Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Cal Martin manages the sporting goods store that happens to be directly across from the Christmas Village in the mall—the dreaded Christmas Village where Santa and his elves cause children to scream and cry and run around with very sticky candy-cane fingers. Cal should adapt “Grinch” as his nickname because he not only hates the whole scene, but he despises listening to the continuous loop of boring old Christmas music.
Cal was once a promising athlete, heading to college on a scholarship when he blew his knee out. Now he lives with his younger brother Brock who has a job in the food court so that they can commute and commiserate together. None of his employees are aware that he’s gay so when he spots a very sexy elf, one who would be able to grant all of Cal’s wishes, his employees, in particular nosy Mia, think he’s drooling over the cute female elf. As it happens, the elves are twins, and Mia knows them.
Unfortunately, due to a major misunderstanding, when Mia works her magic and gets Alex over to his store to meet him, it turns out that Alex is the female elf. Cal wants to be with Zander, her twin. Cal is astounded that their parents named one of them Alexandra and one Alexander. No wonder there was a misunderstanding! The problem is that Cal is so shy and awkward, he can’t find the words to straighten the situation out.
One misunderstanding leads to another until Cal finally realizes that he has to man up and just tell Zander outright that he’s interested in him, not his sister. Of course, it’s never simple, and it’s fun listening to this audiobook rendition of this very entertaining story. Ryan Kennard Burke does a great job with the youthful voices of Cal and Zander and even with singing the traditional Christmas songs which seem to be chapter headings. For a short story, it packs a lot of punch with humor, angst, and romance all sharing equal time.
I would recommend the audiobook to anyone who enjoys listening to their m/m romance and to those who want to enjoy a cute Christmas story with a sweet HEA.
Cover Art by Catt Ford is a very bright holiday green showing MC Zander’s guitar and elf hat. It’s nice and attractive and fits the short story well.
Note: A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2013 Advent Calendar package “Heartwarming”.
Audio book, Narrator Ryan Kennard Burke
ebook, 78 pages
Published December 1st 2013 by Dreamspinner Press (first published November 30th 2013)
ISBN 1627985948 (ISBN13: 9781627985949)