For Joy by Crystel Greene

For Joy by Crystel Greene
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short story (48 pages)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

When college athlete Chad comes out to his parents and gets a nasty reaction, sparkly twink Joaquin “Joy” Acosta offers him shelter in his tiny apartment. Joy’s the sweetest, most beautiful roommate on the planet, and every day, Chad falls in love a little bit more. The problem is, Joy will never know since his banter-loving hipster friends make bear-sized Chad feel all hulking and tongue-tied.
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Joy is a sucker for anything handmade, though, and eventually Chad decides to tell him he loves him with a self-knitted pair of gloves. But it turns out knitting is way harder than Chad expected. Fortunately, Joy knows just how to save the day….

Tired of pretending, Chad comes out to his family. While he hadn’t expected them to host a party in his honour, neither had he expected them to react so badly that he had to leave home. Devastated, Chad accepts Joy’s offer of sleeping on his couch while Chad tries to piece together his life once again.

This is a lovely – but very emotional – short story. I felt really bad for Chad and was pleased he had Joy as a quasi-friend and certainly supportive person in his life. With the whole story told from Chad’s perspective I wished in a few places that we could have seen things from Joy’s point of view as well. While I had no doubt that Joy felt equally attracted to Chad it would have been nice to see where Joy’s head was at a few times throughout their coming together.

I mostly enjoyed the secondary characters. I wondered a little bit if Frank – Joy’s best friend – might have a few repressed feelings for Joy, again not seeing anything except through Chad’s eyes made this a bit hard to determine, but overall it added a good layer of complexity and conflict into the story and I felt the author did a good job of balancing this all out and not making the tale too sweet.

Equal parts funny and bittersweet, I found this to be an enjoyable story that was both realistic and full of slightly insane characters. A different and unique style of Christmas story this was a great read and an enjoyable tale.

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