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Carol of the Bellskis

(Holidays with the Bellskis #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  726 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Paralegal Seth Bellski is tired of being the secret lover of his boss, Lars Varga, founding partner of Finch & Varga Law. So when he asks Lars to spend Hanukkah with Seth's family at their kosher B and B in Whistler, B.C., and Lars refuses, Seth realizes he will never get his self-conscious boss out of the closet.

So Seth prepares to spend his Hanukkah holiday alone in the
ebook, 1st Edition, 100 pages
Published December 14th 2009 by Loose Id
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  726 ratings  ·  110 reviews

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Nov 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, contemporary
Seth is angry. His boss and lover of a year, Lars Varga, has refused to come on holiday with him and refused to acknowledge their relationship. As a result, Seth has called it quits and left to enjoy the Hanukkah holiday solo.

He travels to his aunt and uncle's orthodox B and B in Whistler, British Columbia but when he gets there his relatives are missing and guests begin to arrive. Not knowing what else to do Seth acts as host. Matters get sticky when Lars shows up trying to patch up their rela
A very well written and engaging story.

Despite the rocky start I loved Lars almost instantly. Sure he was a bit of an ass at first but you just knew underneath there was a good guy struggling to come out.

Seth was lovely, and I really enjoyed the way he did not cave in at the first but instead stuck to his guns for what he believed.

The little mystery, and the B&B guests added to the story without taking over.

I really did enjoy this one.

ETA Still a great read, I love Seth and Lars.
Sep 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Vio by: Simsala
This was an interesting and fun story, I loved the chemistry between Seth and Lars, so very nice and quite dreamy. They're a good match for each other, the constant touches and glances were tender and sweet. I liked Lars, he was a fool at the beginning but soon came around to figuring out what was important, his love for Seth. Chuckles and laugh out moments and the guests were an eccentric bunch, quite a challenging experience for Seth, who did survive with Lars help. A funny and enjoyable roman ...more
Apr 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Seth is a paralegal and have been in a relationship with his boss, Lars, who is not out to his partner or people in the office. Tired of being kept secret, Seth demands Lars to tell the truth or break up. Lars doesn't give the answer Seth wants, so he heads up to a B & B runs by his aunt and uncle. But when he gets there, his aunt and uncle aren't, and Seth must handle a handful of guests, with Lars coming as well on the third night of Hanukah celebration ...

My other experience with Astrid Amara
Mandy*reads obsessively*
After finally, FINALLY reading the sequel Miracle of the Bellskis I decided to go back and do a quick reread of this one.
After rereading it, I have to say I still love it. It's funny and sweet and romantic and somehow just feels so real.
Highly recommended!

Originally read October 2011
This is a fun read!
In the first few pages I thought Lars was a real jerk, but he quickly redeemed himself, and left me wishing I knew more about Seth and what Lars loves about him! The story has a few funny m
Nick Pageant
Nov 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: m-m, holiday
This was a really cute little story. There was an over-reliance on stereotypes for comedic effect, but I am the last person in the world who should criticize for that issue.

The central "mystery" was not a mystery at all and had no payoff, which was annoying, but I enjoyed the story for the cute MCs and the witty dialogue.

Sep 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a cute and entertaining story. I felt kinda bad for Seth that after the breakup he needed time alone and got thrown into such a drama with the B&B, never a dull moment for him. At first I thought Lars was a jerk, but he really was just scared and I liked how he stuck with trying to convince Seth. This was a feel good story.
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-read
First read sometime 2011, 4 stars

Re-read Nov. 29-Dec. 7, 2016
Although it took me quite some time to finish this book, mainly because several others came between us:), I still loved it a lot. And I'm glad that book #2 is already waiting.
This book was a fun and sexy read. Astrid created two very likeable characters dealing with a very real and common relationship do you maintain a relationship when one person is still in the closet?

