Book Reviews

The Valentine's Day Resolution by Ava Hayden at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance / Holiday
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 19-February-2018

Book Blurb

Huxley carries invisible scars from a near-fatal car accident. He sleepwalks through a job at his father’s company, marking time until he can quit and pursue his own dreams. 


Everything changes the moment he makes eye contact with a stranger while riding to work. It’s as if he’s been shaken out of his stupor, and Huxley vows to find the man.


Thanks to a thieving ex-lover, Paul’s florist shop is on the brink of closing down. He needs to milk Valentine’s Day for all it’s worth—and the irony that a day dedicated to love might help undo the damage of a failed relationship is not lost on him.


When Huxley finds Paul at his shop, both men feel an instant attraction. Before long, they’re falling hard, but Huxley holds back. If Paul knew all the baggage he’s carrying, he might run.


Paul’s gut tells him Huxley is hiding something. Huxley looks like a keeper, but Paul can’t go through another disastrous romance.


When Valentine’s Day arrives, will they have anything to celebrate?


Book Review

Two men in trouble, both wounded emotionally, might not be ideal partners, but as it turns out, Huxley and Paul have got just what it takes to help each other deal with their individual pasts and their common present. Their story is one of waking up from a routine that left them vulnerable, freeing themselves from the shackles of their self-imposed restrictions, and a certain degree of coming of age as they learn to deal with the demands of their daily lives in a more constructive way. It’s a great demonstration of the fact that self-delusion can be as harmful to personal growth as external obstacles. Though I have to say that there are plenty of those in Huxley and Paul’s path as well. The result is an emotional journey with a few twists and turns, one that had me eagerly turning pages as I was crossing my fingers for things to go well.

Huxley has had a tough time of it resulting in not being able to stand up for what he knows is right. In his drunken mother’s case this resulted in an accident that left her in months of physical therapy and Huxley in almost a year of fear of being in a car. As far as Huxley’s career goes, it has him fearing his own shadow, believing his father is about to fire him if he as much as raises his head above his desk – never mind that he is the CEO of one of the family’s flagship companies.  It takes meeting Paul for Huxley to begin to wake up and actually do something about his situation – standing up to the bully of a COO at work and pushing to regain his ability to sit in a car so he can get back to a more normal life.

Paul is a great florist, but has had an ex rob him blind with the result that the shop his parents started teeters on the edge of financial disaster. No matter how hard Paul works, the end seems to be around the corner every day. The disappointment about his ex’s duplicity has also left Paul relationship-shy, so when he meets Huxley, he is more hesitant and suspicious than might be normal. Paul feels attracted, but how can he trust someone who seems to have more than one secret?

Paul knows that Huxley is hiding something, and Huxley is afraid to be honest about what he sees as serious flaws. With both men hiding parts of themselves, this relationship could have been heading for complete disaster before it even began. But there is more to these guys than what is visible at first glance, and stubbornness and determination lead the charge. As a result, this novel goes to show that resolutions come in all shapes and sizes - Huxley’s plan to be able to ride in a car may be his Valentine’s resolution, but there are other decisions and plans that play a role in the way Huxley and Paul come together as a couple.

If you like men who have to struggle for their happiness, if you believe that self-realization and courage are key elements of building a successful relationship, and if you’re looking for an entertaining read with lots of passion, misunderstandings, and delightful secondary characters, then you will probably like this novel.





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, 140 pages/44491 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 02-August-2017
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link