Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Cold has never been so hot.
College sophomore Derek is busy working over his holiday break—but his shifts at the toy store are no hardship if they mean more opportunity to dream about the sexy new guy working as an elf in Santa’s Workshop. When his mother gifts him a bag of cookies, Derek regifts them to Flynn as an excuse to get to know him. Flynn has presents to offer as well, and soon they’re dating, with Derek finding out his comfort zone is bigger than he imagined.
But Flynn is hiding a secret—he’s really a winter fairy whose magic is bound to the season. He can’t stay in the mortal realm, and Derek doesn’t want to lose contact with his family. Can they find a way to hold on to each other when the snow and sugar plums melt away?
Tit for Tat by J.S. Harker is one of those fantasy holiday stories that had a lot of potential but ended but as a sweet Christmas tale that never delivered on the promise of all the elements it held inside it. There very quite a few things I liked about this story. You have cute single Derek who is crushing on the elf working at Santa’s Workshop next to his Toy Store where he works at the Mall. Only the elf isn’t human, he’s a Winter Fae, complete with snarky, ancient companion (who I really enjoyed, think a wicked Tinkerbell with a penchant for gold spikes and stacks of pennies).
Flynn is an elf out of element…a innocent about the world he is visiting. So he has questions about everything around him, another adorable aspect of the story. As I said there is plenty to like. Harker starts to put everything in place for the romance and cultural smashup. But for me, something got lost. I’m not a fan of instantlove which this turned into. And with the faery kingdom, different fae tied to the various seasons, there wasn’t the world building I hoped to see as a foundation for the other story threads the author ran here and there amidst the romance.
It all culminates in a HFN that is a nice touch that raises as many questions as it solves if you examine it too closely.
So for those just wanting a fantasy holiday story with a twist, Tit for Tat might be the thing for you.
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson. I’m assuming that’s Derek and not Flynn, so it’s a good representation of the character. Brrrrr.
ebook, 242 pages
Expected publication: December 18th 2018 by Dreamspinner Presss
Edition Language English