Title: Barbies and Beaches (Dreamspinner 2018 Advent Calendar – Warmest Wishes)
Author: Asta Idonea
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Holiday
Page Count: 21 pages
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 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.
When Shane shows up at his friend Matty’s annual Boxing Day party, he’s coming off his divorce and expecting nothing more than a relaxing day with friends. But he meets Matty’s cousin Neil visiting from the UK, and they spend the day getting to know each other, ending the day together at a private beach. We get a short epilogue giving us a glimpse into their lives together one year late. This is a short novella (just over 20 pages) and it touches all the bases (they meet, the fall in insta-love, they get their HEA). I personally did not find this story especially touching or memorable, but if you’re looking for a quick holiday read, give it a try! 2.5 stars.