“Don’t Plan to Stay” by Kaje Harper is a lovely character study that explores the idea of redemption and dealing with the past, set during the Christmas season, making it perfect for reading at this time of the year. I am always fascinated by this author’s ability to portray men who have dealt with a crucible that has honed their character and distilled them to their indelible core, and this is yet another example of such. The gradual unfolding of the background that has shaped Donatello (Donnie) Kagan and altered the lives of the Lindberg family plays out against the events that accompany their moving forward, six years later. I’m a little puzzled by the antipathy displayed by one particular character…and dismayed that his inaction and/or actions resulted in such a harsh punishment, which is never quite resolved sufficiently for my tastes.
Nonetheless, I loved the different characters who are rebuilding and finding a new lease on life, including the four-legged addition to the family. The faith and persistence and tentative hope that unfurls provide such a wonderful warm feeling, and that final tattoo was just so perfect that reading the story was like a warm hug and a wonderful reminder that all of us need to let the painful past go and not allow it to define our tomorrows.
This m/m contemporary romance portrays the homecoming of a man who has served his time for an injudicious decision but needs to figure out whether the ties he attempted to cut with those he left behind are really severed. The young love he left behind has matured into a man, who knows his mind and his heart…and he’s prepared to fight for what he wants, no matter what his family thinks.
At eighteen, Donnie Kagan's plans for graduation, and maybe even college, were derailed by a beer, a stoplight, and a fatal crash. Now he's twenty-four, out of prison, and bitterly determined to start over. But with the holidays approaching, he can't resist a quick trip home to Tallbridge, North Dakota, and the man he left behind. Just a fast look, to make sure Adam's doing all right, before Donnie starts his new life. He doesn't plan to stay.
Adam Lindberg's been waiting six years to get closure with Donnie. He missed that chance after the accident, fighting for his life in a hospital bed as Donnie pled guilty and disappeared into the justice system. Without so much as a letter back from Donnie in all this time, Adam's tried to move on. And yet, he never found another guy he cared about the same way. So when Donnie shows up in Tallbridge, Adam's ready to fight for more than three words of goodbye. Of course, Adam's brother and dad don't want Donnie to stick around, but it's the busy Christmas season at the family store. If Adam asks for Donnie's help, maybe he'll stay long enough to finally talk about the future, and the past.