Late for Christmas by Amy Lane

59572951. sy475 

I will admit that until this year, I've not read a lot of Christmas novels. I'm glad that I didn't let that stop me from picking this one up, because Amy Lane's Late for Christmas is a sweet tale of neighbors finding love amidst the holiday season.

From the Blurb

Cassidy Hancock hates being late—he’s pathological about it. Until the crisp fall morning when he pauses to watch his neighbor’s handsome son chase his dog down the sidewalk… and gets hit by a tree.

Mark Taylor sees the whole thing, and as a second-year medical resident, he gets Cassidy top-notch care. In spite of himself, he’s fascinated by his mother’s stodgy neighbor, and as he strives to help Cassidy recover from a broken leg, he begins to realize that behind Cassidy’s obsession with punctuality is the story of a lonely boy who thought he had to be perfect to be loved.

Mark and his family are far from perfect—but they might be perfect for Cassidy. As the two of them get to know each other, Cassidy fantasizes about the family and happy-ever-after he never thought he’d have, and Mark starts to yearn for Cassidy’s wide-eyed kindness and surprising creativity. But first they have to overcome Cassidy’s fears, because there is so much more fun to be had during Christmas than just being on time.

Sarah C's Review:

Late for Christmas was a beautiful read. The two characters - never late Cassidy and chronically tardy Mark - fit together so beautifully from the very beginning. Which involved a meet ugly, because there's no other way to describe someone's leg getting skewered by a falling tree because they were too busy ogling their attractive neighbor and mourning the fact that they could never have a dog because it might make them late.

And that is how we begin this wonderful novel. From there, we get so much growth from Mark and Cassidy, as Cassidy learns how to open up to love and family and finally get what he's longed for his entire life: a place to belong.

The relationship between Mark and Cassidy is easy. The friendship and chemistry between them is tangible from the start and only grows deeper over the weeks that they get to know one another, bound together by Cassidy's accident and Mark and his mother's need to nurture. Both men were amazing characters, but the real scene stealers were Mark's mom and dog. Gus-Gus, the weird tube of a dog, was possibly the cutest book dog I've read in awhile and I adored him from the jump.

The writing in this book is gorgeous and respectful of the things that Cassidy went through in his life. Nothing felt too easy for him, which is good because he had a lot of mental blockades he needed to recover from. However, being a novella, it wasn't as deeply delved into as it might have been in a full length novel. It didn't feel like characterization was sacrificed for the length of this book, and if I didn't know from my kindle that it was a novella, I might not have even noticed.

Because Lane manages to pack in a full novel's worth of plot and growth in such a short space and it is wonderful to read. If you're looking for a cute, emotional, feel good romance novel for Christmas, then don't be late for this one!

Rating: 5 Stars