Colina de Lavanada (CrabbyPatty’s Review)

Title: Colina de Lavanada (Dreamspinner 2018 Advent Calendar – Warmest Wishes)
Author: August Li
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2018
Genre(s): Fantasy/Paranormal, Holidays
Page Count: 50 pages
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5


Lord protector of whores, thieves, sorcerers, and deviants.

Owning a parcel of land the railroad needs to cross means Edward gets to run the border town around the station as he sees fit. What starts as a place to indulge his varied appetites becomes a haven to society’s castoffs, and if Edward encourages legends about its founder to flourish, well, he’s not so much a liar as a man who wants to protect all the cultures living in peace. Being mayor means folks might ignore his vices, but they also expect him to fix what goes wrong.

When a crushing heat wave and drought threaten not only the town’s diverse holiday celebrations but its very existence, Edward must turn to the one man he’d rather french kiss a timber rattler than face—the icily elegant Cantonese mage Edward walked out on but never stopped loving.

Stay with me here … but reading August Li is like seeing a Cirque du Soleil production. It’s mystical and magical and unexpected, but trying to describe it to someone else is really hard. “Colina de Lavanada” features a town created for “whores, thieves, sorcerers, and deviants” where everyone is accepted and all holidays are observed. Li adds a dash of magic and native folklore, a mysterious illness, a love story between Edward and a silver-haired mage Shu and the end result is fascinating … but darned if I know how to describe it! 4.5 stars.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Colina de Lavanda 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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