Seth and Lars have been dating secretly for over a year. They both work for the same law firm. Only thing is that Seth is a paralegal and Lars is a partner. Seth wants Lars to go away with him on a vacation to his aunt and uncle's Kosher B&B the week of Hanukkah. At the last minute Lars ge
Kaje Harper
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m
This comes before "Miracle of the Bellskis" and they are probably a bit better read in order, but it's not essential. This story introduces us to Lars and Seth, one year into their relationship on the down low. Seth is tired of being the dirty secret for his lawyer boss and gives Lars an ultimatum. When Lars can't come through, Seth heads off for his aunt's B&B to spend a solitary holiday. Except that his aunt and uncle are nowhere to be found, a bunch of guests are on the doorstep, and keeping ...more
Lexi Ander
Nov 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novella
I loved that Seth stuck to his guns for a few days so that Lars got that this wasn't a temper tantrum. At the same time I like that Lars was persistent. It was evident that these two loved each other but didn't know how to get past their fears. The disappearance of Seth's Aunt and Uncle made them work to their favor pushing them to work together and compromise a little each day. The rest of it was just funny. The patience that comes with running and B & B is not something that I would have in ab ...more
Nov 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: christmas, mm
3.25 stars

Nice story about Seth who is fed up with the secret relationship he has with his boss, who refuses to come out of the closet.

I liked how Seth told Lars he was fed up with being his secret. Lars was a bit of an ass at first, but I did like how he followed Seth out to his family’s bed & breakfast to win him back.

Cute, with a Christmas-y feel. Or I should say Hanukkah-y, since they are celebrating Hanukkah, not Christmas.

Val Kovalin
The story opens in Seattle, Washington. Seth works as a paralegal and is secretly dating his boss Lars, who is deeply in the closet. Seth has arranged a romantic vacation for them at his aunt and uncle's kosher bed-and-breakfast, located deep in the snowy Canadian woods.

At the last moment, Lars refuses to go because his clients and peers might wonder about him taking vacation during the week of Hanukkah. They might guess that he is dating Seth, who is Jewish. Seth and Lars have a bad argument an
Chris, the Dalek King
I've been going back and forth on whether or not to read this for something like three or four years. Ok, that is not entirely truthful--I've been going back and forth on whether to buy this book for that amount time, seeing as I've always wanted to read it. Just...nearly $5 for 100 pages? That's a bit painful for my wallet.

But I really liked Holiday Outing, which I bought several years ago, and I loved how this author does (well written) Hanukkah stories. So I did what any reasonable person wo
Dec 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
Carol of the Bellskis by Astrid Amara had the authors trademark sense of humor and well executed plot. I really like her writing style and Seth and Lars angst and snow affected romance was a delightful read. I think she nailed the pacing of the story as it comes in at a pretty pivotal time in the boys relationship. The story flows over the ensuing angst beautifully. I think Lars did seriously need a kick in the pants, but his coming to terms with his sexuality and what was important to him made ...more
Smith Barney
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
70% done and I don't even have to reach the finish line to know it's a winner. SO..that was an amusingly good time and heartfuzzy little story. Although, I must say I was a bit disappointed in the mysterious unimaginative climax of what actually happened to the Bellski's..but I was far too appreciative of the witty dialogue, humorous characters, silly-putty chemistry and just f'ing cute ridiculousness of the whole have that diminish its total net any means.

I'm actually more
Dec 24, 2015 rated it it was ok

Love Astrid Amara's holiday books, but this one, for the most part, did NOT work for me.

The MC is a jerk. His closeted boss love interest is a jerk. The guests at the B&B in Whistler are jerks. The missing aunt & uncle are jerks. The various family members are jerks.

Even when they try not to be jerks?...they're still annoying.

I skimmed a huge portion of this read.


Easy, holiday-themed read. Everything was just a bit too convenient to be convincing, but it was still a mostly enjoyable, nice, simple and fun story of a couple in crisis.
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked this one a lot, but then, I usually like this author's style. Lots of quirky side characters without it being absurd, and plenty of sexy scenes to keep a reader warm. The confrontation at the end was a bit of a let-down, but I suppose that's the way it goes, sometimes. Maybe there's more fireworks in that area in the next book? I suppose I'll find out! ...more
Elisa Rolle
Carol of the Belliskis is probably one of the best romantic comedy I read lately. It starts with a breakup though. Seth and Lars are one years old lovers and everything seems perfect between them as the reader can understand from the first sentences, a very hot and lyrical sex scene, a sex scene that says and describes everything without using any “naughty” word. But it’s not all roses in Paradise, Seth and Lars are also colleague, Lars is a partner layer in the firm where Seth is a paralegal, b ...more
Dec 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, contemporary
This was a sweet story, entertaining and funny (well at times outright hilarious), but with some serious topics adressed. Deeply closeted lawyer Lars is in love with his paralegal Seth, but he won't own up to the relationship, even gets himself a fake girlfriend for cover. In the beginning Seth thought he could cope with the secrecy, but as their relationship proceeds, Seth finds he can't anymmore. They break up over a vacation at Seth's aunt and uncle's which Lars promised to share, but backs o ...more
4.5 stars rounded up to 5.0

