A Free Dreamer Review: Love Blooms by Stephanie Hoyt

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Nico Hamurişi is the one and only son of Santa Claus. All his life, Nico has known he’s expected to fall in love and find lifelong commitment by the Christmas of his thirtieth year—like every other heir before him. But knowing and accepting are vastly different things, and as the final countdown begins, Nico has yet to embrace his fate. His once great enthusiasm for eventually becoming Santa has been dimmed by uncertainty over how the Santa Line will be affected when he marries a man.

With only a year left, will Nico have time to find love and commitment all while learning how magic will transform the family line to accommodate who he is and who he loves?

As much as I tend to avoid holiday stories on principle, I actually read two of them this year. “Love Blooms” sounded like an interesting take on the Santa Claus myth, so I decided to give it a try. And I’m glad I did because I actually quite liked it.

After reading the blurb, I was a bit worried there might be Mpreg in this story, a trope I really can’t stand. But I’m glad to say that none of the boys got pregnant. I won’t reveal how the “provide an heir” problem is solved, but magic does indeed find a way.

As I’d hoped, the take on the Santa Claus myth proved to be quite interesting. Being Austrian, I didn’t grow up with Santa Claus, so there were no childhood memories to be spoiled for me. I liked how Santa Claus wasn’t this immortal being that didn’t age, but rather a title to be passed from father to son. I also liked how every human being had a bit of magic in them, Nico just has a different kind of magic from others. Outside of the Santa line there isn’t a whole lot of world-building going on, but it was enough.

Nico made for an easily likable character. It wasn’t hard to relate to his conflict and understand the pressure he faces. When the love finally did bloom, it was beautiful to watch it unfold. It was quite cute and fluffy, but still on a tolerable for me.

I did have a few minor niggles. Nico’s story gets a lot of on page time and I understand that his story is probably more interesting than that of his love interest, but a bit more about the other guy would have been nice anyway. Especially the reveal of his magic was very anticlimactic. And I think the story of how he decided to spend the rest of his life with the future Santa Claus would have been an interesting one to read as well.

All in all, “Love Blooms” is one of the better holiday stories out there. Yes, it’s cute and fluffy, but not extremely so. There’s real, believable conflict and struggle and an interesting take on the Santa Claus myth. I think this makes a great holiday read that lets you relax and sink into a happy place, without being over the top. I was pleasantly surprised.

The cover by Natasha Snow is really pretty. It just looks so magical and just really fits the story.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book details:

ebook, 225 pages

Published December 10th 2018 by NineStar Press

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