Friday, December 2, 2016

2016 Advent Calendar Review ~ The Fortune Cookie by Matt Burlingame

Advent Calendar Review ~ The Fortune Cookie 
by Matt Burlingame

Title: The Fortune Cookie
Author: Matt Burlingame
Category: Holiday, Contemporary
Pages: 49

Thirty-three-year-old technical writer Laurence Hart is a modern-day Scrooge when it comes to the holiday season—and the rest of the year too. He doesn’t like most people, they don’t like him, and he’s happy to keep it that way. Over lunch with his best friend, he receives a fortune cookie promising him true love. The next day, forced to work on a holiday charity committee or lose his job, he meets Nick, a jolly ginger giant who loves all things Christmas. Together they face numerous obstacles to put together a holiday fair to raise money for children in foster care in only four days. While Laurence has to mend his curmudgeonly ways to make the event a success, Nick’s holiday magic might mend Laurence’s heart.

5 Stars!

Laurence Hart is a veritable Scrooge. Disgusted by Christmas and the cheer it brings, he pretty much has his coworkers scurrying at the sight of him walking through the halls. When his bad attitude lands him on the Christmas Charity planning committee, he is forced to participate or risk losing his job. He has no idea that Nick, a lover of all things Christmas, will help him to realize that he just needs to find the true meaning of the holiday spirit. Maybe his fortune from earlier that week will come true and "True love has come".

This is right up my alley. Funny, cute, sweet. It truly was like a holiday movie.
"For one clear moment he saw himself and realized he was a bottle of wine and a cosmic misunderstanding away from being a Kellie Martin character in a Lifetime movie."

It doesn't matter that Laurence was an grouch. He's undeniably charming and funny and even when he's being a pain, he's kind of lovable. That's why he and Nick worked so well together. It was a definite case of opposites attract but it's endearing for sure.
“He’s very touchy,” Amanda observed.

“I know. And he’s so… emotional about everything too. If anything goes wrong tomorrow, I’m expecting a full Sally Fields in Steel Magnolias meltdown.”
“He’s completely opposite of anyone I ever pictured you with.”

“Unless I missed a memo, he and I are not together. Besides, I’ve only known him three days.”
“Three days ago you made an intern cry over a holiday decoration in your cubicle,” she said. “Today you bought Christmas stockings for orphans. You hate orphans.”

This is a quirky fun treat and I definitely recommend it!

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement. *

The Fortune Cookie is a short story include in the Dreamspinner Press 2016 Advent Calendar - Bah Humbug.  

Laurence is a scrooge, but doesn't limit his disdain for just the holidays.  Everyone that has interacted with him is afraid of being on the end of his acerbic tongue and most people go out of the way to avoid him.  He does have one friend in the office, who likes him despite the fact that he's a jerk most of his waking hours.  When he and his best friend go to lunch, he gets a fortune cookie promising him true love.  He dismisses the fortune.  The next day things in his life begin to go very weird.  He's forced to work on the volunteer holiday committee at work or be fired.  When he arrives at the meeting, he meets Nick who loves everything about Christmas.  No matter how much Laurence doesn't want to be interested in Nick or Christmas, he finds himself acting out of character over the next few days when he works hard to impress Nick and make his dream party come true.  

As a person who is not the biggest fan of all the hoopla related to the holidays, and a self-proclaimed Grinch, I understood where Laurence was coming from.  But he really was terrible.  Making someone cry or insulting someone was just a normal day for him.  It seems this is not normal behavior for him, but he had been burned by a previous boyfriend and just lost the will to care about anyone other than his cat.  This story was told completely in Laurence's point of view, so we only get his insight into Nick.  Nick has all the hallmarks of being a gingerly, mystical Santa Claus that causes Laurence to change his ways.

This is a short-read and perfect for those who like to read all the sweet, magical Christmasy stories.

Rating:  3.5 stars