Rating: 5 stars out of 5
A Story from the Warmest Wishes: Dreamspinner Press 2018 Advent Calendar
The festival of Tulsi Vivah ushers in the Hindu wedding season and tears away the love of Kristopher’s life. Three years of passion and tenderness are reduced to a shameful skeleton in the closet as Arjuna submits to the marriage his parents have arranged for him. His family has never even heard Kristopher’s name.
The festival, a ritualistic wedding between the holy basil plant, Tulsi, and her eternal lover, Vishnu, is as much of a play-act as Arjuna’s upcoming nuptials, but he believes the wedding will honor his parents and please Vishnu. So why is his Tulsi plant—whose leaves heal and bless the devout, who is Vishnu’s representative on earth—dying? Arjuna tends to her with all the care of a concerned parent, but it might take more than his devotion to save her. She might need Kris, with his clever green-fingers—and maybe a revived Tulsi can heal two hearts.
I usually like neither short stories (they tend to feel unfinished to me) nor holiday stories (too fluffy), so Tulsi Vivah was a very pleasant surprise.
This isn’t really a Christmas story, it’s more about the Hindu holiday Tulsi Vivah. I’m an not an expert on Hinduism, but I do think I’m not completely clueless. Still, I’ve never heard of this holiday or the Goddess Tulasi. The author did a great job of explaining the holiday and I found it all very fascinating.
The romance was lovely, if a bit sad. It was obvious how hard the separation was on both Arjuna and Kris. It was heartbreaking, even if I could understand Arjuna’s decision. The two MCs showed a surprising amount of depth and growth, considering how short this book is. The ending felt perfect and quite realistic.
I really, really enjoyed this story. I haven’t seen all that many M/M books with a Hindu MC out there, so bonus points for an original idea. I hope there’ll be more stories like this to come from this very promising debut author.
If you’re looking for the usual Christmas fluff, however, then this story probably won’t make you happy.
Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas. Love this cover, just perfection. It’s just right for the character and story.
ebook, 56 pages
Published December 1st 2018 by Dreamspinner Press