Reviewed by Ami
Title: A Swants Soiree
Author: E.J. Russell
Series: 2019 Advent Calendar | Homemade for the Holidays
Heroes: Brent & Jonathan
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 50 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 1, 2019
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Introverted software engineer Brent Levine struggles with the life part of work-life balance, but to hold on to his new job, he’ll have to embrace his employer’s dreaded “staff enrichment” events. This year’s annual ugly holiday sweater party will strain his ambition to remain inconspicuous: everyone has to wear sweaters converted into pants—aka “swants.”
Brent’s an ace at coding, but when it comes to handcrafts, he’s definitely at the far left end of the bell curve. Luckily he encounters seriously cute theater costumer Jonathan at the Goodwill Outlet. Jonathan offers Brent both an acceptably ugly sweater and his expertise in swants conversion. Attraction sparks on Brent’s side, but can Jonathan be interested in a guy like him?
I swear, I ended up Googling for the word SWANTS, and I was flabbergasted when I realized that they were REAL! Not just a made-up word by the author.
I enjoyed this novella VERY MUCH. So far, among few Advent titles that I requested, this is one of my favorites.
A Swants Soiree is written from Brent Levine’s perspective, an introverted software engineer, who has to walk out of his comfort zone to attend annual ugly sweater party by his company, with a twist. Because the ugly sweater party has been turned into a “swants” soiree instead. Luckily, Brent gets help from a cute guy he meets over at Goodwill Outlet – Jonathan, theater costumer extraordinaire that totally OWNS the swants-making process.
I’m an introvert myself – people might not really believe in it because I’m not shy, and my work requires me to talk to strangers. However, I prefer to stay away from any kind of party and gathering, and IF I must be involved, I prefer to stand on the side, avoid group of people chatting. I also LOATHED any kind of costume/dress-code gathering because I like my own shirt and casual pants, thank you very much.
Therefore, Brent’s quandary over the requirement for the soiree speaks highly to me. I guess like Brent, I would prefer to be the Scrooge rather than having to follow the “rules” (laugh). I know I totally done this at the office too.
Anyway, the whole story is just ADORABLE. I loved the awkward way of Brent approaching the possibility of romance with Jonathan. Everything turns out okay for them, though. And I wish Brent and Jonathan a LOT of love!
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*