This was an interesting story. it is not a light and fun holiday story, even though it does have an HEA. The story focuses on Judah, a man that is just released from prison after serving time for insider trading. He has lost everything but a little bit of saving and soon that is gone. No one wants to hire someone with a criminal record. Yet he is arrogant at first and not a very endearing character.
Toby is homeless. He had been the manager for an upscale boutique hotel until the economy collapsed. When he lost his job, he could not find another and ended up on the street. He spends most of his time at a shelter run by a somewhat unorthodox priest and is getting to the point where he believes this may be all his life has to offer.
Early in the story, Toby runs into Judah on the street. Judah is not yet homeless and is rude to him. At this point, Judah is still holding his arrogance as a shield, afraid of seeing what he may yet become. Later when forced out on the streets himself, he is rescued from a brutal mugging by Toby. The men end up becoming friends and eventually lovers. Both are still trying to make more of their lives and when one of them gets a chance to work again, it creates an unbalance in the relationship.
As much as this was a bit sad, I think it showed how we see ourselves, how we put values on our self worth and how we feel we need to be seen by others. Judah is not a very likeable character a lot of the times as he has been poor, then successful, then lost it all. There is bitterness, and heartbreak. Toby is not perfect, he feels these things, just to a lesser degree as he has been dealing with being homeless for a much longer period of time. The story is short so the relationship stages move quickly. Even so, I enjoyed the story. Though we may not ever have to experience this situation, it can happen and it is not always easy to get back on ones feet.
Overall, a thought provoking story.