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  • Stanley's Christmas Redemption

  • By: Gabbi Grey
  • Narrated by: Michael Dean
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+, Romance
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Summary

Stanley

I have life figured out—a good job, a nice car, and an ex-boyfriend whose heart I broke. But then my half-brother dies unexpectedly, and I go back to our hometown to settle his affairs. A quick trip before Christmas. Instead, I get the shock of my life. Do I face this new challenge or do what I’ve always done—run? Or will I stay and get to know the most amazing man I’ve ever met and take on a responsibility I've never dreamed of facing? This will be a holiday season like no other.

Justin

I’m a therapist who helps people deal with grief. My life is fulfilling. So what if I’ve been single for years? I have the kids I counsel and coworkers I adore. Maybe I’m tired of going home to an empty house and not looking forward to another Christmas alone. But I’m not going to be taken in by some slick city guy who can’t wait to leave town. I’m not going to upend my life just because I’ve met the man of my dreams. Right?

This is an 85,000-word opposites-attract, instalove, mid-angst gay romance novel. Previously published in the charity anthology Secret Santa: A Romance Collection, the story has quadrupled in size with more love, laughs, and a touch of Christmas magic.

©2022 Gabbi Grey (P)2022 Gabbi Grey

What listeners say about Stanley's Christmas Redemption

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story and fabulous narration

I have been wanting Stanleys book ever since I read Maddox and Ravi's book. He was the "bad guy" in that breakup and I was looking forward to his redemption so, this book is very appropriately titled. This story can be read as a standalone though. It explains what happened with his ex. I did read a very short version of this story in an anthology and I remember at the time I said great characters and great storyline but way too short for such an emotional story and that it had the potential to be a 5 star story. Well we certainly got that here. It fulfilled all my expectations.

Michael Dean is one of my fav narrators. Once again he surpasses all my expectations. He has such a wonderful reading voice. He delivers all the emotions flawlessly and brings the story to life with distinct voices that suit each character perfectly, including the female side characters and the little boy who is definitely a 3rd MC.

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful story, characters and performance

I love a good Christmas romance any time of year and this one was nice and meaty. The mix of age gap and small town/city tropes was very well done. Stanley gets the surprise of his life when he goes home to settle his half-brother's estate and this forces him to stay longer in town that he ever intended, face some unresolved issues with an ex- and accept help from Justin to help him and his new charge Angus deal with their grief and newly formed relationship. I liked the realistic way all these characters' adjustment difficulties were handled with nothing seeming over the top or added just for extra angst. Michael Dean's performance was just as realistic and down to earth. He captured all the characters' emotions perfectly and the story jumped off the page.

1 person found this helpful

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Sad and Beautiful

This book can be read as a standalone. However, if you have read "Ginger Snapping All The Way" before, you already know one or two of the characters.
Stanley has done things in his life that he now regrets. But sometimes you start a new beginning unexpectedly.
Stanley goes home because his stepbrother has died. What he doesn't know is the fact that he has an 8-year-old nephew whose father wanted Stan to take care of him. Stan, of all people, who never wanted children.
I liked Stanley's character development, trying to make the best of circumstances while always keeping Angus' needs in focus. That made Stan incredibly likable.
The story is not light fare, but it entertained me well. It's about grief, loss and heartbreak, but also love and hope.
Angus took my heart by storm, he is really sweet and yet has had to go through so much.
With Angus's therapist Justin, however, I unfortunately did not really warm up and I could not understand some of his actions. Also, the insta-love was not convincing for me.

The audiobook was narrated by Michael Dean, who did a great job as always. He brought the story to life, gave the characters different voices and was a pleasure to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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A Gripping & Beautifully Heartfelt Story! Great🎧📚🎧

