Sunday, December 31, 2017

Eugene and the Box of Nails by Jaime Samms – Stocking Stuffers

Every time it seems like things are looking up for Eugene Kraft, disaster hits. Bankruptcy, a bigoted sibling, and a back-breaking accident have all left him with little money and less faith in the universe.

His last-ditch effort at peace is the small lakeside property where he is building a tiny house from recycled materials. If he can get it livable before the cold sets in, maybe he’ll be okay. Hopefully Cullen, the foreman on the construction site next door, won’t notice Eugene pilfering discarded materials from his dumpster.

When Cullen stops by to talk to Eugene, he’s sure the gig is up—but all Cullen wants is a date. Can two things go right in Eugene’s life? At first it seems possible. Projects on Eugene’s house are getting completed by what he dubs “construction elves” while he’s off site. But like Eugene predicted, his good fortune can’t last, and soon he has a tough choice to make: give up his home… or the man of his dreams.

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Day 31
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Eugene and the Box of Nails is one of the longer stories in this year’s advent calendar that I’ve read. It’s also only one of two I’ve read twice this year because I loved Eugene’s hard-luck story and how, despite some pretty terrible incidents, he remains determined to achieve his goal and stays pretty positive most of the time. Eugene’s past reads as an example of the saying, “If it weren’t for bad luck, he wouldn’t have any luck at all.” Eugene is the underdog you want to root for because he doesn’t give up and throw in the towel when things get tough; no, he moves forward because he doesn’t see any other way to be.

While his limited finances had an impact on his choices, I loved the way Eugene was building his house – recycling building materials, doing the majority of the labor on his own, and using the land’s terrain in the design of the house rather than destroying the landscape. In fact, the whole tiny house movement fascinates me, so I loved that aspect of the story. That Eugene managed to attract some construction elves illustrated how nice of a guy he is and how more people in his life care about him than he realized. While I understand his motive behind wanting to do it all by himself, worrying about how his bad luck might ruin the good things he’s got, Eugene’s failure to communicate with Cullen nearly causes him to torpedo their fledgling relationship before his bad luck can do it. But for once, Eugene’s bad luck works in his favor and not only does he get his guy, he gets his home finished just how he wanted. Eugene and the Box of Nails was a heartwarming holiday story that I look forward to reading again next year.

JAIME SAMMS has been published since the fall of 2008, although she’s been writing for herself far longer. Often asked what’s so fascinating about stories where men fall in love with other men, she’s never come up with a clear answer. Just that these are the stories that she loves to read, so makes sense they are also be the stories she loves to write.

These days, you can find plenty of free reading on her website in addition to her stories scattered across several publishers.

Spare time—when it can be found rolled into a ball at the back of the dryer or cavorting with the dust bunnies in the corners—is probably spent crocheting, drawing, or watching movies. She also loves to garden, weather permitting, since she is Canadian! She has a day job, which she loves, and two kids, but thankfully she also has a wonderful husband who keeps her fed and caffeinated.

She graduated some time ago from college with a Fine Arts diploma and a major in textile arts, which basically qualifies her to draw pictures and create things with string and fabric. One always needs an official slip of paper to fall back on, after all…

Connect with Jaime

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Stocking Stuffers: Eugene and the Box of Nails by Jaime Samms to read and review.

1 comment:

  1. This book will definitely go on my TBR list. I love Jaime Samms.