Sunday, December 23, 2018

Santa on the Beach by Crystel Greene – Warmest Wishes

Single dad Mario, twenty-one, has finally won shared custody of his five-year-old son, Sammy. They’re spending Christmas at a Tenerife resort to celebrate. The children’s swimming instructor, Josie, is sexy and fun, and Mario can’t stop dreaming about him. But Mario has no clue how to talk to a hot guy.

With his suntan, Speedos, and rippling abs, Josie seems to be the typical jock. He’s super sweet too, and everyone loves him. But he only has eyes for the fire-eyed little dad who looks like his son’s older brother and won’t stop policing the swimming class.

Sammy would like to be a king in the hotel’s nativity play. But he’s too afraid to go anywhere without his dad. Mario would like a holiday romance with Josie, or even a little more, but between building his tech company and trying to do his part as Sammy’s father he has missed out on a lot and is too inexperienced to know where to begin.

Luckily Santa might have just the thing for everyone on his list…

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Advent Calendar Day 23

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Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
M/M Romance

Mario is on holiday with his young son, Sammy. Mario had to fight very hard to have contact with him because he is only 21. Despite being a young father, he knows that people judge him and he has found ways to smile through the judgment.

While on vacation, Mario hears from his family about what a mistake he's made and he vows not to subject his son to their horrible attitude. Mario knows how to watch out for Sammy and protect him from a lot, but what Mario doesn't know how to do is talk to Sammy's swim instructor, Josie.

Mario is so attracted to Josie but every time he comes near him, he kind of sticks his foot in his mouth. Mario doesn't really believe that Josie notices him, other than to judge him for being a helicopter parent.

This story has great buildup, and the slow build to where Josie and Mario actually have an adult conversation is great. It's a sweet story with a happy ending.

This is a Christmas fantasy romance. Mario spends his Christmas holiday in Tenerife fantasising about Josie, his son’s gorgeous swim teacher. He also spends a tiresome amount of time angsting over his parenting and generally getting far too wrapped up in his own head. The fantasy is fun. The soul searing angst and self-doubt? Not so much.

The pacing of this story is odd. Mario spends almost the entire story watching Josie from a distance. They finally connect in a porn style fantasy encounter in the last few pages. If porn fantasies included intimate discussions of family life and parenting... I personally could have done with less brooding and more hot Santa. But at least the author allows a happy for now and doesn’t force a happily ever after on a 21-year-old single dad.

There is a lot of story in this short read. Mario may be young, but he has definitely taken his parental responsibilities seriously, to the detriment of any romance. So when he feels attracted to his son's swim teacher on holiday, he doesn't really feel he can act on it. Luckily, Josie sees something special in Mario, and his behaviour is both very sexy and perfectly sensitive.

A fun story, as well as one full of promise of a bright future for three guys (have to count Sammy in!).

The first man Crystel fell in love with was Beauty's Beast. Next came Robin Hood, then Mr. Darcy. Two decades of married life later, she still loves fictional men – especially when there are two of them who are meant to be! She likes it best when she can create their plights and fights herself, and she can always be counted on to throw in some sizzling hotness and a lot of feels. Here's her author promise: no fade-outs when things get steamy or emotional, and an ending that will leave you smiling.

Crystel is a lawyer by training, a lover of pastry, and a believer in Happy Ever Afters. Born and raised in Hamburg, Germany, and a North Sea girl at heart, she lives in the beautiful Austrian Alps with her big, noisy family.

Crystel Greene. MM romance. Sweet, star-crossed, and NC-17.

Connect with Crystel

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Warmest Wishes: Santa on the Beach by Crystel Greene to read and review.

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