Mini Reviews: Two Holiday Novellas


Title: Handmade Holidays
Author: 'Nathan Burgoine
Genre: MM holiday romance

Author links: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads
Purchase links: Publisher

My rating: 4.5 Stars


At nineteen, Nick is alone for the holidays and facing reality: this is how it will be from now on. Refusing to give up completely, Nick buys a Christmas tree, and then realizes he has no ornaments. A bare tree and an empty apartment aren’t a great start, but a visit from his friend Haruto is just the ticket to get him through this first, worst, Christmas. A box of candy canes and a hastily folded paper crane might not be the best ornaments, but it’s a place to start.

A year later, Nick has realized he’s not the only one with nowhere to go, and he hosts his first “Christmas for the Misfit Toys.” Haruto brings Nick an ornament for Nick’s tree, and a tradition—and a new family—is born.

As years go by, Nick, Haruto, and their friends face love, betrayal, life, and death. Every ornament on Nick’s tree is another year, another story, and another chance at the one thing Nick has wanted since the start: someone who’d share more than the holidays with him.

Of course, Nick might have already missed his shot at the one, and it might be too late.

Still, after fifteen Christmases, Nick is ready to risk it all for the best present yet. 


Oh, this was so lovely, a bit nostalgic a lot of hopeful, just the perfect holiday read for me.

I loved the concept of following a group of queer friends through their Christmases spent together over 15 years. This is a story about life and love and friendship and the meaning of the holidays - a time to share with those who you love and who love you. Those young queer people created a chosen family for themselves and set new traditions which we see them follow and enrich over 15 years.

It's was not all happiness and holiday cheer though. There was some pretty painful moment to read. There was no glossing over the hardships the characters face as young queer people dealing with life on their own - heartbreak, betrayal, racism, transphobia (even within the queer community itself).

It's a poignant story which packs a punch in novella length. It was emotional, engaging, real and made me reminisce about my own last 10-15 Christmases.

Title: A Special Delivery
Author: Laura Bailo
Genre: MM holiday romance

Author links: Website / Twitter / Goodreads
Purchase links: Publisher

My rating: 4 Stars


Colin only meant to take a wrongly delivered package to a house a few streets over. But a sudden snowstorm leaves him with no option but to beg shelter from his unknown neighbour James. During the course of a long night, a cozy fire, a little hot chocolate and the snow outside conspire to draw the two men closer. But will their connection outlast the storm?


The was the flufffiest of fluff m/m romance. It's tender and gentle, perfectly heart-warming, like a cup of hot chocolate on a chilly winter day. Two very real and likable characters meet by chance and fall for each other. Nothing more, nothing less, just the perfection of making a connection with another human being, sharing some of you with them. All this, plus an adorable dog. What more can you want from a Christmas story.

There was an easy flow to the writing and the story, it projected a sense of warmth and intimacy, happiness. Overall, it's low-key story of two ordinary people with ordinary lives finding each other and starting a life together.

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