Aaron has spent the past 10 months alone. When he meets a sad, yet strangely familiar man on a cold Halloween night, he impulsively invites him home. But the intimate connection they share lasts only until morning. Aaron wakes up alone - wracked with guilt and devastated to have lost his chance. Or so he thinks.
Thanksgiving brings Aaron another shot at happiness, but letting go of an old love and accepting a new one isn't as easy as everyone keeps telling him. And by the time Christmas Eve rolls around, it becomes clear that Aaron's not the only one struggling to let himself love again.
Christmas miracles are all well and good, but it's going to take more than the Holiday Spirit for Aaron to get his happy ever after.
A story of grief, sadness, and letting it go; and finding love when you least expect it.
Alex Jane is a new to me author, and after listening to this short Novella i would most definitely read or listen to her books again. In relation to the audio the narration of the read was wonderful Michael Fell did a great job.
Tis the Season is a sweet short novella about grief, loss and finding love again when you lest expected it.
Aaron tragically lost his husband and is learning to live and go with his life. He has been closed to everyone through his grief he knows they mean well but hates the pitying looks.
Dylan's boyfriend left him, but he also did quite a number on him over their two year relationship with Dylan's self-esteem and confidence taking quite a hit.
They meet on a bridge where Dylan is contemplating ending it all. Aaron saves him and their lives intertwine with them both struggling to cope with their grief and emotional pain.
But the brightest star is found in the darkest of night and thats how i felt about their romance and coming together. They supported and comforted each other and found happiness again.
A beautiful sweet heartwarming and emotional short story, but absolutely perfect.
Such a lovely sweet story, the narration was spot on. One I'll listen to again for sure.
The holidays are always a time when strong emotion comes to the forefront for many people, and this story is the perfect example. It has a huge dose of angst, obvious emotional pain from the characters, and among all that is the development of new love.
Both Aaron and Dylan have heartache in their not-so-distant pasts, and both have their own forms of grief and pain with which to deal. Even as they each go through a healing process, the also become strong for each other—turning this into a double helping of hurt/comfort. There are some points that can be difficult to read, simply from the point of the pain the characters are going through. But the way they each help one another through makes that pain bearable for the reader, and it also sparks something between the two men that both thought they wouldn’t have again.
The intimate scenes between the two are red-hot, and the relationship that develops actual feels quite natural even from their first night together. They just “click” with each other, and while they both have plenty to work through as they heal, its easy to see them eventually ending up together in the long run thanks to their genuine chemistry.
’Tis the Season was a 4.5-star read for me, and it made for a good, quick read with its novella length. I’d recommend this book to any M/M romance fan. While it’s a “holiday” story, it does cover from Halloween through Christmas so you actually get to visit with these characters through multiple holidays, as well as seeing where they’re at the following year. This story is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.
The narration: This was the first time I’ve listened to Michael Fell as a narrator, and I thought he did a really great job in voicing these characters. He gave everyone distinct, individual voices, paced the reading perfectly, and really made me feel the emotions Aaron and Dylan were going through. 5 stars for the narration!
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Wow, this is NOT what I was expecting!
I guess – the strangely familiar thing – sort of set my expectations for the story to go one way and it definitely went a totally different way. Not bad, just different.
I don’t want to necessarily give things away, but I was surprised by that “twist” if you will and it took some adjusting because I wasn’t as forgiving as “Clarence”.
I loved the direct way the two MCs communicated with each other that first night and the way “George” is just so open with his family and WOW did I love George’s family (I’d love to see Kevin’s story in a full book!).
The physical times were very low key and sort of matched the tone of this – the feels are what are important here, though the two definitely have chemistry.
If you’re a person who loves “widower” stories – this hits all those buttons – man does it! – but I think it also really moves the couple along at a believable pace. What would have made this a 5 star read for me would have been a bit more exploration of “George’s” situation and a bit more discussion of how George and Clarence got from point A to HEA. It’s kind of over in a blink of an eye – very happily so! – but I wanted to see some of that on page.
It’s a sweet, very sentimental and touching holiday story and I do recommend it.
4 of 5 stars
Michael Fell does a FANTASTIC job of narrating this. He gives Dylan a great accent and makes all the characters easily distinguishable. He manages the female voices well and does a nice job with the emotional subject.
I think listening to this really drives home all the emotions and highlights the power of this story.
5 of 5 stars
Overall 4.5 of 5 stars
I received a free copy of this audiobook to listen to and review for Wicked Reads.
‘Tis the Season suffers from the same shortcoming most good novellas do… that the end came far too soon. Even knowing that the bulk of Aaron and Dylan’s story takes place over three months, I still wasn’t prepared for the epilogue when I reached it – although I did enjoy it immensely and found it to be the perfect wrap-up to their journey.
Aaron is a widower who is still clinging to his grief, but at only ten months since the loss of his husband, he’s not ready to “move on” with his life. Personally, ten months was when my grief tipped over into depression, so I completely understood why Aaron felt it necessary to cut ties with the people in his life who kept telling him to move on and start living and loving again. But a chance encounter on Halloween night, that progresses into a one-night stand, has Aaron wondering if maybe he might possibly be ready to take that first step, until he sleeps on it and wakes up feeling guilty and as if he cheated on his dead husband. When Aaron ruins his chance to make future plans with Dylan, fate steps in the following month and their paths cross again on Thanksgiving Day. As both men are happy for the chance to reconnect, they fumble their way through the next month, trying to see if they are both ready to move on and do so together. I do wish that the jump in time from chapter three to the epilogue hadn’t been so significant, but that’s because I enjoyed spending time with the guys and wanted to experience more of their journey right alongside them.
