Holiday Island (CrabbyPatty’s Review)

Title: Holiday Island (Dreamspinner 2018 Advent Calendar – Warmest Wishes)
Author: A.D. Ellis
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Holidays
Page Count: 43 pages
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5


No peacocks were harmed in the making of this story.

Rafa’s nautical skills are less than stellar. He’d rather be a full-time artist, but he has a duty to the family business and a fear of standing up to his father and brother.

Carpenter Lucas is determined to rebuild his business after a lover’s betrayal nearly destroyed it. But he runs into a snag when he misses the last boat to the job site.

Rafa offers to take him, but Rafa isn’t much of a sailor.

When they end up on the wrong island, fears for survival gradually give way to an appreciation of the beauty around them—and each other. Rafa insists a holiday miracle will save them, and he teases Lucas for being a Scrooge.

In the end, Rafa’s miracle might come from the last place he expects: inside himself.

The blurb really drew me in and I was fully preparing to completely suspend my disbelief to enjoy this story of two men stranded on an island and finding love. But, darn it … warning, plot spoilers ahead

Rafa’s family runs a successful charter boat company and when down-on-his-luck carpenter Lucas misses the boat to the small island where work crews are fixing up an old island resort, Rafa offers to sail him to the island. Except it’s the wrong island, Rafa doesn’t drop anchor to secure the boat (“Look, maybe I parked in the wrong area.”), they miraculously find fresh water and food to eat and an abandoned shelter with supplies, nonsmoker Lucas has a lighter in his bag so they can start a fire AND there’s insta-love (as in a matter of hours) plus some pretty steamy sex scenes.

Rafa’s father and brother appear to add an overdose of homophobia and there’s a HFN ending with the two man planning a future that frankly seems unrealistic. I liked the bones of the story, but just could not get past my disbelief and didn’t buy into the suuuper fast insta-love. 2.5 stars.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Holiday Island 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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