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Guess Who's Coming to Karamu

2.79  ·  Rating details ·  33 ratings  ·  17 reviews
A Story from the Warmest Wishes: Dreamspinner Press 2018 Advent Calendar

Grant Cary, a twenty-eight-year-old grad student, has let his Kwanzaa shopping go to the very last minute. In his rush to get home, he quite literally bumps into Will Sheritan, a fortysomething software developer, in the elevator. But luck favors (or curses) the adventurous, because their elevator shut
Kindle Edition, 1st Edition, 25 pages
Published December 1st 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
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2.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  33 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*2.5 stars*

Guess Who's Coming to Karamu by new-to-me author, Cy Blanca, was a bit all over the place.

I was curious and excited to read a Kwanzaa story, but we don't get too much Kwanzaa feeling in this short. There are some references and a few remarks, but we don't even get to see the MCs celebrating, which was disappointing for a holiday story.

I sort of liked the gibbering of the younger MC, but I found him to be a bit too scattered as a character. I also found the older MC to be a bit incon
Grant's rambling made me smile BIG. I love rambling characters ^^. I mean, the way he talks about the history of his cat naming *laugh*. BUT, I didn't learn anything about Kwanzaa, which was too bad since that was the reason I picked this one up. And Will, the love interest, went from feeling so much sadness about his late husband to asking for Grant's number in a blink of an eye. At least it ended up with "promise" of further date rather than anything resembling instant love...
The meet-cute set up in Guess Who’s Coming to Karamu was short story gold. I loved the beginning and the babbling stream of consciousness courtesy of Grant was fun to read. I was really looking forward to reading a story celebrating Kwanzaa and I wanted to learn from Grant. The thread got a bit lost and muddled as Grant and Will started conversing/flirting though. It didn’t flow as organically as I was expecting given the beginning and Grant’s personality. It felt like a real gamut of emotions w ...more

"Guess Who's Coming to Karamu" is a short 25 page novella about two men caught in a shopping mall elevator around the holidays. Grant Cary (yes, his parents are movie bluffs) is doing his Kwanzaa shopping while he literally runs into a gorgeous man ("his voice sounds like how I imagine a $1500 wine tastes") - Will Sheritan - and they are stuck together in said elevator for about an hour. They share a steamy kiss or two, a bit of history and Grant invites Will to spend the holidays with him and h
Super cute short story. I love a character with no filter and I am a sucker for a stuck in an elevator plot (which seems to be making a comeback).

Fun and flirty and tender, Cy Blanca does a lot in this small space. I look forward to reading more from this author.
Nov 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, holiday, m-m, on-my-kindle
I know next to nothing about Kwanzaa and I’ll be honest—that was my main draw to this Advent Calendar addition. That, and the fact these two men get stuck in an elevator, giving them an unusual opportunity to get to know each other.

Listening to Grant’s internal monologue is hysterical and the fact that his internal oftentimes becomes external is even better. I loved his description of Will and his debate about Will being older than he usually goes for but not as old as a certain someone who pla
Serena Yates
Holiday shopping, no matter which one you celebrate, can be utterly stressful, especially if you leave it to the last minute like Grant. He is a graduate student and has other things on his mind, plus his family isn’t exactly welcoming of his being gay, so I can see why he gets distracted and can’t make gifts for everyone a priority. Based on how he tells this story, with so much humor I laughed more than once, he prefers fun to planning and saying exactly what he thinks to being polite.

When Gra
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mm-compilation
Short snipped of two guys stuck in an elevator and talking to pass the time. I liked the nerdy and talkative Grant, but didn't really get Will. Was he curious, intrigued or just hoping everything would be over soon? The story was too short in pages and in time to build up a relationship beyond initial interest. The end was there too soon with only a promise of things that might come.
I think this is the kind of story that would deserve a longer story to see how things proceed between the MCs.
Dec 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My overriding question at the start of this is why anyone would wait two hours for giftwrap service!!
Meet cute in the stuck elevator plot - mostly we get Grant’s thoughts, what info comes from Will is in response to questions. Grant’s flustered verbal diarrhoea is amusing. I learned a lot about Kwanzaa which I’d heard about but now know more about.
This was entertaining, and then ended rather abruptly without seeing so much as a kiss (though it was implied there would be one). Even in a short story, I expect a romance to have more than a conversation in an elevator and a promise of a future date. The chemistry was definitely there - I just felt let down by the follow-through, or lack of it.
Angela Goodrich
Review to be posted.
Dec 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Cute, but terribly short. The whole story can be summarized by "They introduce themselves, and make plans for later!"
Lila Hunter
Dec 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-arc-strw
Review at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

ARC provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange for an honest review.
Secretly Reading
I loved the narrator, so humorous which is hard to write, especially in a short story. However, the romance was totally lacking.
Katy Beth Mckee
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: holiday-winter, m-m
This story is a sweet peek at what might be possible. These two are at the beginning of something special.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Cute and too short. The dialogue (inner monologue and between the two guys) is top notch.

Bought from Dreamspinner.
Maria Lima
rated it it was ok
Dec 02, 2018
rated it it was ok
Dec 22, 2018
rated it did not like it
Dec 12, 2018
Dudley Sneddly
rated it liked it
Dec 12, 2018
rated it liked it
Dec 05, 2018
rated it did not like it
Dec 12, 2018
rated it did not like it
Dec 16, 2018
rated it liked it
Dec 24, 2018
Xan West
Content Warnings (view spoiler)

I enjoyed this. I found the ending felt a bit abrupt, partly because given the book description I thought we would get to see the MCs actually go to Karamu. (They just talk about it.) I definitely would have liked to spend more time with them, and see them celebrate the holiday. It doesn't feel as much
rated it liked it
Dec 03, 2018
rated it it was ok
Mar 10, 2019
rated it liked it
Dec 12, 2018
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Feb 14, 2019
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Cy Blanca has enjoyed words since she was in elementary school. They hold magic powers for her, and she loves playing with them to see just what they can do. She got her degree in English poetry, but she’s been doing mostly editorial work for online magazines YAM Magazine, Rock ’N Seoul, and SeoulBeats (yeah… she loves Korean music and gets to interview folks and write about it). She’s exceptional ...more