Gabbi Grey pens another amazing novel, one that not only captivated my attention the entire book, but it tugged on my heartstrings too. She is a gifted author, her descriptive details bring you right alongside the characters, allowing you to experience everything they are seeing, thinking and feeling. The characters are realistic, easy to relate to and connect with, they are easy to care about too. Stanley Powers is pretty much set in his ways and in his life, so when he gets a phone call that his estranged half-brother, Hans, died unexpectedly, as his last living kin, it was up to him to settle his estate. He was not expecting what his estate entailed or that his brother had an eight-year-old son, Angus, and that he had made him his guardian in case anything happened to him. Stanley did not know what he was going to do with an eight-year-old boy but he went to Mission City and met with Justin Bridges, a therapist and grief counselor who had been working with Angus after he lost his mother to cancer and who Angus was staying with. Stanley never raised a kid and is in over his head, but Justin volunteered to help him, invited the two to stay with him while they plan on what to do next and make the arrangements for the funeral. Justin had a bond with Angus and wanted to be there for him as he familiarized himself with his new uncle. Justin felt an attraction to Stanley and Stanley felt it too, but figured he was too old for him and what would a twenty something want to do with a forty something year old. You could feel the emotions pour off the pages as these three navigating getting to know each other, dealing with their grief, a new situation, a new relationship, and the holidays. My heart went out to Angus, and all he was going thru, the uncertainty of his future and how he acted because of it. I thought it was great how Justin and Stanley handled everything regarding Angus. If only they could have handled what was going on between them a little better, it took them a while to figure that out. Stanley needed closure with his ex and finally got the courage to talk to Maddox, which went really well. I loved how everything played out in this beautifully written and beautifully plotted story with plenty of drama, heartfelt emotions, and a wonderful romance. Gabbi Grey, thank you for another amazing story and emotional rollercoaster ride.

🎧📚🎧 And for the terrific narration, Michael Dean did a great job bringing these characters to life. He had a complete understanding of the characters he was portraying, giving each a voice that fit the character’s persona, sounding believable and just as I pictured the characters to sound. He set the perfect tone for the story, captured all the characters’ emotions and projected them into his performance. Michael Dean is an entertaining storyteller and a pleasure to listen to. Thank you for another great listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Heartwarming redemption story delivers the feels!

When 47 year old Stanley gets a call telling him that the half brother he hasn’t seen in thirty years has unexpectedly passed, he makes the trip to the small town he thought he’d left behind forever to settle his brother’s affairs. When one of those ‘affairs’ turns out to require a life changing choice on his part, he is conflicted to say the least. This is an emotional read/listen, and I loved every minute of it. Stanley must confront his past relationship, which ended badly -- yes… this is the infamous Stanley who left his then boyfriend Maddox high and dry in Ginger Snapping All the Way. He must also consider a future he never imagined wanting for himself when he meets Justin, a therapist working on behalf of his late brother. Against the backdrop of a white Christmas in Canada, catharsis and the beginnings of soul-healing make for a story you can’t put down/stop listening to. Narration by the amazing Michael Dean is the Christmas tree topper here, not to be missed! Warning: Grinches may find their hearts grow three sizes during the course of reading this story.

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I love when a character gets redemption!

Stanley’s Christmas Redemption is a standalone story but Stanley was a secondary character in Ginger Snapping All the Way. In Stanley’s Christmas Redemption the author does a great job of letting you know why Stanley needs redemption but reading Ginger Snapping All the Way may make it hit home even more and it’s a great book that I highly recommend.

Stanley left his ex-boyfriend and broke his heart and now he’s returned to the town where they lived together to settle his late half-brother’s affairs. He is shocked to learn that his brother named him as his son’s guardian; Stanley didn’t even know that he had a son. He meets Justin, who has been caring for Angus, Stanley’s nephew.

I can’t tell you how much I loved this story. Michael Dean’s audio performance was fantastic. He brought all of the characters to life and has easily distinguishable voices for each of them. I hadn’t read this book with my eyes before I listened to the audio so I was somewhat surprised at how much my emotions got involved. That doesn’t usually happen with an audiobook.

Stanley has no idea what to do with a child. Justin cares deeply for Angus and would love to keep him. The attraction between Stanley and Justin is pretty much instant but as they get to know each other better, and as Stanley gets to know Angus better, his viewpoint about taking custody of him begins to change.

I couldn’t stop listening to this one once I started. I wanted to get to the end but at the same time I didn’t really want it to end either. 😊 The epilogue was a perfect touch!

A copy of this audiobook was provided to me at my request but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author/narrator.

***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***

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Stanley's Christmas Redemption

Stanley had a lot to overcome in the likability department, but he managed it. I liked this couple together though there are some things that you have to suspend belief to make everything work. It's not so obvious it hurts the story. The narration was very well done. Enjoyable yet angsty Christmas listen.

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Loss, family and love!

