Monday, December 10, 2018

Boca Dreams by Scudder James Jr. – Warmest Wishes

You can’t correct the past.

Or can you?

Stephen’s not proud of who he was back in boarding school—spoiled and a player. Now, at the holiday reunion ten years later, he has a chance to show his former classmates who he really is: out and proud, devoted to helping others, and partnered with Victor.

Stephen understands why Victor, who grew up in a poor and abusive household, hates the rich kids at the reunion, but his attitude is ruining everything. Luckily Stephen bumps into Aaron, a former grunge rocker who has also changed. Stephen never forgot their one steamy night together.

With the help of three very unusual personifications of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, can Stephen revisit his mistakes and find the happiness that’s eluded him?

Add to Goodreads –

Advent Calendar Day 10

Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

For me, Boca Dreams was a difficult story to connect with. While I enjoyed his writing, it felt to me like James was trying too hard to make Victor a bad guy in order to justify Stephen’s inevitable evening with Aaron. Then again, considering how Stephen seemed to accept Victor’s nasty comments regarding their different beginnings in life – as if Stephen deserved to be punished simply for being born to parents who could afford to send him to boarding school – perhaps all of Victor’s pettiness and lashing out behaviors had to occur so that Stephen would finally get a clue that his boyfriend didn’t really love him and was with him out of a sense of personal vindication.

Honestly, Victor ruined the story for me. Repeatedly. Just about the time I was beginning to connect with the story and the characters, Victor would appear and show his true colors, leaving me with a bad taste in my mouth. Then there was the bizarre conversation between Aaron, Stephen, and the representatives of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, but the bizarreness probably had something to do with the fact that I heard them in my head as Stepford wife automatons instead of the nosey matchmakers they were likely intended to be. Fortunately, James managed to save the end story for me by having Stephen FINALLY take a stand for himself and pursue what he wanted – a second chance with Aaron.

At the end of the day, the fact that this isn’t a story I would read again, despite the author delivering the happy ending that Stephen truly deserved, is why I’m giving it three stars. Do you want to know what I would read, though? The follow-up story to see how the relationship between Stephen and Aaron progresses. Why? Because I actually liked them together and once they were away from everyone else (especially Victor), I could feel the emotional connection forming between them and the mutual hope for more beyond the reunion.

Scudder James Jr believes happily ever after begins today. Junior high was terrible, boarding school better, and college the place he met the boyfriend he married (despite a pit stop in a fraternity). He started in finance because he thought he had to, but instead became a counselor for refugees, a fundraiser, and a teacher of sex and spirituality classes. After Chicago, Seattle, London, and Japan, he’s back in Boston where it all started. His favorite place to write has a harbor view of two colonial ships.

Scudder loves telling stories in print and on film. He’s thrilled that his short LGBTQ films have shown around the world in places as unexpected as Alabama and East Africa. Twenty years ago, he was diagnosed with a debilitating neurological disease that doctors are bewildered has disappeared. Scudder is an avid meditator and passionate about appreciating every moment.

One of his favorite mornings has been waking up on a boat in Patagonia with his perfectly imperfect partner and hiking an island of 130,000 penguins.

Connect with Scudder

Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Warmest Wishes: Boca Dreams by Scudder James Jr. to read and review.

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