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    Sweet but not brilliantly executed

    This is a sweet, long-ish short story. Faris, stranded en route from Lebanon to Boston on Thanksgiving weekend, encounters Charlie, an exuberant and equally stranded American on his way home from a disappointing trip to seek his grandparents' history. Shenanigans ensue, including the predictable hotel-room-sharing, a fade-to-black encounter, and some high quality avoidant behaviour on Faris' part. Fate throws them into each other's paths again at the American end of the journey... I'm grateful to Nine Star Press for giving me the chance to read this in ARC from NetGalley, and have high hopes for their other books! This one I must say I've rounded up to 3 from a 2.5 - I rounded up, because my problems with it are all, essentially, that it felt like it ought to be a book or at least a novella, and that book or novella could be a very good one. The way I see it, short stories have to walk a fine line: they need to invoke a surplus of meaning, enough to hint at a whole world and complex characters. But they also need to work very tightly to a single plot line, and, for romance, that can't be the same complete arc that a comparable novel would go through from meet cute to HEA via several key problems. This story raises a bunch of character threads which are complex and interesting and just not pursued; and it finishes a little too soon, cutting off the emotional resolution on the strongest of them.

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