Book Review – Watermelon Kisses by Freddy MacKay

A Holiday to Remember 2017
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Pages: 58
Characters: Amir/Esmail
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Holiday

Life hasn’t been easy for Amir since he fled Iran after a brutal imprisonment. The trauma experienced at the hands of the guards left a dark spot on his soul. The one constant in his life since relocating to Chicago has been his lover—now husband—Esmail, whose steadfast love and support has soothed his wounded heart.

But this Shab-e Yalda, Amir wants to be the one giving his husband something special, because even after the darkest nights, the sun will rise again.

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For a short story Watermelon Kisses packs a lot of emotional punch. I loved the glimpse of another culture, and could really feel the love between the two men who have been through so much to be together. Amir’s PTSD came across very well and realistically, and I really felt for him and his worry that he is broken. I loved that although he’d been through a horrific experience, his husband is his light. The watermelon kisses were very romantic.

This is the first story I’ve read by Freddy MacKay but it won’t be the last. I finished reading, thought ‘wow,’ and was very impressed. An added bonus is an explanation about Shab-3 Yalda at the end of the book plus recipes!

I’d recommend Watermelon Kisses to readers who enjoy a glimpse of another culture, three dimensional realistic characters, and a beautiful romance. 5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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