Author: Meg Harding
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 56 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Blurb: Max moved away from his family to be with Michael, and his family never got over it. Now, for the first time in almost a decade, he’s going to return to London for the Christmas celebrations. He’s confident his family will welcome Michael with open, loving arms. At least that’s what he tells himself.
Michael doesn’t have his head buried in the sand. He knows he has a lot to prove this Christmas, and he’s not sure if he’s up to the task. All these years and he’d never considered having to spend a holiday with Max’s family. Now that it’s happening he’s not scared to admit it—he’s terrified.
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2014 Advent Calendar package “Celebrate!”.
Review: Max and Michael have been together for more than 10 years. Both are settled in their careers, living in a home they love, with a very large dog to drool all over their shoes. It’s been too long, though, since they’d gone to visit Michael’s family for the holidays. This year Michael has put his foot down, and they’re off to see his family.
The story starts off with Max, who’s adorably sweet, pouting and whinging about going to visit the in-laws. Considering he tries to enlist their dog’s aid in getting Michael to change his mind and stay home, it’s very cute. Max isn’t entirely comfortable, though, going to see Michael’s family, because he thinks they don’t like him. Which, Michael tries to assure him, is more they don’t know him than they don’t like him.
Their visit with his family is almost classic misadventure, and it gives a side of humor to a story that many do face in real life. Let’s face it, visiting in-laws is a 50-50 shot; some are fantastic and some scare the holy hell out of you. In the end, though, things with Michael’s family work out once they realize that Max deeply loves Michael and that’s all they needed to know.
Normally with stories this short, you seem to only get a taste of the characters. With Quite A Spectacle there was way more depth to it than a normal short; it still made me want to read more about the couple, but it was a very satisfying taste. I really enjoyed Max and Michael together. Michael’s father made me grit my teeth until he accepted Max, but he was being a typical dad, which is normal. This is definitely one of the best holiday stories that I’ve read, so I highly recommend picking this one up.
You can buy Quite the Spectacle here: