Sunday, December 9, 2018

ARC Review: Holiday Island by A.D. Ellis

Holiday IslandBlurb:

No peacocks were harmed in the making of this story.

Rafa’s nautical skills are less than stellar. He’d rather be a full-time artist, but he has a duty to the family business and a fear of standing up to his father and brother.
Carpenter Lucas is determined to rebuild his business after a lover’s betrayal nearly destroyed it. But he runs into a snag when he misses the last boat to the job site.
Rafa offers to take him, but Rafa isn’t much of a sailor.
When they end up on the wrong island, fears for survival gradually give way to an appreciation of the beauty around them—and each other. Rafa insists a holiday miracle will save them, and he teases Lucas for being a Scrooge.

In the end, Rafa’s miracle might come from the last place he expects: inside himself.

My rating:

Part of the Dreamspinner "Warmest Wishes Advent Calendar 2018"

In this short, two men are stranded on a deserted island - one an artist who's working for the family boating business but hates it, and the other a carpenter trying to rebuild his business after his ex-boyfriend ran off with most of his customer base.

Overall, this was a cute story, but it tried to cram too much into too few pages. I had a hard time believing that someone like Rafa, who's been working with his father and brother at the family boating company for quite a while, wouldn't know how to drop anchor. He calls it "parking the boat", and I found that quite unbelievable.

Lucas, the carpenter, is a bit grumpy, and probably rightfully so - not only has he lost his boyfriend, but also most of his business, and now he's stuck with a nincompoop on the wrong island.

So the two not only get off on the wrong foot, but are now also in need of figuring out how to survive.

The two men become closer as they find water oh so fortuitously, as they figure out that the fruit growing naturally on the island can be eaten, and as there is a primitive cabin/shelter readily available. And wouldn't you know, Lucas' cheating ex was a smoker so there's even a lighter in one of his rucksack's pockets. Talk about dumb luck, huh? Also, the peacocks may be loud, but at least they're not aggressive.

Like I said, it was cute, and it's a quick read, with an implied HEA, after some homophobia and Rafa growing a backbone. I wasn't bored, and I knew going in that this was going to be a short novella, so my expectations were met. The stories in this anthology are basically meant to be an amuse bouche, an appetizer, and as such this story succeeded.

** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher in exchange for an honest review. **

Get the book:

Get the whole anthology here.

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time, happy reading!

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