Series: 2013 – Heartwarming Advent Calendar
Author: Therese Woodson
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Holiday
Length: Novelette (78 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 1st, 2013)
Heat Level: Low – Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5 Hearts
Blurb: 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?
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2013 Advent Calendar package “Heartwarming.”
Review: Honestly, I thought this would be yet another boring Christmas romance, thus I’m so glad I was surprised. Yes, I was surprised by the plot, by the characters, from the turn of events and pretty much everything, but mostly from the depth that this story managed to (so subtly) get.
Cal Martin is not just a retail employee, managing a sports store at the mall. This character has much more hidden than shown in plain sight. His crankiness with the Holidays and the cheery Christmas music is just the tip of the iceberg to this character’s treats. I loved that this author managed to give him some dimensions and not let him be as flat as he first appeared. By the end of the story he definitely got to be one of those characters I so love to read and respect even.
And Xander, the elf… oh my. Just plain adorable. The fact that the author didn’t shy away from portraying his surrounding world exactly the cruel way they get with someone a bit different (though I admit I just couldn’t get how his “friends” never saw how pretty fantastic he was) was one of the best parts of the story.
You’d think that two guys finding each other attractive and crushing on each other would be pretty straightforward, right? Wrong! That doesn’t happen when you have meddling people surround you and you’re a bit inept at sticking up a conversation. What I didn’t expect though was how exactly messed up the situation would get. The twin factor was brilliant and funny as hell even as it screwed up everything for our pair for some time. But the romance development, the flirting and walking on eggshells, and the silent pinning, all that was just lovely. I felt slowly melting along with Cal and after finishing the story I was left with this silent sigh and content.
Definitely, a Christmas story you’ll want to read. The Trouble with Elves is one that will make you laugh and enjoy a nice night, especially if you accompany it with a hot chocolate and some candy cane 😉 Recommended!