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3.95  ·  Rating details ·  279 ratings  ·  76 reviews
Grad student and ex-chorister Jonah has returned to Aylminster Cathedral for the first time in over a decade. Stepping back out into the bustling Christmas Market outside the cathedral brings back memories of the boy he met here every Christmas, his best friend and first crush Callum. When their paths cross again, can Jonah and Callum mend their fractured friendship and ...more
Kindle Edition, 61 pages
Published October 28th 2019 (first published November 30th 2013)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  279 ratings  ·  76 reviews

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Julio Genao
Dec 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Julio by: MostlyDelores
Shelves: shorts, loved
ravishingly beautiful.

as elegant as it is affecting. a triumph of the lovely and the heartfelt over the schmaltzy and the superficial.

i am done-in. i have tears streaking my cheeks as i type this.

rejoice; rejoice; for some stories lift you up in an embrace, and hold you there for a little while.

this is one of them.

merry christmas, goodreads.
Mandy*reads obsessively*
What a great little gem!
This story reminded me a little of the Prince and the pauper, Jonah really is the poor little rich boy, such a good and sweet child, but his parents don't want him, so his school and choir is his home.
Callum, I loved him, he's poor and has a stressed mom and an absent father and an annoying sister and ADHD as well, but he's loved and has a home.
Callum lets his feelings out, always in motion and talking and 'hyper' where as Jonah is so quiet and self contained.
Eli Easton
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a lovely little Christmas novella about two men who had been childhood friends reuniting after being apart for many years. The boy chorister and the hyperactive and daring local boy meet again at the Christmas market in the cathedral close, where they had played together as children. I loved the very Englishness (not a word, I know) of this story with its visions of boy choirs, stony cathedrals, and roasting chestnuts. I enjoyed the strong sense of fate and the way Jonah knew at once, ...more

A feel-good Christmas book about art, music, and friendships spanning more than a decade. A story of love, destiny, and second chances.

There were moments, he'd always believed, when you could feel your life changing around you. He could feel that weight in the air now, every crisp detail of the medieval walls around him heavy with significance.

Definite must read to keep you warm for the holidays.

This one! This one is soooooo good. I love the quiet Christmas books that don't rely on holiday craziness and are just plain beautiful in their simplicity. Not that I don't love me some crazy too, but stories like this are the best kinds of Christmas hugs. I'll always remember these characters and would love to read more of Callum and Jonah.
3.5 stars

The story was structured into present and past chapters. Ten years after an argument and hurtful words separated them, Jonah reunited with his child-best-friend Callum. At first, the time switch between present and past pushed me out of the story. I wasnt prepared for such structure. However, after awhile, it was getting easier, and I actually enjoyed the past portion of the story.

There was something innocent with the two best friends, coming from different family background: Jonah was
John The Cosmic Wanderer
Re-read 2015 :)

Loved it very much! Just Perfect! 5 Awesome stars!!!
Well that was lovely! No steam to speak of, but a boatload of sweetness. I didn't even mind the frequent flashbacks.
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 stars
I freaking LOVED this book! It was so well written I felt like I was in the setting, watching from a distance, while reading. Jonah and Callum are characters that will stay with me. There's nothing missing here but I'd love to read more about these two.
Dec 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-novels

Another little jewel!

Totally, utterly, magnificently beautiful!

"I heard you coming. I knew it was you. Nobody else I know sings in Latin for fun."

It left you with a smile on your face and a craving to read more of Callum and Jonah!

A must read not only for a Christmas time!
Kaje Harper
A lovely little old-friends-reunited story, with about half of it flashbacks to that earlier time when the boys were eight and nine and ten... There is low-key angst, mostly held in the spaces between what is actually said. The present-time part is sweet and has the flame of impending heat, but ends right when things are just getting started. I would love to read something longer from this author. The writing is smooth, the characters appealing, and the atmosphere beautifully done.
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
Sweet as gingerbread, but I found the flashbacks a bit boring (the MCs are children when they meet) and the lack of relationship building and steam in the present a little frustrating.

(view spoiler)

I may have enjoyed it more if I were in proper holiday spirit.
Another winner from this author for me. I stayed up well into the wee smalls to follow the progress of Callum and Jonah, from their childhood Christmases to their meeting up eleven years later.

Callum is a joy. A lovely thoughtful hyper delight. Jonah's more reserved nature hides an inner strength. Together they fit. No on-page sex, just a developing awareness that what they both want is finally about to happen...

Merry Xmas story # 5.
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance-contemp
What once was lost is found again.

Sweet holiday story of two friends who reconnect after years. It is a lovely retrospective of Jonah and Callum's youthful friendship and how they regain what they lost all those years ago.

Favorite quote:
Perhaps you could only be that fearless when you were a child.
3.5 stars.
What a sweet and lovely story of two childhood friends, come together and find love in each other's arms.
Easy and angst free shortie (with no sex :( I would have love read about, at least, their first time together... ;) but the sweetness made me ok with it.)