I thoroughly enjoyed Fell’s performance. This is the first audiobook I’ve listened to by this narrator and I was impressed with how easy he made it to distinguish one character from the other. Another talent Fell possesses is the ability to clearly convey when the characters are thinking to themselves or speaking to one another. In ‘Tis the Season, both men engage in a good amount of internal dialogue and Fell’s narrative performance left me with no doubt as to who was speaking and who was thinking. Michael Fell did an impressive job of bringing Alex’s Jane’s story to life, making an enjoyable story even better – so much so that I’ve already listened to it several times this month, hence the five stars. I look forward to checking out more of both the author’s and the narrator’s work.
What did you love best about 'Tis the Season?
What I liked most about this book was, although they were a 1 night stand with the potential to be insta-love (especially because of the length), it didn't go that way. In fact, the MC's both have deep rooted issues that they need to come to terms with. They actually had to fight a little for each other.
What was one of the most memorable moments of 'Tis the Season?
I found their fake names, and the fact they still used them at the end, pretty endearing. It turned into this cute little joke between them, and maybe a few family members.
What does Michael Fell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Michael Fell did an EXCELLENT narration job, he truly brought these characters to life giving them, well, their own character. In fact, he took a book that I already liked and gave it another dimension.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
There's quite a bit of angst in this read, but the part that hit me hardest was the end. The graveyard visit and the fact that Dylan/George was so accepting and understanding was what really did me in.
Any additional comments?
This was a nice, short but well written, holiday story. One that makes you feel hopeful and happy for the holidays.
Would you consider the audio edition of 'Tis the Season to be better than the print version?
The audio version made this book so much more emotional and it made the story better in my opinion.
What does Michael Fell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
He is really good at conveying the characters' feelings and emotions, he brought me to tears several times.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I enjoyed the idea behind this story, but I thought the characters were left in limbo far too long. Their first encounter was sweet and I felt the connection, but then the wait for them to really make anything of it was too much for me. Aaron and Dylan are both struggling with the end of their last relationships and it felt a little forced in the way that the story progressed. I guess I just wanted insta-love with insta-relationship. The narrator did a great job and I really enjoyed listening to this book.
Story: 5 Stars!
Narration: 4 Stars!
Overall: 4.5 Stars!
Aaron has been having a hard time letting go of his grief after his husband passed away ten months before, but after finding a slightly familiar guy on the bridge on Halloween night, his life takes a turn for good. After he wakes up alone the next day, though, he thinks he might have lost his chance. Only to have a new one given on Thanksgiving Day, now it'll be Aaron's decision to grab it or not.
This was such a sweet holiday story that spans from Halloween to Christmas. Aaron was very nice, even in his sadness. He was so sweet to Dylan, especially compared to Dylan's ex who was a twatwaffle. Dylan was a deeper character that I thought he'd be, even if he'd been crushing on Aaron for a long time, he needed to work on all the issues living with his ex left him, before being able to fully embrace a relationship with Aaron. They had great chemistry and it was lovely seeing the progression of their budding romance.
Michael Fell's narration was very good. His voice was pleasant to listen to and especially near the end, he managed to imprint a lot of emotion to some pivotal scenes.
Overall, this is a lovely audiobook to listen to, short and sweet with some angst to balance it out. Perfect for the upcoming holiday season! Very recommendable!
'Tis the Season is an emotional tale and touches on some serious topics. That said, I was impressed with how the author handled those topics along with the touches of humor and wit to keep the story from being too heavy, yet still not taking anything away from the importance of subject matter. I also loved the references to a favorite holiday movie, which fit this sweet romance perfectly. Our main characters are endearing and while their losses are different, they're both grieving and find that healing can come in the most unlikely of places. The only drawback, for me, lay in the intimate scenes between the pair. Some of the vocabulary used, while a wonderful use of the language, didn't fit with the characters. When conversing, they often have a witty banter, but they are plain spoken, so some of the prose used during their steamy times felt more like telling the audience rather than showing and tended to pull me out of the story and those scenes felt a bit forced. That aside, this is a wonderful tale of love, loss, finding love again, and finding that person who compliments you rather than tearing you down. Michael Fell does a nice job on the narration with his smooth voice and inflections.
Told from the single point of view of widower Aaron, the meat of the story takes place over about four days. First, when Aaron meets Dylan when they are both at some pretty low points on Halloween, then again on Thanksgiving day, and finally again at Christmas.
There’s a thread of sorrow throughout the story with both men having to deal with past relationships. It’s a realistic type of romance where nothing is easily won, there are bad days and even the epilogue, which takes place a year later has a little bit of melancholy running through the hopeful end.
There’s a lot of time jumps and not a lot of explanation or background on Dylan, which if his POV had been included I think it would have made this so much better. As it is it felt like their relationship development was a touch forced, but that could be because of the condensation that happens with the page restrictions of a novella.
The narration by new to me narrator Michael Fell was thoroughly enjoyable with easily discernible character voices, good timing, and a nice emotive expression. Fell reminds me (in the best ways) of Michael Ferraiuolo and I’ll be keeping my eye out for more of his work in the future.
Recommended for those who like a touch of bittersweet with their romance but who also definitely want an HEA, and who don’t mind the more rapid paced relationship development of a novella – and you should definitely check out the audio.
This will definitely get you in the holiday spirit. A new narrator who did an amazing job. If you are looking for a sweet romance, this is for you.