CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY- REVIEW: Christmas Lights & Sleepless Nights – K.C. Wells

Christmas Lights & Sleepless Nights Book Cover Christmas Lights & Sleepless Nights
K.C . Wells
Medical Fiction, Later in Life Romance,
Dec 9, 2023

Keith Braxton has never felt so ill, and for a man who’s known nothing but illness most of his life, that’s saying something. He’s had enough of pain, and the only thing helping him wile away the hours when it has him in its bony grip, is talking with Yuri, the nurse who works the night shift.
Yuri sits with him, listening to Keith’s stories, and laughing, crying, and blushing like crazy.
He’s easy to talk to, and when Yuri speaks, the pain dims, and those precious hours give him the will to continue.
Keith does most of the talking, about first love, first times, people who came into his life and left their mark… All this talking is having a beneficial effect—Keith is finally able to sleep at night, his pain eased. Which is great, because Keith’s favorite holiday is fast approaching, and he wants to see it when it arrives.

There’s only one thing that puzzles him.
Why does no one else in the hospital seem to know who Yuri is?

Trigger warning

This story respectfully discusses issues concerning palliative care, end of life and termination of treatment. This story may not be for you right now, especially if you’ve lost someone you love recently.

Reviewed by Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

Keith Braxton is fifty-five years old and has spent his life ill. He has Guillain-Barre Syndrome which is getting progressively worse, and this current hospitalization is one he knows in his heart will be his last, last hospital visit and last Christmas. He has trouble breathing, must be turned by nurses to alleviate the chance of bedsores and his pain is off the charts.

He is visited every day by his sister and the nurses go above and beyond to make him comfortable. He jokes about wanting a handsome male nurse since he is gay, but his joke and Christmas wish would come true. His new night nurse turns out to be a twenty-six-year-old man named Yuri, just what the doctor ordered. Yuri sits with him each night till Keith is finally able to fall asleep and during that time Keith tells him about his one true love, Michael, and the experiences they had till one day Michael was gone.

Michael and Keith were best friends from second grade and by the time Keith was sixteen he knew that his feelings for Michael were much more than friends. It was the 80’s and AIDS was Page One news and just an additional reason Keith never told Michael his feelings. What if he lost Michael’s friendship, what if Michael was not gay and what if they both felt the same and a relationship could prove deadly because of AIDS.

Of course, as often happens a lack of conversation and fear kept Michael and Keith from the truth, they were both gay and loved each other. It took courage but Keith finally revealed his feelings and Michael confessed to feeling the same. They did not pursue anything sexual since they were both ignorant about sex, afraid to let their families know but just showed their love in any way they could, kissing, touching and being with each other as often as possible.

By seventeen Michael and Keith decided it was time to go further in their relationship and Michael found a book on gay sex, what supplies are needed and how to do the deed. He told this story to Yuri and how many times they planned to be together Keith would wind up in the hospital, but Michael never left his bedside. Why Michael left Keith is something you will have to find out for yourself.

Story after story just reignited Keith’s love after thirty-five years Michael was his one true love there was never anyone else. Now with death his reality Keith decides to have his sister locate Michael just to see him one more time. Keith’s sister makes inquiries about Yuri and apparently, he does not exist. She insists it is his imagination due to his illness, but Keith doesn’t believe it but even if he didn’t exist what harm is it doing. Yuri helps him sleep, helps him with his pain, Keith is dying so who cares if Yuri is real or not.

This story was an emotional rollercoaster, each story Keith told just brought tears to my eyes. Ill most of his life, losing his one true love suffering every day and knowing each day he wakes up may be his last.

It was wonderful to see how the nurses and doctors did everything they could to help Keith, keeping him in as little pain as possible, trying to decorate his room for Christmas his favorite holiday which is right around the corner and will probably be his last.

This story was sad, but it is a Christmas story with a Christmas miracle so how could it not end with a HEA.

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