Stanley lost his half brother and has to go back to the town where he left his ex hurting. Justin is there to help him out, mostly because of the boy that will turn Stanley’s world upside down. It is a story of redemption, accepting change and be open to love. I enjoyed every minute of the book.

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Super sweet

Another fantastic story by Gabbi Gray. Stan & Justin are great characters to follow. Great balance in the story to give the appropriate emotions. Michael Dean did a super job with the narration.
This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

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Heartwarming redemption romance

This book is such a great follow up to Ginger Snapping All The Way. Stanley was not the man of the hour there, having left Maddox in his hour of need. This time, Stanley steps up to the plate after finding out his half brother died and he has left Stanley as guardian to his eight-year-old nephew. Considering kids has never been in his life plans, it's a huge shock but in steps Justin, Angus's counselor and friend of the family.
There is an instant spark between the two but they both focus on the most important thing, Angus and his grief. They work well together and, though it's only a short space of time, they grow close and create quite a strong bond. It's also a story of redemption for Stanley after how things ended with Maddox. It's great seeing this other side to a character after the way they are perceived as the bad guy. He's just as deserving of love and happiness though he doesn't feel as if he deserves it. Justin is someone who hopes for a family of his own, hopefully with several children. They had very different plans for their separate futures but now, with becoming so close over their care for Angus and looking after each other, they become entwined.
This is quite an emotional and heartwarming story. My heart absolutely broke for Angus and what he's been through but both Justin and Stanley show that love and support can help to get you through the hard times.
Michael Dean's narration is, again, fantastic. The emotion came through strongly for all characters and I really felt a part of their story. The only issue I had was that there were several occasions where I could clearly hear when words or a sentence had been replaced with the voice sounding slightly different - lighter, quieter etc.

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  • RACHEL REED
  • 08-05-22

Heartfelt and emotional

This was such a heart-felt, contemporary, Christmas romance

Stanley and Justin were sweet together and I loved the chemistry between them.
The dynamics of their relationship was adorable.

This was such an eye listen overall.

Michael Dean performed an amazing audio delivery and narration.

This was a wholesome and enjoyable listen

3 people found this helpful

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  • Alison Daniels
  • 20-05-22

Wonderful found family story!

I LOVED this story so much! It was a little different than I was initially expected based on the blurb but oh man, am I so glad I took a chance on this sweet Christmas romance because it might be one of my favorite listens so far this year! At first, I can honestly say that I struggled to like Stanley! 🤦🏻‍♀️ He kinda seemed like a jerk but it quickly became clear he was just using his brashness to protect himself from further trauma. Justin was an amazing character, right from the start, and I loved seeing just how much joy and stability he brought to Stanley and Angus. Seeing these three work together to mend their broken souls and form the kind of family they all needed was so sweet! I loved getting to see this little family's journey to their HEA. The ending was absolutely amazing and I almost wish there was a second book or extended epilogue so we can see these guys again!

Michael Dean is a top tier narrator to me and I will honestly listen to him read anything. He brings such talent to each story he reads and his narration never detracts from the storyline or characters and adds so much depth and richness to the overall experience of the story. I am always thrilled when I see that Michael Dean is narrating a book by an author I love! Wonderful Christmas romance with the perfect balance of sweetness, heat, family, sadness, and happiness!

1 person found this helpful

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  • SweetAmyD
  • 20-05-22

Sweet Christmas redemption story

This was the sweetest story. Stanley learning about his half brother's death is brought back to his old home. Surprisingly he is left with his nephew he didn't know he had. Plenty of awkward moments with his ex and a lot of healing. He meets counselor Justin who he instantly falls in love with. Their is plenty of angst as Angus the nephew has fears and hurt losing his mom and dad. I thought the narration was fantastic and added so much. Overall an enjoyable listen and wonderful story. Had the right balance of heat, redemption and finding home. Check this one out for sure.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Vania
  • 19-05-22

Love and family after tragedy.

