakness which Cal felt at that time. His heart had been so shattered by past events that he'd have to freeze it in order to survive the pain. It's no small wonder why he mistrusts Matt and wonders what he'd have to do to earn the generosity he had offered. The one thing Cal refused to do was sell his body and it is the last remainder of his dignity which he adamantly clings to. Part of him is tired of struggling and wants to trust someone. The longer he is with Matt, the more he wonders about taking a chance on the kindness of this stranger. After taking him up on his offer, Matt begins to feel more than he expected to and gives in to the loneliness. His old fears arise and, instead of being rejected and broken hearted, he runs back into the anonymity of being a street person. He can't stop thinking about Matt though. With the good advice of a friend, he realizes that if he never takes a chance, he will never know. Going back to Matt and keeping his dignity will not be an easy matter, but if it's supposed to be, then it will be.

Matt is obviously a generous man. When he sees Cal, he gazes past the dirty clothes and down-on-his-luck expression and sees a good, bright soul, a person who touches his heart and soul at an unparalleled level and he wants Cal to know this. I appreciated how gentle and cautious he was with Cal, respecting his space and letting him set the pace of their association. Matt is nothing but kind and understanding. Not that I didn't believe him, but his actions did seem out of the blue. I would have had an easier time trusting him if I'd gotten to know more about him, but somehow, even with that, his feelings for Cal seemed genuine. His willingness to work with Cal in helping him regain his self-reliance was what eventually won me over. He showed me that even though he was rolling in money and used to having his way, he was still more concerned with Cal's feelings. Their lovemaking was tender, sensual, and very romantic, just like the rest of their interactions, proving once again Matt's sincerity and showing how much Cal wanted to trust and love again.

This is a very sweet, endearing story, well written, and exceptionally descriptive. Cal's conflicts were portrayed with a poignancy which made my heart ache. I felt his anxiety, his hopelessness and hesitation. I even felt him being chilled to the bone, tired from lack of sleep, and hunger. This is someone who deserved a second chance. I'd like to have known Matt better, but loved the way he and call interacted. I didn't want the story to end as it did. I wanted to know more about these wonderful men who found happiness with each other. Maybe we will get to learn more about them in the future. What about it, Ellen? I'd love to see how the guys work out their relationship. I'd recommend this story to anyone who wants to escape reality and wander into a romantic world where anything is possible. Thanks, Ellen, for the heart-warming ride.




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 Novella, 79 pages/20302 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 17-April-2013
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link