Seaside Holidays ★★★★☆ [Review]

Book: Seaside Holidays

Author: Kim Katil 

Series: N/A

Genre: M/M Romance; Contemporary Romance; Humor; Holiday Reads; Family

Pub date: 12/15/2020

Pages: (?)

Publisher: (?)

Source: Gay Romance Reviews

Please note: This ARC was provided to me by the author through Gay Romance Reviews to give an honest review. I never go into a lot of detail in my reviews because why would you read the book if I told you everything that happens with my personal bias that you may or may not agree with if you’d have read it yourself?

A collection of three short holiday stories that take place in seaside towns, because the beach makes everything better…

Note: Since this is an anthology with 3 separate stories I will be reviewing them individually.

1. Season To Shimmer (Re-Release of a Dreamspinner Title)
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.

Really, the blurb says it all. It’s pretty much exactly what happens in the story. I enjoyed this one despite the confusion caused at the beginning. I feel like the author could have added even another paragraph or two describing who is who and the situation in more detail. When Nolan arrived at his brother’s place there were 5 or 6 people there and I couldn’t figure out who the heck was talking or even what they were talking about. The background information on who they are and such is given soon after that but I was very confused until then.

Despite the fact that it was practically a love-at-first-sight *cough* after a drunken night in bed, I never felt like it was too fast. I can’t really explain why. It was like Nolan knew what he wanted and Skylar seemed to agree so they went forward with their relationship as the family prepared for Nolan’s family gala. Which really was a short part of the story itself. I was kinda shocked but really it was just about everyone going there to support his brother Den. So yea, 4 stars for this one simply due to the confusion at the start.

“Fair warning, I want lots of overnights. And eventually, I want the bag to be unnecessary. I want us to wake up Christmas morning together. And kiss on New Year’s Eve. You’re mine. I knew that from the moment I saw you in my bed that first morning when you enchanted me beyond reason.”

-Nolan to Skylar after the family gala

2. Rainbows in Sea Glass (Re-Release of a Dreamspinner Title)
Kyle has loved James, his best friend’s older brother, for as long as he can remember. Unfortunately, James is a player, and Kyle has no desire to be his latest conquest. When James suddenly turns the full weight of his charm on him, Kyle flees to Cape May Point to collect sea glass and Cape May diamonds to make a St. Nicholas Day present for his aunt.

James has always taken Kyle’s presence for granted and he’s shocked to find how integral Kyle is to his life and future happiness. Braving his families’ well-meaning attempts to help and a sudden winter storm, James heads to the shore to convince Kyle that the most precious thing they’ll find on the beach is each other.

Truly, the whole in-love-with-my-best-friends-brother thing is sooo overdone in m/m romance. Ohmygosh seriously though? I swear to you I’ve read at least 3 other holiday books this month with the same theme. Although, it seems to be a good one because it always works and this story isn’t an exception. I really liked it although I wish James would have just come straight out and told Kyle what he wanted. Talk about giving mixed signals. Despite that, it was a very sweet story with a lot to it considering how short it was. And because of that, I’m giving it 5 stars.

“This is a full-scale campaign, sister mine, not a momentary skirmish,” James told her.

“Aww, that would be really sweet if it didn’t sound like the beginning of a gaming session,” Maria retorted.

-As a gamer myself, I found this reference hilarious

“At some point I realized it was silly to look for the one person that would complete me when that person was already sitting across the table from me.”

-James finally explaining things to Kyle

“I’ve always loved having you in my life. Your laughter was like a drug that I was constantly chasing,” James said.

-When James finally gets through to Kyle

3. Holiday Lights (Revised and Rewritten from a holiday short)
After a work crisis, Evan’s well-meaning senior citizen neighbors try to set him up for a new career in adult films, but he’s an artist first and foremost. A chance meeting leads to a night to remember, though sadly no video to satisfy his wannabe fans.

Axel has no desire for complications in his life. He has friends that are all the family he needs and a career that he loves. But Evan is a temptation that he doesn’t want to walk away from. A little holiday magic is what’s needed to get them to a lifetime rather than just one night.

Truly this blurb is the most ridiculous thing! This isn’t what the book is about at all! Evan works as an artist at a marketing firm and some of the guys there are giving him and his work partner Avery a hard time. To the point that he’s considering taking a job he was offered in another state. When he meets Axel, they also meet his “sister” Hannah who is interested in Avery. They decide to be their dates for a company party so Evan and Avery can survive the horrible co-workers. Axel is very interested in Evan, what he’s not interested in is moving. Period. The no complications part of the blurb makes no sense. And as to the adult films thing… it’s just a joke with Evan’s senior citizen neighbors. The blurb makes it sound like something actually considered.

Whew! Okay, anyway, I really liked this story. I liked all of the characters. It was a fun read and had its sweet moments. I found the part where Hannah and Axel invite themselves to the party kinda confusing. They’d only known them for like five minutes. The least the author could have done was added a sentence saying something like “they talked for an hour”… anything would have made more sense. A lot of it involved Evan’s job problems but the times he’s with Axel are great. I wish it was longer. A bit more time with just Evan and Axel would have been nice. I’d have liked to have more detail about Avery and Hannah’s relationship too. I’m giving this one 4 stars.

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