Santa on the Beach (CrabbyPatty’s Review)

Title: Santa on the Beach (Dreamspinner 2018 Advent Calendar – Warmest Wishes)
Author: Crystel Greene
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Holiday
Page Count: 53 pages
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5


The sexy Santa and the virgin dad….

Single dad Mario, twenty-one, has finally won shared custody of his five-year-old son, Sammy. They’re spending Christmas at a Tenerife resort to celebrate. The children’s swimming instructor, Josie, is sexy and fun, and Mario can’t stop dreaming about him. But Mario has no clue how to talk to a hot guy.

With his suntan, Speedos, and rippling abs, Josie seems to be the typical jock. He’s super sweet too, and everyone loves him. But he only has eyes for the fire-eyed little dad who looks like his son’s older brother and won’t stop policing the swimming class.

Sammy would like to be a king in the hotel’s nativity play. But he’s too afraid to go anywhere without his dad.
Mario would like a holiday romance with Josie, or even a little more, but between building his tech company and trying to do his part as Sammy’s father he has missed out on a lot and is too inexperienced to know where to begin.

Luckily Santa might have just the thing for everyone on his list…

Young (very young) father Mario is spending the Christmas holidays on the Canary Island with his son Sammy, but there are a few hitches along the way. Sammy is a shy kid, very much afraid of new experiences and Mario ends up looking like one of those creepy helicopter parents to others. But Sammy’s swim instructor Josie is always kind to both father and son. and Mario spends a lot of time thinking about Josie – “all tan and abs and sunkissed blonde. And scanty Speedos.”

Mario is almost a virgin – other than awkward exploratory sex with Sammy’s mother – and is tongued-tied and nervous every time he encounters Josie. Over the course of this short story, Mario finally gets his dream of “Santa on the Beach” – well actually Santa on a Boat with Josie in a “just a Santa hat and a green jockstrap with a reindeer design” because you know they end up “doing stuff that isn’t fit to be seen by minors” who might be wandering the beach.

This story works on many fronts – a very young father trying to do his best for his much-loved son, an inexperienced man striving to find love, a sexy sweet swim instructor with a kind heart, plus sizzling porn-worth sex on a boat with twinkling fairy lights on the mast. Although, at the end of the book, I was actually disappointed we didn’t get a final scene showing Sammy in the Christmas play, because that kid just captured my heart. The story ends very much HFN without any resolution and I want / need a bit more about their actual relationship rather than just the chase. But, 4 strong stars for “Santa on the Beach.”

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Santa on the Beach provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas

I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend.

My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh … not in my wheelhouse, but I’m a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre.

Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more.

A few “badges” from NetGalley:
100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader


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