If you’re looking for a delightful new holiday read, may I recommend (heh, yes, of course I can, this is my website) Second Chances in New Port Stephen by TJ Alexander (Emily Bestler Books/Atria)? While second chance romance may be a well worn trope, second chance with your (ostensibly straight, male) high school sweetheart from before you transitioned and whom you haven’t seen since was definitely a fresh take on it for me. Add in a cute kid, a small town, and the holidays, and you’ve got the perfect pick for December.
Eli Ward hasn’t been back to his suffocating hometown of New Port Stephen, Florida, in ages. Post-transition and sober, he’s a completely different person from the one who left years ago. But when a scandal threatens his career as a TV writer and comedian, he has no choice but to return home for the holidays. He can only hope he’ll survive his boisterous, loving, but often misguided family and hide the fact that his dream of comedy success has become a nightmare.
Just when he thinks this trip couldn’t get any worse, Eli bumps into his high school ex, Nick Wu, who’s somehow hotter than ever. Divorced and in his forties, Nick’s world revolves around his father, his daughter, and his job. But even a busy life can’t keep him from being intrigued by the reappearance of Eli.
Against the backdrop of one weird Floridian Christmas, the two must decide whether to leave the past in the past…or move on together.