Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Thistle is a sweet elf with a kind heart. He tries his best to help all the other elves in Santa’s workshop. Unfortunately, Thistle tends to leave disaster in his wake despite his good intentions. He dreams of finding an elf who will love him in spite of his clumsiness, an elf he can make a home for. But what elf wants to live in constant peril? Thistle figures he should just stick with his anonymous treat baskets, especially where Bayberry, Santa’s production manager, is concerned.
Bayberry is a bit of a serious elf. A little distant from most of the North Pole crew, Bayberry is lonely. When another Thistle Incident occurs, pushing the production department behind schedule only a few weeks before Christmas, Bayberry gets a “suggestion” from The Big Guy to ask Thistle for help. What could an accident-prone elf do to assist him? But to Bayberry’s surprise, he might gain more than help with his monthly reports.
I picked this short story by E.T. Malinowski because I read Kai for Christmas last year and I liked it very much. So I was curious about her new story for the Dreamspinner Advent Calendar. And I wasn’t disappointed.
Thistle is the sweetest and helpful elf ever with a little problem, his clumsiness. He’s able to fall on nothing and breaks anything. He’s trying so hard to be handy in Santa’s workshop, especially with his amazing baked sweets. And then one day, his crush and manager asks for Thistle help. Bayberry is the only one who believes he’s not a trouble but a fascinating young man. This new closeness will bring them to finally open their eyes and find a mate.
Hearth and Home is really adorable and well written, I found myself in a world full of holiday scents, with great characters and one of the cutest elves I’ve read about. This story won me over for its sweetness, it’s my soft spot I know. More, it was evocative and magical. And the sex was hot.
If you’re looking for something to warm your heart in these cold days, this short is for you.
The cover art by Bree Archer is simple and fitting. Well done but I would have preferred something different, magical and colorful as the story is.
Kindle Edition, 56 pages
Published November 30th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
seriesSleigh Ride – 2015 Advent Calendar