Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Christmas Miracle by Shea Balik

Series: Believe Book, 1
Author: Shea Balik
Publisher:  Shea Balik
Genre: MM, contemporary
Pages: 149
Reviewer: Redz

Publisher’s Blurb
At a very early age, Ben learned that, in life, there was no such thing as something to believe in. What was the point? Each time he did, someone would come along and prove to him how wrong he was. The fact that his sister died by a drunk driver, who’d walked away without a scratch, and forcing Tobias to move to Texas — one of the most homophobic states in the country — to take care of his now motherless nieces, drove home just how cruel life could be. How was he supposed to help two of the sweetest kids he’d ever known deal with the hell their life would be without the one person they’d depended on, when he was fairly certain, his moving to Texas would only show them how horrible people could be to one another?
Darius had seen things that would make most people cringe in revulsion and dread. His parents had traveled, with Darius in tow, all around the world to help those in need. So tragedy wasn’t something new to him. As terrible as some of it had been, Darius had also seen the kindness and sacrifice people made to help others. He was a true believer in the goodness of humanity.
Determined to help Ben discover that though he may have had hit a few bumps in the road growing up, he’d also met people who had been there for him, helping him when they didn’t have to get involved. For life might not always be perfect and at times even cruel, but it was also wonderful and kind if one knew where to look.
Ben had to admit that Darius was causing him to look at the world differently. That there might be a chance he’d been only looking for the negative. But, for him, there was one more test that the world would have to pass for him to truly change and it would take a Christmas Miracle to do it. 

Christmas Miracle by Shea Balik is the first in the Believe series.  I loved the way this book looks, there are cute designs around the chapters. Gives it a real holiday kind of feel to it.
Ben, his sister died due to a drunk driver.  Now he takes care of his two nieces. Out and proud rainbow flag waving kinda of guy. He refuses to hide who he is. I liked that a lot about him. I like strong characters who know who they are and accept it.
His homophobic parents had kicked him out when he came out as a teen.  His brother in law is in Afghanistan, he had stayed away from his sister to protect her from the bigotry of his parents.
But his sister was smart she knew who the right person was to take care of her children when she and her husband could not.
I did find this a tad inconsistent with what I know as an ex-military wife about military protocol. When his wife died the father would have been flown back. It was not explained very well as to why this was not the case here. A death would take precedent especially with children involved. 
Darius is a minister of the church. He is very calming. Kind and sweet.
There is really great chemistry between the characters you really feel it as you are reading.  Darius has clear protective tendencies and Ben brings it out in force with him.
Overall a great story with good characters. I would love to read more about this series in the future. See who falls in love next.

                                        Five Shooting Stars 

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