Mosquitoes And Mistletoe (CrabbyPatty’s Review)

Title: Mosquitoes and Mistletoe (Dreamspinner 2018 Advent Calendar – Warmest Wishes)
Author: Ren Holly
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Holiday
Page Count: 59
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5


After Andrew’s boyfriend dumps him just before Christmas, he decides to take a job far, far away from city life. It’s a dishwashing job on a remote island off the coast of Georgia. Expecting sunshine, palm trees, and some quality alone time, Andrew is surprised to find alligators, mosquitoes, rattlesnakes, and Garrett—a devilishly handsome naturalist. Andrew desperately tries to resist Garrett’s charm, because a twice-broken heart before Christmas is just not an option. Besides, Andrew’s new friend Anna might already have a thing for Garrett.

But where do Garrett’s interests lie, and will Andrew find out before he’s surprised by a visit from his ex?

After being dumped by his boyfriend Ace, Andrew decides to really change things up and gets a job as a dishwasher on a resort island off the coast of Georgia, which turns out to be an eco-resort with no wifi, TV or commercial insect repellent for the hoards of hungry mosquitoes. AND there’s rattlesnacks and alligators as well.

But there’s also gorgeous naturalist Garrett, who thinks he may be gay and is interested in exploring the possibilities with Andrew. There are a few very sexy scenes, but when Andrew’s ex-boyfriend Ace and his family show up at the resort for their yearly vacation, there are some misunderstandings and lack of communication that threaten to end their budding romance …

plus a dramatic rescue subplot that was a bit too over-the-top, IMHO.

I like the plot of “Mosquitoes and Mistletoe” and think the author has an interesting mix of characters, but a few small things irk me about this tale. For example, although Andrew is hired as a dishwasher, he never washes a dish on page, has plenty of time for hiking, fishing, exploring, etc. and ends up acting as chef for the resort’s Christmas dinner. Andrew’s ex is depicted as a predatory creep, and his family is almost a caricature of the privileged wealthy. But I think other readers may easily bypass this and end up enjoying this story and the sweet HEA in the epilogue. 3.5 stars.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Mosquitoes and Mistletoe 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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