From a young age, Jon put his life on hold for the world of music. Since the age of fourteen, he has dedicated everything he has to becoming a renowned pianist and is on the cusp of becoming one when his father falls ill and his parents need his help. Cancelling part of his tour to come home for a month at Christmas has Jon itchy and uncomfortable, mainly because his father has always disapproved of whatever Jon has done and that hasn’t changed in the least. Jon’s life has been a lonely one, but he’s always used the goal of becoming the best to smooth over any misgivings—until he meets his old crush, Bo, while picking up sewing supplies for his mother.
Bo will be the first to admit he’s a little bit out there, a bit flamboyant, but living his life makes him happy, as it does those he comes in contact with, so he can’t be fussed about what others may think. The only problem is his love life is in a real dry spell and when the handsome stranger appears in the store where he teaches craft classes, Bo can’t believe his eyes. Could that be his Jon? The boy he had such a crush on? The boy who is now a famous concert pianist? Bo is tickled when Jon remembers him as well and before you know it the two men are out on a date and passions are definitely flaring. Old feelings are coming on strong for both Jon and Bo. The only problem is that Jon lives clear across the country and Bo doesn’t fly—no way, no how, not ever.
Liv Rancourt has released a sweet holiday novella in A Holiday Homecoming. It features two men who both have experienced their own forms of loneliness and who remember with fondness a middle school crush that still makes them tingle. Bo and Jon come together in this quick Christmas story learning that you can peel back the years and still rekindle old feelings. In many ways, this story was about self-discovery and coming to understand just what is important in life. For Jon, it’s also a moment to make the decision to try again with a distant father who has never really approved of him or his life choices in terms of his career.
Bo helps Jon not only see what a career solely focused on becoming famous has done to him, but also what it can be like to let down his guard and just breathe in the joy all around him. I loved how the author took this idea and even infused it into simple things, like the amount of lighting in Jon’s house, which was gloomy and almost funereal until the whirlwind that is Bo came over to make ornaments. The house and the people inside came alive in his presence, much like Jon did.
Due to the brevity of the story, some plot points never got resolved, such as the relationship between Jon and his dad. While it did thaw a bit, we never really got the back story as to why his dad disapproved and why Jon felt such distance between them; it was mentioned briefly, but not really explored and it was such a painful thing in Jon’s life. However, the rekindling of romantic feelings and the way in which the story ended certainly was both uplifting and lovely to read.
A Holiday Homecoming is a lovely story for any wanting a bit of romance with their holiday.