Book Reviews

Mistletoe and Wine by A.J. Llewellyn at eXtasy Books

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Artists/Actors/Musicians/Authors / Erotic Romance / Holiday
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 29-December-2017

Book Blurb

Can two men torn apart by secrets and lies ever learn to trust again?


Professional clarinet player Sean Kallis is at a crossroads in his life. Having moved to the sleepy California country town of Ono—nicknamed Oh, No— to take care of his ailing mother, her passing has left him adrift. Christmas is coming, but he doesn’t feel the spirit of the holiday season. Not one bit. Tormented by his failed organic vegetable garden and broken farm machinery, he ponders his uncertain future. He receives an unexpected invitation to travel to Corfu, Greece, to play clarinet for the island’s quirky Christmas band. He’d be dangerously close to Loukas Stathis, the man who had broken his heart. Can he risk it?

Loukas Stathis is Greece’s most celebrated bouzouki player. As talented as he is with musical instruments, he’s lousy at love. He’s kept secrets, foolishly kept them, and lost the man he loves more than life. With Christmas around the corner, can he make a change that can make them both happy? After all, as the lyrics in Mistletoe and Wine, his favorite Christmas carol state, it’s a time for living, and, for trusting.

But most of all, Christmas is a time for believing.


Book Review

Two men with a partly joint past, both slightly adrift, both passionate musicians, get a second chance at love in this exciting, festive, and more than a little suspenseful story. Sean lives in the US and has just lost his mother, but his roots are in Greece. Loukas is Greek, is a somewhat famous musician, and misses Sean terribly. Exactly what happened to split up these two guys only emerges slowly, and watching them figure out if they can make a relationship work this time provided the biggest part of this novella. As always with A.J. Llewellyn’s books, all the characters are fantastic, the setting comes to life on every page, and all of it makes for a very entertaining book.

Sean is a talented clarinet player and has a big decision to make. Now that his mother has passed away, his music is becoming more important to him than ever, but he no longer feels at home in California. The invitation to play in a Christmas band in Greece is very welcome and he does like living in Greece, but the unresolved issues when he runs into Loukas may just be too much for Sean to deal with. The anger he feels mixes with regret and longing, and it’s not an easy combination.

Loukas may be a famous Greek musician, but he has made some major mistakes with Sean. Loukas misses Sean a lot, but he knows that, without a major change, they will never make it. Now he has other problems to deal with as well, and he has no idea how to even approach Sean after the mistake he made the first time. And, much to my relief, it turns out that it was not fear of ill-will that stopped Loukas from talking to Sean – he thought he did the right thing by not interfering in Sean dealing with his dying mother.

Almost from the start, I figured that Christmas magic – lots of it – and the healing properties of music might just be the only thing that can get these two guys to make up and try again. As it turns out there are a few more factors in their favor as well: the secondary characters, who each have a role to play, the setting and attraction of doing what both men want most, and the relief of finally daring to believe that they stand a chance. Sean and Loukas’s tale ends up being a beautiful story of hope, love, and accepting their destiny.

If you like multi-layered, quirky characters, exotic settings, and lots of drama and action, if you want to find out more about a long-overdue reunion, and if you’re looking for a read about Christmas traditions in Greece, excellent food, and a love that is stronger than any obstacles, then you will probably like this novella.





 DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Extasy Books for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 106 pages/31277 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 15-December-2017
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link