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Book Review: Ranger Station Shorts, by S.A. Stovall

Book Review: Ranger Station Shorts, by S.A. Stovall

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Book Review: Ranger Station Shorts, by S.A. Stovall

Book Info

Book Series
Ranger Station
About the Author
S.A. Stovall grew up in California’s central valley with a single mother and little brother. Despite no one in her family having a degree higher than a GED, she put herself through college (earning a BA in History), and then continued on to law school where she obtained her Juris Doctorate. 

As a child, Stovall’s favorite novel was Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell. The adventure on a deserted island opened her mind to ideas and realities she had never given thought before—and it was the moment Stovall realized that story telling (specifically fiction) became her passion. Anything that told a story, be it a movie, book, video game or comic, she had to experience. Now, as a professor and author, Stovall wants to add her voice to the myriad of stories in the world, and she hopes you enjoy.
Publication Date
December 11, 2017
Available Formats
epub, mobi, pdf
Pages
57
Content Warning
Book 1 deals with foster children, while Book 2 has mentions of suicide.
ISBN
978-1-64080-265-0
ASIN
B077SY2CCQ
Book 1: Ranger Station Haven
Federal park ranger Carter Williams dislikes kids almost as much as he dislikes Christmas. He chose his career to escape human contact, not embrace it. And no matter how much his husband Owen tries to sway his opinion, Carter is a grump who would rather ignore the holiday. Owen’s efforts are put on hold, however, when they get a call about six missing foster kids lost in the park.
Christmas Eve takes a turn for the worse when Owen injures himself rescuing the children. Stranded in a snowstorm until dawn, Carter has to keep Owen awake and healthy while simultaneously watching six runaways. What he thinks is a nightmare come to life is actually a beautiful gift in disguise—the kids transform the ranger station into a Christmas wonderland. And before it’s all said and done, they might transform Carter’s heart as well—if he can keep his bah humbug attitude in check.

Book 2: Thirty-One Days and Legos
Park rangers Carter and Owen Williams have decided to expand their family and adopt two brothers—boys they rescued a year before when they tried to escape the foster system and flee to Canada. After completing their parenting classes, Carter, a reserved man who enjoys the simple life, swears he’ll be the best father possible. His patience is tested, however, when one brother adopts a cat out of the snowy Voyageurs National Park and the other brother refuses to talk about what’s bothering him.
Owen wants to make sure their first Christmas together is a special one, and he decides all of December should be a celebration. He has an activity planned for each of the thirty-one days, but none of them seem to go off without a hitch. The cat has fleas, the boys need to attend a court hearing, and Carter is more than a little overwhelmed.
But Carter is 100 percent determined to make his new family work. He just has no idea how…

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Perfect for Christmas!
Overall 
 
5.0

 Series – Ranger Station, Books 1-2
 Author – S.A. Stovall
 Would I read it again – YES!
 Genre – LGBT, Short, Holiday, Established Couple

 ** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK FOR MY READING PLEASURE **

Book 1: Ranger Station Haven
POV: 1st person, one character
Star rating - ★★★★★
Length: 42 pages

 The cuteness of this story is just off the charts! I love a good Christmas story, but add in kids, a grump like Carter, and I'm in love.

 Owen is the Christmas cheer of the story, but I'll admit that while I love Christmas, Carter is exactly me. Totally anti-social, not comfortable around kids, and just wants to get the work done. We're soul mates and I loved the turn around, the twists, and the slow progression of Scrooge to Santa. And, the best part was the mix of some of my all time favourite movies – Scrooge, Star Wars and Ghostbusters. Who'd have thunk it?

 I loved the characterisation, which was really strong for such a short story. Tiny Tim and Seabiscuit were my favourites, along with Carter. The snark was strong with that one.

 ~

 Favourite Quote

 ““Carter,” he calls out. “You want a cup of hot chocolate?”
 “We're rugged outdoorsmen,” I call back. “Rugged outdoorsmen drink coffee, not hot chocolate.””

 ~

Book 2: Thirty-One Days and Legos
POV: person, character
Star rating - ★★★★★
Length: 57 pages

 Damn! I didn't think Carter and Owen's story could get any better, but this one knocked it out the park (excuse the pun!). Not only did it have all the Christmas cheer and chaos of a real family, but it handled the issues of fostering, suicide and foster care with delicacy and respect.

 Carter was just as humbug as I hoped, while the boys really helped brighten up his life. Owen was a shining star of Christmas fun and perfectly balanced the chaos and snark of Carter's POV. They worked together as a couple, as a family, and as individuals, in a way that not all books – especially of this length – can manage.

 I loved every minute!

 ~

 Favourite Quote

 “Owen loves Christmas to a disturbing degree. If Christmas were a person, Owen would have an affair with it, there's no doubt in my mind.”

 ““Are you being optimistic?” Owen turns around and faces me, his jovial mood returning in full force. “Carter, I rely on you to tell me the harsh, jaded truth of the world. You can't go switching roles with me.””

 ~

 OVERALL

 Both books were a joy to read. Perfect for sitting in front of a fire, snow falling outside, a cup of hot chocolate in hand, while enjoying the peace and quiet of a Christmas month. I know the second story says it can be read as a standalone, but I had to say that you get the best sense of Christmas warmth by reading both, one after the other. You have to read them together to really understand Carter and the growth he went through, adjusting from Tiny Tim's arrival in his life to having a cat called Legos. You have to read it to believe it.

EW
#1 Reviewer 116 reviews
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