Title: Miracle of the Bellskis (Holidays with the Bellskis #2)
Author: Astrid Amara
Cover Artist: April Martinez
Publisher: Loose Id
Buy link: Amazon.com
Genre: Contemporary M/M, Holiday
Length: 110 PDF pages
Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
Summary Review: A delightful holiday novella about two very different families that was utterly engrossing from beginning to end.
A guest review by Lasha
Too much family…too little Egg Nog.
It’s been three years since Seth Bellski forced his boyfriend and ex-boss Lars Varga out of the closet. Since then, Seth has passed the bar and become an attorney, and Lars has started his own firm. Their sex life has gotten steamier, and everything seems perfect between them. Until the holidays arrive.
It’s bad enough that Seth’s mother and father want them over every single night of Hanukkah. And that Lars’s less-than-tolerant parents are sleeping in the room next door for the duration of Christmas, putting the kibosh on their kink. They also end up as the attorneys representing opposing sides in a divorce case, one which quickly proves to be much more than it seems.
Amidst Hanukkah candles, Christmas lights, burned dinners and delayed court appointments, Lars and Seth’s relationship is going to need a miracle to survive the ultimate holiday challenge of too much family.
Miracle of the Bellskis is the sequel to Carol of the Bellskis, which was reviewed HERE and got 5 stars. The sequel is just as entertaining and goes in my top two holiday stories along with K.A. Mitchell’s The Christmas Proposition. Set three years after the other book, Seth and Lars have now settled into domestic bliss — or have they? With the holidays coming, old hurts surface and Lars and Seth’s relationship falters as Lars’ parents come into town disapproving of their son’s “lifestyle.” As Seth and Lars try to juggle Lars’ homophobic parents, Seth’s meddling mother who wants her son and his lover at their house for Hanukkah and a court case that has them facing off against each other, this holiday looks like it could destroy their new-found happiness.
When Wave gave me this book to review, I had no idea it was part of a series. So each book could be read as a standalone, but I don’t advise skipping book one, as that is delightful too and you’d be missing out on the background of the two families. Since there are a lot of books out there about Christmas, it was wonderful to see a romance novel include Hanukkah in there too. Seth’s Jewish family is loud, bossy and loving and make for great secondary characters. I wish I could say the same for Lars’ parents, who make the Grinch look warm and cuddly. However, a holiday novel would not be complete without a little miracle and Lars’ folks eventually wise up, and while they won’t be running for president of their local PFLAG chapter, their turnabout is a wonderful part of the book.
Miracle of the Bellskis has it all: amazing characterizations, a believable love story, solid plot, steamy sex, holiday cheer and a subplot that I found interesting, plus for diversity the protagonists are celebrating Hanukkah. I fell in love with Seth’s family and I know you will too. And as someone who is also Jewish, I loved reading about Hanukkah traditions and food. (Mmm…latkes).
I’ve never read any of Astrid Amara’s other books, but if her Bellskis‘ series is any indication of her talent, then I will be adding her to my auto-buy list immediately. Highly recommended.