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The Holly Groweth Green

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  162 ratings  ·  57 reviews
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2017 Advent Calendar collection Stocking Stuffers.

When wounded doctor Laurence Payne is stranded in the snowy English countryside on Christmas Eve, 1946, he is surprised to stumble upon Mistle Cottage and its mysterious inhabitant. Avery claims to be an Elizabethan wizard, and Laurence struggles to explain away the atmosphere of the cott
ebook, 55 pages
Published December 1st 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
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4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  162 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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R * A Reader Obsessed *
4 Hearts

This really for me, captured the holiday winter spirit.

As per the blurb, Laurence is on his way home, released from military service after suffering a head injury during the war. When his train is delayed due to bad weather, his little trek to the village gets him lost in the woods, and there he finds a friendly Avery ready and willing to play the gracious host. Does it matter that Avery seems a bit mad, proclaiming he can do magic?

One day turns into two, turns into three, until 12 days
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
What a magical, enchanting story, brimming with warmth and hope!

Laurence, a military doctor, suffered a head injury that's left him confused and unable to do even basic calculations. Lost in a blizzard on Christmas Eve, Laurence stumbles upon a cozy cottage with fire and food aplenty. And if the man living there claims he's a wizard, well, Laurence is determined to carry on.

Avery and Laurence fit together like magnets, but on the twelfth night, Laurence wakes up alone. Can true love break a cen
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: holiday, mm, shorts, historical
My.....well, this was just lovely! A Christmas fairy tale. Captivating characters, plot, and near flawless writing made this short story a delight to read!
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 stars
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Here we have another magical Christmas story from Amy Rae Durreson, every bit as good as previous holiday tales "The Ghost of Mistletoe Lock" and "Gaudete." Lovely characters and an enchanted setting; perfect reading for the holidays. I loved it!
Yay! Another week in our Funday Sunday at the blog!

4.5 hearts

Magical. Quite literally but also the lyrical descriptions in this story

Avery was brighter than gold above him. Laurence couldn’t tell if it was pleasure or something more, but it looked like all the light in the room had gathered to pool in Avery’s eyes and outline him in shimmering webs of golden fire.

The year is 1946 and Avery is a wizard who was cursed around Christmas time hundreds of years earlier, I won't go into it in any det
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is lovely. A quiet, charming, festive fairy tale.
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a lovely little, fairytale-like holiday story! Warmly recommended. :-)
Mónica BQ
Jan 19, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a perfectly good, charming and cozy fairy tale. I wish I had actually read during Christmastime.
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, arc, dsp, holiday, mm

This is a magical sweet fairy tale. I was captivated from the start.
This is what I called a truly Christmas spirit story. I was so excited when I found this story and I'm not wrong!
What the author tried to tell you is, true love does exist, in this world or somewhere in between.
I cried a little reading how much Laurence so determined to find Avery after their twelve nights in that cabin.
That's what true love like, right?
When you found your heart, you keep it, and never let go.
It's such a beauti
Stuck on a train in the English countryside during a heavy snowstorm, WWI veteran Laurence takes a short walk to a small inn … and finds himself at a charmingly cozy little cottage with a man “dressed strangely, in loose trousers and a thick waistcoat over a loose shirt” who claims to be a wizard born in the year of our Lord 1579. Laurence, trained as a doctor, suffered a brain injury in the war and wonders if this is all a dream, but he is intrigued by spending time with Avery – “Twelve nights. ...more
Joyfully Jay
A Joyfully Jay review.

3.75 stars

Part historical, part fairy tale with a splash of charm and magic, Durreson crafts a heart-warming tale of true love.

As a doctor, Laurence aided those injured during the war. The war is now over, but his head injury remains, leaving Laurence unable to compute basic calculations and his future is uncertain. He stumbles upon Avery in a beautiful, warm cottage where the feast Avery is preparing defies the current rationing. Laurence questions the idea of Avery being
Without question my favorite of the stories I read from Dreamspinner's Advent Calendar this year.

Magical and sweet and hopeful, this will definitely be one I'll return to in future Christmas seasons.

Some Favorite Quotes:
It was a little odd, but given Laurence himself had come out of the war with parts of his brain broken, it was hardly his place to judge another.

"Fie on you for lack of imagination!"

