Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Once in a Lifetime by Cassie Decker – Warmest Wishes

All his life, astrophysicist Peter has dreamed of seeing the comet that last appeared on his birthday—and won’t be seen for another thirty-eight years. Since it could be his only chance, he travels to New Zealand. But his dream might be quashed after all when his rental car breaks down on the way to the observatory. He doesn’t even have a place to stay.

Fortunately a New Zealand native with a heart of gold offers assistance. But is kindness the only thing drawing the two men together?

Rangi can’t leave Peter stranded so close to Christmas, and his family has plenty of room—and love—to share. While Rangi is attracted to Peter, he’s seen too many of his friends get their hearts broken by tourists. Will they manage to see the comet on its decades-long journey across the sky… and take advantage of a rare opportunity that might never come again?

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Advent Calendar Day 18

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I absolutely adored Once in a Lifetime. There was just something so approachable and down-to-earth about both Peter and Rangi and their ‘everything happens for a reason’ attitude that made their story such a delight to read. Although the novelette is written as one continuous story (i.e., no chapters), Decker’s opening paragraph serves as a prologue of sorts that makes it easy to see why this trip is so important to Peter. Obviously, when Peter’s rental car broke down, I couldn’t help but feel bad for him. That it also paved the way for Rangi was a nice touch, but it was Rangi’s continued acts of kindness that had me falling for the young man. Well, that and Rangi’s apparent love for his family and his willingness to do all that he could to help provide for them.

Even though their interaction began as a transaction between a man in desperate need of a ride and a ride-share driver, Rangi quickly proved to be a genuinely nice guy whose desire to help out a weary traveler who couldn’t seem to catch a break ended up being a boon for both him and Peter. While both men acknowledge to themselves an attraction for the other, it is not until Rangi performs a hongi with Peter that the men experience a connection. Understandably, Rangi is hesitant to start anything with Peter, knowing that Peter will only be in New Zealand for a couple of weeks. Fortunately, Rangi finds it hard to resist Peter and his worry over a broken heart is soon eclipsed by his worry that he’ll regret not taking a risk. As much as I enjoyed watching Rangi come to terms with his struggle, it was seeing Peter get to experience being part of a family again and getting to enjoy both the simple pleasures life has to offer as well as the spectacular miracles of the cosmos that made this story such a delight. Just by being themselves, Rangi and his family gave Peter a gift he’d never expected to have again and possibly reset his course in life. At least, I prefer to think that the end of this story is only the beginning for Peter and Rangi.

Cassie Decker started writing love stories once she read her first romance novel in high school and instantly fell in love with falling in love. She believes everyone deserves a happily ever after, whether the men in her stories rope cattle in the rodeo, live in a tropical paradise, or are just trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.

When she’s not writing romance, she’s reading it. And if there’s time between that, you can find Cassie getting her geek on with cosplay costumes, comic-cons, and video game binges. Besides being a total nerd, she likes to knit naughty rainbow key-chain charms for her friends, home-brew her own beer, and practice her ukulele. Cassie also loves playing in the Colorado Wilderness with her husband and her corgi pup, Murphy, when she’s not busy obsessing over the fictional men plotting their steamy love stories in her head, that is.

Connect with Cassie

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Warmest Wishes: Once in a Lifetime by Cassie Decker to read and review.

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