Try and read it around Christmas season, I think it needs it!
Vanessa North
Dec 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely delightful gem of a book. I think this has been my favorite Christmas story in a year of really wonderful Christmas stories. <3
A short story about 2 young boys meeting after more than a decade and finally getting a chance at love.

It was a very sweet and romantic story. (view spoiler)

I'm laughing because I read the blurb for this and thought this was an historical story. It's not. This is nothing like what I expected and really a lovely journey through a boyhood friendship to a chance meeting as adults.

I have no better comment than to say I'd love to read more about the characters.
Dec 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just delightful. A beautiful, musical, little jewel of a story.

Yes, I know Christmas has come and gone for another year, but this little Christmas Cracker is sheer perfection....enough to warrant a box full of crackers on it's own!! 5 Glittering Golden Stars  photo 5stars1_zps363ee26c.jpg

What a gorgeous story, the two MC's Jonah and Callum were adorable and the images evoked of traditional Christmasses past with Cathedral services, choristers, snow, mulled wine...just everything...were magical, I almost felt as though I was there myself!! Of course, to those of us that were force-fed
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was just too adorable and pure, for something so short! I loved it!

Awwww, this is sweet and strikes a chord with me (pun intended) Christmas and singing, whether in choir or caroling, they go together well. Even better, Gaudete takes place in England where there is a huge choral music tradition. And I couldnt resist a story titled Gaudete (Rejoice!). Its one of my favorite carols, written centuries ago and sung in Latin, and so pertinent to the season, nothing heavy or too sweet, just joyful

Rejoice, rejoice! Christ is born let our gathering now sing in
♣ Irish Smurfétté ♣
Reviewage on our Prism Book Alliance, YO

This one sort of snuck on me. Yup, a sweet, bittersweet and ultimately hope-filled Xmas story snuck up on me. Heres how

The story of Jonah and Callum is told from both present time and different Christmas holidays when they were kids, alternating between the two. The threads connecting the past and present work to tell us about these guys, and why they probably belong together for eternity. Its just taking them a weeeeeee bet longer to get there than either
Tempus ad est gratiae,/It is now the time of grace,
Hoc quod optabamus;/That we have desired;
Carmina laetitiae,/Let us sing songs of joy,
Devote redamus/Let us give devotion.

Oh. I have no idea where to begin with this. What an utterly gorgeous story. I loved the voices of both Callum and Jonah. What a unique way to tell the story from past to present and the switch that accompanies it.

There were moments when you could feel your life changing around you.

I am in complete awe of this story. I
Amy Durreson
May 25, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: seasonal, own-work
My 2013 Christmas story, set in a Christmas market and the environs of an English cathedral, where chorister Jonah and market trader's son Callum first meet as children and then cross paths again as adults.

Mum and I get the bus to Winchester every Christmas for the Christmas market in the Cathedral Close. It's always busy and fun, and this book owes its existence to one of those trips, where I looked up from a mug of hot chocolate and said, "This would be an amazing setting for a love story."
Dec 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
This is Christmas magic in its finest! Such a lovely, little story!

Alternating chapters between the present and the past tell the story of Jonah and Callum - their initial meeting as kids and their reunion after 11 years of silence. I'm not usually a fan of flashbacks, but the ones here really only told the necessary and were short enough to not disrupt the present meeting.

I agree with Ami, though: the scenes in the past were sufficient for me, but the scenes in the present - I'd really have
3.4 stars

Beautiful setting, very interesting characters, and a good story. In such a short story Durreson was able to create well formed characters and a great setting also integrating what was left 'unsaid' to be part of the whole.

What made me unable to take it to the next level was the alternating flashbacks, which kept halting my progress. I've read alternating time scenes before in other books and some of them worked for me, in this case though, it did not work. When I was reading about when
Skye Kilaen
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Skye by: Julio Genao
A delicate holiday second chance romance short story between two men who were friends as pre-teens, until an argument separated them. Quiet, reflective Jonah Lennox returns to Aylminster Cathedral, where he attended boarding school as a child, trying not to hope that he'll reconnect with energetic, artistic Callum Noakes, the son of a vendor at the market outside the cathedral. This short story is told both in the past and present, showing how Jonah and Callum met and separated, and if you can ...more
Lisa The Novel Approach
The reading of this novella was utterly effortless, as the authors writing style is not only engaging but her characters brimming with charm and warmth and with the hope and uncertainty which springs from a decade-long separation that came on the heels of conflicted feelings and misunderstanding. Jonah and Callums relationship wasnt built in the present but was seeded in childhood and seemed fated to only grow with time.

See the entire review at The Novel Approach:
Rachel Emily
I LOVED this! The writing was just wonderful, it flowed so easily and I didn't want it to end! I loved the characters and the flashbacks mixed in with the present day. Lovely story, one of my favorites so far from the DSP advent month stories this year!
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The Backlot Gay B...: Amy Rae Durreson, "Gaudete" 4 19 Jan 02, 2014 09:05AM  

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Amy Rae Durreson is a quiet Brit with 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 these days she mostly uses this knowledge to bore her students. Amy started her first novel a quarter of a century ago and has been scribbling away ever ...more

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