Cal Martin loathes Christmas music, especially the clichéd carols pumped through the mall speakers on endless loop. Even worse is the holiday-themed hell of Santa's Village that looms right in front of the sports store he manages. It's yet another hurdle for Cal as he tries to survive the world of retail during the soul-sucking holiday season… until he catches a glimpse of one of Santa's elves and becomes infatuated with the cheery, gorgeous guy dressed in candy-cane tights.
Of course, just walking up to the guy and asking him out isn't easy, and a botched attempt at matchmaking ends up turning a simple courtship into a mess for the gossip page. What can Cal do to overcome his social ineptitude, correct erroneous assumptions, and maybe have a merry little Christmas of his own?
This short 78-page novella from Christmas 2014 was light, fluffy and enjoyable.
At 24, Cal is an ex-baseball player, whose dreams of going pro dissolved after a major knee injury, so now he is (mostly) happy to manage a sporting goods store at the mall.
But Cal pretty much hates all things Christmas, especially the season's 'cheerful' music, piped through the mall for months leading up to the holiday.
Until he becomes infatuated with one of Santa's helpers and hears him singing those exact same annoyingly-cheesy Christmas songs, that is.
The gist of the story is basically a case of mistaken identity. Sort of. But not really. But sort of.
I'm not going to do the spoiler thing and ruin the story for you, but the first two-thirds of the book was one big comedy of errors and very cute.
In addition to the adorable, awkward flirtations between the two MC's, one of the best parts of the book was Cal's interactions with his extremely supportive little brother, Brock.
Brock. Was. The. Shit. Full stop. Unlike a lot of secondary characters, who I've seen distract from a story's main focus, Brock added a lot of humor to the story, without trying to steal the show. I completely loved him.
As for the heat, there was really only one rather hot (frotting) scene, but the MC's were way too cotton candy and peppermint stick sweet to be humping like cracked out bunnies, so the steam level felt appropriate.
Also, there was no real angst or unnecessary theatrics, so this one rates around 4 *cute-and-cuddly* stars for me, but I did feel that the HFN ending was a tad bit abrupt.
My copy of the story was provided by the publishers in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.
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