Barbies and Beaches (Belen’s Review)

Title: Barbies and Beaches (2018 Advent Calendar – Warmest Wishes)
Author: Asta Idonea
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1st 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Holiday
Page Count: 21 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5


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.

Shane, a builder, isn’t really looking forward to the pitying looks and whispers he expects to encounter at his friend Matty’s annual Boxing Day Bash, but things take a turn for the better when he meets Matty’s cousin, Neil. Shane and Neil have things in common, Neil’s a landscape architect, and they spend an afternoon and evening getting to know one another and connecting on a deeper level.

Barbies and Beaches is, at only 21 pages, the shortest of the 2018 Advent Calendar – Warmest Wishes anthology offerings that I read, but it contains a solid beginning, middle, and end even going so far as to (thankfully) include a one year later epilogue that shows the couples’ happy ever after ending.

NOTE: Purchase the whole Dreamspinner Press 2018 Advent Calendar – Warmest Wishes anthology and get a story delivered automatically to your bookshelf each day in December. More than 400,000 words of romantic fiction in 31 stories. Buy the package early and save. *Sale of packages for daily delivery ends Nov. 25. Beginning December 1, stories will be available individually as priced or as a bulk package.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Barbies and Beaches provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.


I am an unapologetic book addict/lover. I’m happiest when reading and I spend most of my time with my Kindle, which is never far from my hand.
I love to be told a good story! I mostly read fiction: Romance, Erotica, Young Adult, New Adult, Paranormal (shifters? Yes, please!), a little BDSM when I’m in the mood, and I love a good ménage story. I DEFINITELY PREFER A HFN/HEA!

My biggest no-no’s are cheating, miscommunication / misunderstanding plots, unnecessary angst, and cliffhangers.

A sampling of my “Favorite M/M” stories:

Carry the Ocean The Half of Us Red Dirt Heart Adulting 101 Tied Up In Knots
Shelter the Sea Manties in a Twist David, Renewed Ethan who Loved Carter Perfect Imperfections
Wolfsong Fight the Tide How to Walk Like A Man The Lightning-Struck Heart Forging the Future

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