Paralegal Seth Bellski has been secretly dating his boss, Lars Varga, founding partner of Finch & Varga Law, for the past year. Seth is out but Lars is not. Seth loves Lars but is tired of the secrecy (Lars even has a beard GF!). Seth begs Lars to spend Hanukkah with Seth's family at their kosher B&B in Whistler but when Lars refuses, it's one more disappointment in a string of disappointments and the final straw for Seth. Realizing that Lars will never come out of the
Jan 08, 2010 rated it liked it
This is a fun, holiday themed story that is easy, light, and empty. Seth is involved with his closeted boss, Lars. When Lars refuses to go on vacation with Seth out of fear of discovery, it’s the last straw for Seth. Seth angrily breaks up with Lars and heads out to Canada to his family’s Bed and Breakfast. But the owners (Seth’s aunt/uncle) are missing and the guests are arriving.

The premise is cute but slightly overdone with easy solutions everywhere. Seth can’t cook but not to worry; Lars is
Nov 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'm stingy with the five stars. Very stingy. Very very stingy.

But this book quite deserves it. It's short and not very epic in the awwwww/omg way, but it packs everything you need from a romance story with it.

The characters were realistic, detailed, distinct and lovable. Their logic is human and justifiable. Their interaction is sweet but not-diabetic, and you can't help but root for them because they really do seem right for each other. The secondary characters were absolutely delightful, quirk
Dec 15, 2009 rated it liked it
I abandoned this fast. The two stars are because of that. The protags may have gotten better further in the book but it was already too late. I couldn't stand either of them.

While I could sympathise with Seth's position, I hate whiny people and they don't last long for me in my romances. Lars was just an asshole and these don't last long in my RL. Put the two together and I just felt way too old to want to read about them.

A pity because I loved Am
Jun 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Very good m/m Hanukkah romance about a paralegal who breaks up with his boyfriend (also his boss) because his closeted boss is backing out of their vacation plans. The paralegal heads off on vacation to his aunt and uncle’s kosher B&B alone… and finds himself taking care of all the guests, with his aunt and uncle nowhere to be found. Reread.
Jun 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I have to say this book surprised me, I didn't really know what to expect. I really enjoyed the story, it was really a sweet one and I enjoyed Lars and Seth and also the cast of characters they had me smiling and chuckling. It was really interesting to me what happens on the Hanukah Holiday. ...more
Jul 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm-read, z-2012, z-2019
Sweet and funny this was a quick and easy read for me.
Jan 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
I ended up really liking this one, I wasn't too sure I was going to when I started. LOL I disliked Lars but I loved Seth immediately, things worked themselves out and I grew to love Lars just as much as Seth. They had a really rocky start but I think that made the their conclusion of this part of their story satisfying. I'm so glad there is more to come!

I'm still not sure what I think of the little mystery, it seemed a bit weird but the guests at the B & B made the story interesting and enjoyab
Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. What a lovely book! Our MCs, Seth and Lars, have been dating for a year, but Seth, who is out, is tired of living in Lars' closet, and when Lars breaks his promise to spend Hanukkah with Seth at his aunt and uncle's B&B in Whistler, Seth finally snaps. He gives up, breaks up with Lars, and in a rage, drives up to Canada alone. When he arrives, he realizes that his aunt and uncle are missing, but guests are arriving, and it's up to him to make sure that the guests are cared for and the ...more
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Other books in the series

Holidays with the Bellskis (3 books)
  • Miracle of the Bellskis (Holidays with the Bellskis, #2)
  • Wedding Bellskis (Holidays with the Bellskis, #3)

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