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    An ironic romance

    This is the third romance in the Tinsel and Spruce Needles series, but my first story by this author. While the previous novellas are alluded to in this one, it can, however, be read as a standalone. Wild Bells is the least Christmas-y Christmas novella I’ve read this year. Sure, there’s a tree, some snow, a garland-making non-binary student whose soon to be ex-tutor is hoping to bed but it’s not what this story is about at all. Mia, a twenty-seven-year-old lawyer-to-be, calls herself “the Dykemaker”, as in no straight woman can resist her. Except for Linda Ling. If you thought this was going to be a toaster oven romance, think again. Because it’s not Linda Mia ends up falling for, it’s her twin sister Sandra. While “Linda is all that, Sandra is… something” (I’m more or less quoting Mia here). Sandra is everything Mia thought she didn’t want. She’s not gorgeous, she’s in a wheelchair, she wants to date Mia. Mia doesn’t do dates. Yet, in an ironic twist of her usual modus operandi, Mia finds herself unable to resist Sandra. Watching Mia acting totally out of character, trying to fight the unexpected attraction was a lot of fun, and I wish some of these scenes had been longer, more detailed. When Mia and Sandra go on their first date (Mia’s first date ever), almost all we know is what Mia feels afterwards. I know novellas are supposed to be short, but a few more pages would have been welcome. As it is, the reader can see Mia falling (that part is believable) but not how, not why. So while I really enjoyed this story, it left me wanting more. I received a copy from the publisher and I am voluntarily leaving a review.

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