Heart of the Holidays Book Cover Heart of the Holidays
Pat Henshaw
MM Holiday Romance
December 5, 2020

Everyone hopes his road to happily ever after will be carefree and smooth, but too often hair-pin turns and detours seem to get in the way.

Having thought he was on the road to forever before, former Silicon Valley programmer Dan Lassiter is leery about pedaling down it again. His elderly companion Charlie urges him to get to know Rick Reardon whose bakery is across the street from Dan’s bicycle shop.

Under the watchful eye of Charlie, Dan and Rick take tentative steps toward each other, all the while trying to avoid potholes such as exes, homophobes, and family problems.

As summer turns to fall and then winter, they hope that the road will be smooth going from their first date and first kiss to having what Rick’s sister euphemistically calls their “sleepovers.” At each step, though, they are tripped up and wonder why there seem to be so many bumps in their road.

Maybe Dan and Rick should heed some of Charlie’s sage advice, or maybe they should listen to their hearts instead of the ghosts from their pasts.

Reviewed by Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

Daniel Lassiter has left Silicon Valley behind and found Sidetrack,California where he opened  Dan’s Cycles, a place where people could ride for an hour a day or however long they wanted. Most of the bikes were used and refurbished but if a new one was desired he could accommodate that request as well. Since Sidetrack is a tourist town his bikes are always on demand. 


Dan along with his elderly companion Charlie have found a place that is peaceful and where they can leave all the past problems behind them. The only problem that Dan has is Rick Reardon the owner of Rick’s Rack bakery and his attraction to the man. Even with Charlie’s constant pressure to go over and start a conversation Dan is fearful, he has had relationships he thought would be forever only to be left broken hearted and he is not going through that again.


Rick is as attracted to Dan as Dan is to him but he has more courage and goes over to the bike shop and asks about bikes for his niece and nephew who are coming to live with him and then asks Dan for dinner. Once Dan can get his mouth to move he readily accepts. Rick’s sister Patty’s husband walked out on her and the kids moved his new girl into their home and left Patty homeless.


The first date was a major disaster leaving both Dan and Rick totally embarrassed when Rick’s ex-husband came to their table begging for forgiveness. Days later neither man had spoken to each other but Charlie tried and then Patty refused to listen to anything either one had to say and made them see that what happened was not a reflection on them or their hopes for a future.


Putting the past where it belongs and taking a chance on a new beginning is what these two men have to learn to do. Charlie was a major focal point in this story but I felt his presence was definitely unnecessary. There is a surprise ending and I won’t spoil it by revealing what it is.