Title: The Last Birthday Party (Dreamspinner 2018 Advent Calendar – Warmest Wishes)
Author: Mere Rain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Holidays
Page Count: 25 pages
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Blurb:Their favorite holiday is going away. Will it take their friendship with it?
Since 1989, the birthday of the Emperor of Japan has been celebrated on December 23rd. But this is the last year; the Emperor is abdicating, and next year there will be no holiday.
For twenty-year-old Akihito, the holiday has always been special. It’s his birthday, too, and a perfect excuse for spending the entire day celebrating across Tokyo with his life-long best friend, Kenji. But now that they will no longer get the day off and will soon face adult responsibilities, will they drift apart? Or if Akihito confesses the secret love he’s held in his heart for years, will their closeness be ruined? One thing is certain: nothing will be same by the end of the day.
At just 25 pages, this is a little jewel of a tale about two young men celebrating the Emperor’s birthday, a national holiday in Japan. But with the Emperor retiring in 2019 (and a new Emperor with a new birthdate), this is the last such holiday for Kenji and Akihito. Just as the old traditions are changing, life is changing for them as they are on the cusp of adulthood and future responsibilities. We get delightful details of a day in Tokyo enjoying sites and food, and the start of a romantic relationship. Very sweet, very satisfying story. 4 stars.
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