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December 4, 2021

A Collection of Entertaining Holiday Short Stories

by MK French

This winter, rejoice in a festival of entertaining new tales from Amazon Original Stories. Unwrap unique short reads by bestselling authors to keep your holiday season merry and bright. Visit to browse a curated selection of stories — free for Prime Members and Kindle Unlimited Subscribers — and read on for reviews of the titles by Rainbow Rowell, Suzanne Redfearn, J. Courtney Sullivan, and Chandler Baker. 

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. Free books were provided for an honest review.

Model Home by J. Courtney Sullivan

Model Home
October 2021; Amazon Original Stories
audio, ebook (39 pages); holiday

Katie has it all on the home renovation show she hosts, but behind the scenes her marriage is rocky, her daughters hate her, and there are problems she can't fix. There is a final special to record, but can she manage to negotiate a better future?

The summary might sound like a rom-com setup, but it isn't. Life on TV isn't the same as real life, and Katie knows it. Her dream life is all that matters to her at this point, and she's determined to make it work. She doesn't like the idea of a future without the show, and her husband is fed up with the facade that they have to put on. I can see both their points, and that the divide between them grows further apart because of the lack of communication. Think of this as an anti-romcom story, so if you have the cutesy, overly sweet holiday movies and books that are out now, this is the shot of bitter you need to chase it down.

Buy Model Home at Amazon

If the Fates Allow by Rainbow Rowell

If the Fates Allow
November 2021; Amazon Original Stories
audio, ebook; holiday

Social distancing is easy for Reagan during the pandemic, but she returns to her childhood home so her grandfather won't stay alone. Meeting Mason again was a surprise, and he doesn't mind her prickly behavior. How can they stay apart if they're supposed to be six feet apart?

Reagan has a fairly bleak outlook because of COVID in the beginning of the book, much like many of us did with the pandemic. She isolated, she didn't visit friends or family, wore a mask, and didn't approach anything potentially dirty or infective if she could help it. That left her feeling more anxious around people than anything else, and Mason being next door and feeling similarly about his life was a thin connection that eventually got bolstered. This is cute, a not-quite romantic story, but certainly feels like the buildup to one, and I enjoyed it. 

Buy If the Fates Allow at Amazon

The Marriage Test by Suzanne Redfearn

The Marriage Test
November 2021; Amazon Original Stories
audio, ebook; holiday

Couples in Ava's family have for generations endured a test: get the egg of the magnificent frigate bird and bake it into a marriage cake. Those who succeed live happily ever after, while those who fail are destined for heartbreak. Ava needs to succeed so her ailing grandmother can attend her wedding.

It's an interesting concept, to test a relationship before actually going through with the wedding. Ava and her boyfriend Justin both look for the frigate bird egg to follow through with Ava's tradition, but we see the cracks in the relationship even before the trip. It's a bittersweet kind of story, in the sense that things are almost as perfect as they seem. But almost isn't good enough, and real life isn't the same as stories. Ava realizes this and gets the ending that fits her growth.

Buy The Marriage Test at Amazon

Oh. What. Fun. by Chandler Baker

Oh What Fun
November 2021; Amazon Original Stories 
audio, ebook; holiday

Claire Clauster usually goes overboard for the holidays, taking care of all festivities while her husband is the Fun Dad. Her children Tyler, Sammy, and Channing have arrived at their childhood home with spouses and children. Things are just a little bit off this year, however...

The story reminds me of crime shows, where they interview people piecing together everything from multiple POVs to tracking the crime itself. We see Claire with her family from their POV, piecing together the timeline and the stress that comes from a large family getting together for the holiday and trying to do everything traditionally. Claire does it all, and the grown children like having things as they expected. They don't see her exhaustion or even read some of the things she sends them, much like many mothers' efforts aren't seen.

Buy Oh. What. Fun. at Amazon

This collection is part of the Amazon Original Stories series, where authors are tapped to write books specifically for Amazon. Think of this like their Prime Originals, but in book form. These are quick and fun reads, complete stories that can be easily enjoyed in bite-sized pieces during a busy holiday season.

Not a Prime or Kindle Unlimited subscriber? It's easy to sign up for a 6, 12, or 24 months Kindle Unlimited membership. Or try Prime for FREE for 30 days and get access not only to free ebooks, but free videos, shipping, and more!

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Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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