After reading Ginger Snapping All the Way and meeting Stanley, who, let’s be honest doesn’t really make a good impression, I snagged the charity anthology Secret Santa: A Romance Collection, where the first novel-sized Stanley’s story was told.
Now that the story has been increased in size, goes so much deeper in both in Stanley’s and Justin’s feelings the book is even better! A rollercoaster of emotion, two men’s lives upheaved and turned for the best, by tragedy, but also by love and devotion to a sweet child.
Great performance by Michael Dean and a solid 5 stars for me!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Love222
  • 18-05-22

Sweet Holiday Insta-Love

So I really liked the overall story and the narration was great the only issues I had without giving anything away was some of Stanley's back story just didn't add up for me otherwise it was a little angsty but enjoyable listen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Cat
  • 17-05-22

Beautiful Christmas story

It’s Christmas Eve and Stanley finds himself back in a town he thought he’d never be in again after leaving his ex.
But a call that his half brother has died brings him back to find he is left as guardian to an 8 year old nephew he didn’t know he had. One that lost his mom three years ago and found his father dead. On Christmas Eve.
Justin has been Angus councilor at healing Horse ranch since his mother died hense becoming friends with Hans, Angus’ dad. He was very close to Angus.
Justin and Stanley become close quickly helping Angus get through the agonizing days before the funeral, but when it’s over will Stanley ho back to his high powered life in Vancouver since he never wanted children?

Oh my, what a lovely story. Yes it’s very high in angst as poor 8 year old Angus has lost two parents and Stanley his half brother and struggling with not reconnecting with him when they were ripped apart as kids.
Also with Justin wanting Angus and worrying what will happen.
But there is so many heartwarming, beautiful moments snd a very happy ending.
So why did I give it a 4 for story? I had a burning question if Stanley lived there so many years with his ex, how did he not know his brother was there, never met Justin, and not know he had a nephew or any of the other characters besides his ex.
Having said that… I absolutely swooned over this story and really didn’t notice that until I finished the book and it hit me.
The narration is great. It’s soothing, there are two voices just enough distinction between characters, Angus voice is cute and not silly, and the emotions come through.

If you like a great age gap, angst with an HEA, lots of feels, and Christmas anytime you will love this! Highly recommend this!

1 person found this helpful

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  • OldLadyStauffer
  • 17-05-22

An Enjoyable Listen

I’ve enjoyed the stories I’ve read by this author, so when I saw this book pop up I was curious how Stanley was going to be redeemed. I read the previous book, so I knew about his history—from Maddox’s POV. I’m a fan of redemption stories. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this one. I’m glad I listened to it, and I would probably listen to it again, but there were some things I questioned the legitimacy about—such as his reasons for leaving Maddox. Something just didn’t sit right about his explanation but I can’t put my finger on it.

My heart hurt for Angus. I know he wasn’t the main character, but this entire story was centered around him so it’s almost like he is. He went through so much.

I would recommend listening to the previous audiobook before this one. It’s possible not to, but I think you’d understand Stanley’s situation better if you do.

I was surprised to hear technical issues with MD’s performance in this audiobook. You can tell where he cut in to fix some things and it was distracting. It was throughout the entire audiobook—not just once or twice. That’s not something I’ve seen from him before.

All in all, this is a story worth listening to. It was great getting a look into Maddox’s and Ravi’s lives and seeing what they’re up to!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Donna Hirsch
  • 17-05-22

Stanley and Justin

Stanley, the man that walked out on Maddox years ago, gets a phone call that his step brother Hans has past away. When he heads back to Mission City, he is not expecting an 8 yr old nephew Angus, or his gorgeous therapist Justin. The grief that these characters go through is awful, but they get through. Great catching up with Maddox and Ravi. Brilliantly written, perfectly narrated.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Shelley D Chastagner
  • 11-05-22

Stanley and Justin

Holy rollercoasters! I really wondered how the author was going to redeem Stanley after introducing him in Ginger Snapping All the Way. The man sounded beyond self-centered and at the beginning of his story, Stanley proved every bad assumption I had about him accurate. Actually having to face his young nephew and his counselor he isn't quite so sure about washing his hands of the boy. Quite quickly you see the wall he's built to keep everyone out crumble and for both Justin and Angus to work their way into Stanley's heart. I loved that, even though he openly kept admitting to not knowing what he was doing, he keep seeking help and consistently put his nephew's best interest above his own. I'm hoping to see more of these guys.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nova
  • 10-05-22

All the feels

Oh My!!! This was a good one. Some of the people from other books make an appearance, fences mended. This story shows how much someone can change when they really need to. The writing is so good, Gabbi Grey never disappoints. The narration is what really brought this story to life and definitely gave it all the feels. Michael Dean is always spot on. A blended family never looked and end so good. HEA to go along with the sadness and tenderness. Well worth the credit and your time to listen.

1 person found this helpful