Monday, December 3, 2018

Barbies and Beaches by Asta Idonea – Warmest Wishes

For the first time ever, Shane is not looking forward to the annual Boxing Day barbecue at Matty’s house. He recently divorced, none of his friends know what to say to him now, and Shane is tired of the pity and awkwardness. Things take a turn, however, when he meets Matty’s English cousin. Neil is struggling with the Australian heat, having left the UK after a bad breakup. When Shane suggests the two of them head to a secluded beach to cool off, the growing intimacy between them might make both reassess their current situation.

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Advent Calendar Day 3

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is an easy, quick read the accurately reflects Boxing Day (or Christmas Day for that matter) for plenty of Aussies. Backyard barbies on a stinking hot day. Shane and Neil’s little romance was good even though there wasn’t really much of it. I liked seeing a romance with two regular guys. I like even more getting to see Christmas in my part of the world reflected in Christmas stories.

Hmm. I feel like this short story was over before it ever really got started. There’s enough material for a novel in these 21 pages but somehow, the author manages to cram everything from a first introduction to a happily ever after epilogue into a very short story. And it doesn’t really work. Neil and Shane both have piles of baggage when they first meet at a Christmas BBQ but apparently an afternoon trip to the beach together is enough to take them from strangers to snogging to life altering choices in a matter of minutes. I might have enjoyed the novel version of this story, but I couldn’t get my head around the 21-page version.

As a side note, I also have to mention the language that did my head in. I think the author must have used every single Australian colloquialism imaginable in this short story. I like the idea of an Aussie Christmas story, but this one was screaming AUSSIE in neon flashing lights from every paragraph. Urgh.

This super-short story introduces us to how the Australians celebrate on Boxing Day... and uses every Aussie term designed to confuse the rest of us!

It is the ultimate in insta-love, but does try to remedy that by jumping forward a year – but it does seem pretty incredible that one swim and fondle could result in such a positive future.

ASTA IDONEA (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.

Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works, but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!

As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theater, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel, all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.

Connect with Asta

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Google+  ~  Instagram

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Warmest Wishes: Barbies and Beaches by Asta Idonea to read and review.

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