Book Reviews

The Puzzle Box by CC Bridges

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Military/Former Military / Romance / Holiday
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 25-March-2020

Book Blurb

Elementary school art teacher Cole Peters is expecting a lonely Christmas this year while his longtime boyfriend, James Carducci, is on deployment with the Army. However, a box from James contains puzzles that lead Cole on a scavenger hunt through the greatest moments of their relationship. Together with his best friend Liz, Cole works his way through each clue.

The final puzzle could lead Cole to a gift beyond his wildest expectations.



First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, December 2017.


Book Review

I can’t imagine the pain that loved ones of active duty, deployed military personnel suffer during the holiday season. The stress and worry over their safety is simply magnified by the thought they won’t be with you and the rest of your loved ones. Or, in Cole and James’s case, Cole will have to spend the holidays without his soul mate for the first time in five years. That alone had me hoping and wishing right from the beginning of the read that somehow these two men might get a little holiday magic coming their way.

As I walked with Cole through his memories of the past years with James, I was hit with some fairly heavy emotion. I know what it feels like to miss someone down to the marrow of your bones and to wish with all of my being for a puzzle box like Cole received. It’s not possible for me but I relished the journey I took with Cole and James. From the first time they met as freshmen in high school and James saved him from some bullies, to their first kiss in Central Park, I shared Cole’s bittersweet memories. Beautiful memories that he hadn’t thought of in a long time.

‘The Puzzle Box’ is a beautiful holiday story. It reminded me of the very best things about being a couple and the soul deep joy of spending time with your beloved. Much thanks to the author for the reminders.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Short Story, 35 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 17-December-2019
Price $0.99 ebook
Buy Link