Thursday, December 20, 2018

Summer Santa by Ward Maia – Warmest Wishes

Sam is a journalist struggling with the recent transfer to his magazine’s Brazilian office. He doesn’t speak the language and isn’t all that familiar with the customs. It also isn’t easy to make friends when you’re the new guy. Then there’s James, his friendly and gorgeous coworker, who is so out of Sam’s league, he knows he doesn’t stand any chance with the handsome Brazilian.

Just as Sam is preparing to spend Christmas away from his family, an unexpected surprise spins his lonely holiday plans around. Another unforeseen gift is James’s offer to show Sam some of the city’s holiday traditions. With his significant low self-esteem, Sam doesn’t know what to make of James’s offer and apparent interest. Can some last-minute decorations and an impromptu meal make Sam’s apartment feel more homely?

Maybe everything could come together in a wonderful way—if Sam can find the courage and confidence to accept all James wants to give.

Add to Goodreads –

Advent Calendar Day 20

Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Summer Santa is a cute holiday romance. Having relocated to Brazil for work, Sam is facing his first Christmas alone. Making him feel even more off balance is the weather – he’s used to a white Christmas and is now sweating in places he didn’t know were capable of producing sweat. Before the full force of his loneliness can hit him, Sam gets an unexpected guest (or eight) when his family shows up on his doorstep to make sure his first Christmas in Brazil is a merry one. But Sam’s family aren’t the only ones bringing him holiday cheer. Thanks to a chance encounter on the beach, the guy Sam has been crushing on at work gets pulled into the mix. Despite his shyness, or perhaps because of it, Sam’s family takes it upon themselves to invite James to join in on their Christmas Day celebration.

What I liked was that James extended a similar invitation to Sam and his family, to partake of Christmas Eve festivities that are part of James’ holiday traditions. Getting to see Sam’s solo Christmas transform into a mix of Brazilian and American celebrations, complete with family and friend, was heartwarming. That Sam took a chance and opened up to James insured readers got just a bit of steam and could see the potential the two have for a future together. My only complaint is that the ending felt a tad rushed; I think the author tried to give readers too much of a look into their future and the story went from being shown to being told, which threw the flow off for me. It was only for a few paragraphs, but I think an obvious formatting break to indicate the time jump and having the update relayed as a memory rather than just thrown out like it was, would have made for a smoother read, at least for me it would have. Regardless, Summer Santa is a cute read that shows why family can mean everything to a person and that living life’s adventures can have some great rewards.

Ward Maia was born and raised in Brazil and has seen almost every corner of that great and beautiful country. With a M. in Geology and Metamorphic Petrology, spending time in underground labs was more commonplace than interacting with real humans, which lead to the creation of entire fictional universes. The heroes that populate those universes are usually flawed and find love in unexpected places.

Having traveled throughout the country from North to South, Ward now calls the northwest of Brazil home. Alongside a grumpy sixteen-year-old poodle (that insists on always having the last word) and hundreds of paperback novels, Ward lives five minutes from the beach and enjoys drinking copious amounts of coffee and feeling the ocean breeze while writing about unexpected places and people.

Connect with Ward

Twitter  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Warmest Wishes: Summer Santa by Ward Maia to read and review.

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