Saturday, December 16, 2017

An Unexpected Sanctuary by Cassie Decker – Stocking Stuffers

An aggressive super-flu pandemic wipes out a majority of the population over the course of one Christmas holiday—and brings Tobin and Kyle together. For almost a year, they’ve been trekking across the country from Colorado toward a sanctuary in upstate New York. Kyle’s survival skills have kept them alive, and Tobin wants to repay the man he loves with a very special gift of his own making. He sneaks off in search of the last few pieces… only to get himself and Kyle kidnapped by a desperate stranger. With their journey to New York on hold—possibly indefinitely—they’ll need to accept that home isn’t always defined by a place as much as the person you’re with.

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Day 16
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I’m ashamed to say that I put off reading this story until I absolutely had to. This was a shame because I actually quite enjoyed An Unexpected Sanctuary. Now why did I wait? Honestly, I had a difficult time reconciling a post-apocalyptic story with a holiday romance. Yet Decker pulled it off wonderfully.

The story is told from Kyle’s perspective and it’s apparent that there’s a bit of hero worship on his part for Tobin. That’s not to say that his feelings for Tobin aren’t real, but rather that he sees an imbalance in their relationship, believing himself to be the weaker partner, unable to contribute in a meaningful and measurable way to their relationship. Like most nerdy geeks in romances, he sees his lack of physical strength and his failures as outweighing his intelligence and successes. Because of this, he takes a major risk when he ventures out on his own at night to acquire the last few pieces he needs to finish the gift he’s been making for Tobin. Unfortunately, this decision makes it easier for him and Tobin to be captured… and this is where I worried that the story would take the dark turn that is typical of post-apocalyptic stories. Thankfully, their kidnapper’s motives were not nefarious and (without revealing any spoilers) Kyle and Tobin find their unexpected sanctuary.

I think the main reason I enjoyed this story so much was that when the moment was right, Tobin had no problem telling Kyle why he mattered – why it was Kyle who gave Tobin a reason to keep going every day. I liked that the traits that Kyle saw as his weaknesses were the very things that Tobin saw as Kyle’s strengths. It made for a very touching scene. I thoroughly enjoyed An Unexpected Sanctuary and finished the story with a smile on my face.

CASSIE DECKER has been a writer most of her life, but only started writing love stories once she read her first romance novel in high school and fell in love with falling in love. After graduating college and entering the corporate workforce, she realized sharing those stories with her friends and coworkers wasn’t as scary as she thought it would be. She found rather quickly how much they enjoyed her steamy yet sweet tales of love and passion when they kept asking for more.

When she’s not writing, Cassie enjoys getting her geek on by making cosplay costumes, going to comic-cons, and drawing fan art of her favorite characters. Besides being a total nerd, she likes to knit, read, binge-watch the shows on her streaming list, and practice her ukulele if she can find the time. Cassie also loves playing in the Colorado Rockies with her husband and her corgi pup, Murphy, when she’s not busy obsessing over the fictional men plotting their love stories in her head.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Stocking Stuffers: An Unexpected Sanctuary by Cassie Decker to read and review.

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