Make a Circle (CrabbyPatty’s Review)

Title: Make a Circle (Dreamspinner 2018 Advent Calendar – Warmest Wishes)
Author: Elliot Joyce
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Holidays
Page Count: 33 pages
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Blurb:

Pagan punk musician Lucas is fully prepared to spend this Yule with the rest of the band and his beautiful bass guitar when Oliver, his boyfriend of almost a year, asks if he wants to join the rest of the Han family for their annual winter celebration. It comes as a shock since Ollie has gone to great lengths to keep the two apart, and Lucas always assumed he was the reason. Since they’re planning to be together long-term, Lucas can’t say no to meeting Ollie’s parents, but he better brush up on his manners and his Mandarin because this is going to be a holiday season like no other—and it has some surprises in store for both of them.


“Make a Circle” is a weekend-in-the-life of punk musician Lucas and his trans boyfriend Oliver. Oliver has finally invited Lucas to a family gathering, the Chinese Winter solstice Dongzhi Festival, but Lucas wonders if Oliver is embarrassed by him, or by his family. We meet the Han family and the various aunts and uncles who love Oliver but struggle sometimes to call him Oliver rather than his birth name or use the proper pronouns. Over the course of this short story, we learn about a Chinese tradition but also see the strength of familial love (complete with squabbles and crazy relatives) that is universal. 4 sweet stars for “Make a Circle.”

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Make a Circle provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.

Author

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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