Title: The Douglas Fir
Author: Anyta Sunday
Genre: m/m romance
URL: Author’s site
Price: US $2.99
Other Information/warnings: explicit sexual content
Summary [from the author]:
Somehow, someway, Jason Kress will find Noah the most unique and clever gift ever. A gift that will surprise him, and win his heart.
A gift that just might be magic . . .
This is a Christmas-themed novella (121 pages) about unrequited love, set in New Zealand. It’s fairly standard stuff for a holiday story, although the author manages to infuse it with a uniquely Kiwi sensibility, and I didn’t see the twist coming because the story doesn’t play by the usual m/m rules. The eponymous Xmas gift idea was cute and clever.
The first-person narrator, Jase, is the only character I found particularly vivid, though Noah, his friend Dave, Jase’s boss and Jase’s brother, Scott, were all sketched reasonably well. The ending was a little abrupt and I wish the story had gone on longer. I felt slightly cheated that we didn’t get more of the characters who were supposedly so important to Jase. I wish Noah and Dave were less generic ‘nice guys’. Neither of them grabbed my attention much.
The writing was workmanlike. I found the exclamations of ‘Shite’ annoying after a while as I’m not aware of this being a Kiwi thing, but the dialogue was competent without being exactly sparkling. The line editing was weaker than I would like to see, with several flat out errors of punctuation and word use, but this book was superior to many self-published offerings.
All in all, it was a pleasant time waster and a perfectly acceptable seasonal offering. I’d be tempted to seek out more of Ms Sunday’s work, especially those of full novel length