A Story from the Warmest Wishes: Dreamspinner Press 2018 Advent Calendar
One morning close to the holidays, Nolan wakes up to two surprises: a distress call from his younger brother and a beautiful man in his bed. Nolan, an art gallery owner, has always been discreet about his sexuality, but when his baby brother plans to come out at the annual family gala, Nolan wants to have his back—and that means showing up with a man of his own on his arm. Nolan knows just the man for the job.
Skylar, who owns a karate studio in St. Augustine, can’t get his one-night stand out of his mind. When he runs into Nolan at his gallery he is more than happy to volunteer his services as arm candy. Out-and-proud himself with his striking blue/green hair, Skylar is all in. Their adventure means a fancy salon, family drama, lots of sex, a ninja hippo, and palm trees lit up in a very suggestive way. By the end of it, what started as a hookup might become much more.
This was rather enjoyable. The author packed a lot into this short novella, but it didn't feel disjointed or too full.
Art gallery owner Nolan has just woken up next to what's supposed to be a one-night-stand who Nolan hopes will become more as the phone rings. It's his younger brother who's determined to come out their father at their parents' upcoming fancy gala.
Skylar, the one-night-stand, is owns a dojo in town. And Nolan is fascinated by the other man's hair color, and by the other man himself. There may be more in store for them than just that one night.
But first Nolan has to come up with a plan to support his little brother's coming out. And who better to help him than Skylar, who agrees to be his date.
While this is billed as a romance, it's a bit more than that. In just a few pages, the author manages to convey the strong relationship between the three brothers, the sense of family they share, how they look out for each other, as well as weave a strong background story for Skylar as well. We also get some good insights into Nolan, and how he supports the people in his community.
I was similarly fascinated by the setting of this novella. I'm familiar with St. Augustine and Jacksonville, so seeing a story set in that locale was very enjoyable to me. I don't know if the author lives there, but I found that the descriptions of the area were rather accurate.
There's some angst of course, though it's not between Nolan and Skylar, as their budding relationship grows by leaps and bounds, but with Nolan's homophobic father. Of course, that man was rather cliched. I had some harsh thoughts for their mother too, because a mother should never put a man above her kids. But that's me - clearly Nolan's mother doesn't measure up to that rule.
This was nicely done short story, and I enjoyed the time I spent reading it. I think you will too.
** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher in exchange for an honest review. **
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