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    Cute holiday short

    The Puzzle Box was a sweet holiday story about a young couple spending their Christmas apart from one another. The story is told entirely from Cole’s point-of-view and focuses on his emotions over being without his boyfriend this holiday season. Though the author captured the Cole’s loneliness well, the story never felt weighed down or depressing, focusing instead on all those warm fuzzy feelings memories provide. I found Cole likable and could have easily been invested in his story alone, but I really liked that the reflections of how he and James got together provided significant background on James and gave me a good sense of them as a couple. I hadn’t read this author before but I liked her writing style. The pacing was good and kept my interest with a flowing dialogue and narrative, and I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to read more by Miss Bridges. Though there weren’t any real surprises for me, I liked how this story reflected on the long-standing love a couple has even when they’ve had to be separated for long periods of time. I thought the flashbacks melded well into the present tense, making it easy to imagine the spark between Cole and James. This was one of those holiday stories packed with feel good moments that capture the magic of the season. *Reviewed for Alpha Book Club*

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