Title: White Rain
Author: J.R. Loveless
Length: 7,014 words
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Genre: m/m contemporary
Brand has been in love with his best friend, Kia, for years. But when Kia left for college, everything between them changed. Kia stopped returning his phone calls and letters and Brand knew his friend had moved on without him. But how could he forget Kia? When he arrives home Christmas Eve to find Kia on his doorstep, his world shifts once more. Kia begs for forgiveness, a forgiveness that Brand isn’t sure he has in him. Can he accept Kia’s apology, or will the white rain bury his heart in ice forever?
I’ve not read anything by this author before but I’d generally heard good things which made me pick up this Christmas short. On the whole I enjoyed it, but what stopped it from being a super read was my slight niggle with the overall premise. In order to explain myself I might have to be a little spoilerish so don’t read on if that bothers you.
The story centres around Brand who has been in love with his best friend, Kia, for a long time. Unfortunately, Kia went off to College and basically dropped Brand after a few weeks, leaving Brand bitter about a lost friendship which meant so much more to him than Kia realised. When Kia suddenly appears at Brand’s door he has to decide whether to open his heart to him again.
I think my main niggle with the story was the way that Brand feelings are manipulated especially towards the end of the story. At the beginning he’s pining away for a man who he hasn’t seen for two years and who obviously no longer wants to be his friend any more. It seemed perfectly reasonable to me that people who were once good friends would drift apart when one person moves away (I’m no longer friends with many people who were my good friends at school), and yet Brand holds onto that bitterness to the extent that he refuses to get a life for himself. I was pleased to see that Brand was angry when he meets Kia as that fits in with his previous thoughts, however, it all turned out to have been some misguided understanding based on Kia’s low self esteem and all is forgiven rather quickly given Brand’s previous feelings of betrayal. If the story had ended there then I would have liked the story more than I did. Unfortunately there’s a scene at the end where Brand reads letters which were written to him by Kia and never posted. I suppose this was supposed to be as very romantic moment, but it spoiled the story for me a little because it took Brand’s feelings of betrayal and made a mockery of them, even twisting them about to lay the blame on Brand for not persisting after Kia repeated rejects him. It made Brand into the bad guy when he wasn’t really because his actions in the past had been realistic.
Aside from this niggle the story was well written with some lovely use of imagery with the snow. If you took away the manipulative way that Kia uses the letters at the end, then this is actually a very romantic story about best friends coming together as lovers. It’s a shame really that the ending spoiled it a little for me, hence the C+ grade.