Thursday, July 22, 2010

Solstice Mistletoe Effect

Title: Solstice Mistletoe Effect
Author: Serena Yates
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-61581-478-7
Genre: [M/M] Contemporary
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

Lovers Lance Rivera and Magnus Carstens have moved in together and they have started building a family with Magnus’s young nephew, Jakob. It’s not easy being an openly gay couple in small town Wyoming and the stares and open hostility is difficult for Lance and Jakob to handle. It’s putting a strain on the adults’ relationship and when summer rolls around, all three agree that a trip to Sweden to visit Magnus’s parents will allow time in a loving environment to recharge their emotional batteries.

It’s obvious from the moment the three arrive that, not only don’t Magnus’s parents approve of their son’s relationship with another man, they intend to do everything in their power to destroy it. They feel it’s long past time for Magnus to put away his silly rebellion and do the responsible thing and marry. The woman chosen as perfect for the role of daughter-in-law is Sigrid, a former student and intellectual equal of their son. Magnus has never thought of Sigrid on a personal level and is totally oblivious to the manipulations going on behind the scenes. When he’s suddenly offered a prestigious position from the University of Stockholm, Lance fears the worse—that Magnus will chose Sigrid and his work over the life he has with him and Jakob.

The Solstice Mistletoe Effect is the second release in the new series Mistletoe Science and it begins a short two weeks after the first book left off.

Magnus and Lance make a great couple and it was nice seeing how they changed and grew in such a short period of time. I particularly like Lance, who took easily to his new status as house dad and primary care-giver of Jakob. The author did a nice job expressing the love he feels for Magnus and Jakob, and his continuing gut-wrenching insecurity. Lance’s feelings are a mystery to Magnus. It’s not because he doesn’t care but rather because he’s clueless and doesn’t understand the depth of his partner’s pain.

Reading a story set mostly during the Christmas holiday season when it’s sweltering outside is a nice change. That‘s especially true since the majority of the plot takes place in Sweden, a locale I’m unfamiliar with. I enjoyed learning about the Swedish holiday traditions, foods and attractions, making it doubly enjoyable since Lance and I were each seeing them together through the story for the first time.

From the beginning, I was drawn into this plot, and while parts weren’t exactly a surprise, it didn’t prevent the book from being a cute, entertaining and enjoyable read. I did have a couple of problems. I thought the responses and actions of Sigrid and Magnus’s parents were a bit over-the-top, especially the scenes that took place in front of young Jakob. And Sigrid’s threats and verbal abuse of Jakob is totally unacceptable adult behavior. If those had been handled just a little differently, I would have found them more believable.

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