The most magical gifts are unexpected.
It’s Christmas in Port Essington. Jimmy Downing and Oscar Yates have settled into their lives after returning from Telegraph Creek at the end of the summer. They have jobs, a new dog named Blaze and a real chance at happiness and success.
A letter to their friends in Telegraph Creek has gone unanswered, and there is a chance that it might never have been received. All they can do is wait—and hope that all is well.
With the help of Clarence and Irene, Jimmy arranges a special surprise for Oscar, and when things don’t go as planned, he wonders if the holiday will measure up to his expectations. But the Christmas season in Northern British Columbia is magical, and fate might have a surprise in store for Jimmy, too.
How far would you travel for one man?
The very last thing Jimmy Downing needed was a skinny traveling partner who acted half his age with a chip on his shoulder and no idea how the real world worked. Because Jimmy had a lot of experience with the world and he wanted no part of it anymore.
He was trying his best to be an honorable man after two decades of being outside the law. He’d stolen things. He’d killed people in the name of survival. He’d helped other men do horrible things. But now he was keeping his head down and trying to live under the radar. It wasn’t his fault that Oscar needed someone to show him right from wrong, give him something to eat on the regular and try to keep him out of trouble, so he didn’t end up making a mess of his life the way Jimmy had. Maybe that was what being a good man was all about.
Except the things Jimmy wanted from this twenty-one-year-old man were far from respectable, and he couldn’t stop thinking about them, especially when Oscar Yates of the big brown eyes, cackle of a laugh and insatiable appetite for anything grilled over an open fire insisted on pushing all his buttons.
You can't take back your sins.
You can only hope for forgiveness.
Jimmy Downing traveled seven hundred sixty difficult and dangerous miles to bring Oscar Yates to Port Essington to find his uncle. When Jimmy saw the abandoned homestead Oscar had inherited, he envisioned a future for them there, as long as they could keep the true nature of their relationship a secret. But once the initial work is complete and they have a cozy living space and a stable for the livestock, Oscar and Jimmy face a long winter dealing with thoughts that have time and space to plague them.
Jimmy suffers nightmares of dark deeds committed in his past, while Oscar deals with trauma from his time in Dawson and his mistreatment at the hands of Spook. A new horse provides a distraction for Oscar and leads to new friendships and a break from their solitary existence, but a dangerous encounter exposes surprising truths about their nearest neighbors and a sense that their lives are being guided by forces outside their control.