They had enough difference to make conversation interesting, and enough in common to make it com
A charming winter fairy tale of the 12 days of Christmas, Elizabethan wizards, faeries, and a veteran WWII Navy doctor trying to find his way now that the war has ended. I loved the magic and romance of two strangers snowed in together in a country cottage over the holiday season. As always, Amy Rae Durreson imbues this tale with lovely language and graceful imagery. It's a very cozy, comforting, and satisfying story.
4.25 stars from me. A lovely little historical Christmas fantasy read, set just after World War II, with lots of feels, and a great Christmassy cover. Not quite as good as Gaudete for me, but hey, personal choice.
Dec 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Well this was really really lovely! I've been a fan of this author for some time. Her holiday stories in the Dreamspinner Advent calendar anthologies have been especially beautiful and this one is another fine example.

This time the setting is the English countryside just after the end of WWII. This is a bit of a faery tale as well as a second chance story for Laurence - a doctor who was wounded in the war. I was immediately drawn into this charming tale immediately. Laurence and Avery are compe
When Laurence got lost and stumbled upon a cottage, a man welcomed him to spend the nights. The man, Avery, claimed to be a wizard though -- Laurence think Avery seems harmless, and it is snowing so he decides to stay anyway.

For twelve nights of Christmas as the fire log burns both men start to develop physical relationship and emotional feelings for each other. Avery begs Laurence to stay on the 12th night but Laurence feels he needs to return to the 'real' world although he tells Avery they c
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Amy Rae Durreson has once again delivered a magical little tale. Wonderful descriptions pulled me right into this story of a warlock cursed by fairies and a weary WWII medic who believes his worth has been taken away from him by his injuries. Several good supporting characters here too.
John The Cosmic Wanderer
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, mm-christnas
Another magical story from Amy!
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m
A light holiday read featuring a wizard, a curse, and a man injured in war. If you like this author, then you will undoubtedly like this novella. :)
Ruthie Taylor
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
~~I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads ~~

I love romantic Christmas novellas, as they bring all the magic and excitement of Christmas to life with plenty of heartwarming passion.

There is no shortage of magic in this tale. The setting of this story, post war, and the injuries which Laurence has suffered, add to the questions of this being real, or illusion. Thanks to fate intervening in many helpful ways, there is just a hope that he and Avery may stand a chance.
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
Theodora IK
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite authors. I enjoyed this story a lot
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was really enjoying this, but then it ended too quickly.
This story was absolutely lovely. The language, the setting, the characters, it was all just a complete pleasure to read. Laurence becomes lost in a snowstorm and stumbles upon an enchanting cottage inhabited by a charming man, Avery who claims to be a wizard. Laurence has seen, and suffered, through a lot in the war and he is the last person to judge anyone else at this point in his life. The two spend many days and nights getting to know one another and the whole story reads quietly magical an ...more
Liz (Bugetta)
Thank you, Secret Santa 2017!

Wow! This was a beautiful story set in 1946 England. It had a magical fairytale feel to it. Even though it was short it felt like a complete story and I felt like I really got to know both of the characters and even some great secondary characters and the romance had time to develop. Highly recommended!
Lena Grey
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“It's funny when one door closes another one opens! Never look back on the things you regret, always look forward to the things you know were right in your heart.” ~ Nishan Panwar

Laurence Payne is discouraged because he was injured in battle. Although he lived through it, he has a brain injury that makes it difficult to do all the things he did beforehand. It may not be a problem for some people, they can simply learn a new trade. But for Laurence it's devastating, because he's a trained physici
Historical romance with a fantasy twist

The Holly Groweth Green is a story full of Christmas magic. This historical romance blends fantasy with post World War II Britain when Laurence, a veteran and doctor, happens upon the cottage of a rumored cursed wizard from the 1500s. There was a mystical quality to this story that was fun, though it didn’t fully grip me. I think this had to do with the brevity of the story and not getting as much opportunity to know Avery and fully experience his magic. H
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Miracles happen every day and what better time of year to be reminded of miracles than Christmastime. Amy Rae Durreson brings to life a tale of compassion, friendship, lust, romance, history and wraps it all together in a beautiful Christmas bow. Through Laurence and Avery's story we discover two people who have been lost due to time, circumstance, their own doing, or perhaps fate but we also find two people who realize that being lost doesn't mean you can't find your way free again.

Whether you
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Amy Rae Durreson is a writer and romantic, who writes m/m romances. She likes to go wandering across the local hills with a camera, hunting for settings for her stories. She's got a degree in early English literature, which she blames for her somewhat medieval approach to spelling, and at various times has been fluent in Latin, Old English, Ancient Greek, and Old Icelandic, though please don't ask ...more