by Marie Lipscomb, M.L Eliza
Publication Date: November 3, 2021
I received an advance review copy of this book from BookSprout. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My rating:
I've always hated Christmas, but this year will be different, because this year, Santa Claus is jingling me all the way.
When Holly wakes up on Christmas Eve to find an intruder in her home, she does what anyone else would; grabs her replica medieval broadsword and sneaks downstairs to deal with him.
But he isn't a burglar. He wears a big red coat, big brown boots, and his big round belly shakes like a bowl full of jelly. He's Santa Claus. He's thick. And he's HOT.
What begins as a simple misunderstanding, develops into a passion Holly never knew she needed, with a man who knows her every want and desire. But Holly has a secret, one she can't ever let Claus discover; the true reason she hates Christmas.
This is 100% one of the most bonkers erotic romance novellas I’ve ever read, and that’s saying something. I can’t say I’ve read too many Santa-related romances, but the few I have haven’t, er, jingled my bells. But I’ve never been disappointed by Marie Lipscomb before, so when I saw she was releasing this under a pen name, even though I had my worries, I couldn’t resist. I’m glad I didn’t! This is a delightfully fluffy and filthy take on Santa!
“He’s so confident, so self-assured, and I can’t help but to wonder what it would be like—and I can’t believe I’m actually thinking this—to fuck Santa Claus.”
There’s no arguing that the basis of Holly and Claus’s relationship is instalust, as Holly wants him from the first minute she catches him leaving presents under her tree. It turns out to be a mistake, as the gifts are meant for a five-year-old instead, but Claus (Santa’s actual name) is also interested in Holly, though he reluctantly has to leave to finish delivering presents. But when they meet up again on Christmas day? Apparently “stern Christmas daddy” is exactly what Holly wants! But while she’s a fan of Claus’s candy cane, she hates Christmas, so how could a relationship between them ever work?
In this particular version of Santa, Claus isn’t human. He’s a (probably) immortal being who has the ability to change his size in order to fit down chimneys, and for other *eyebrow waggle* pursuits. But Holly figuring out whether a relationship with him is possible was one of the best parts of the novella for me. As the only being of his type that he knows about, Claus is lonely, and he doesn’t always understand human society. For instance, Claus can read everyone’s desires, which is pretty fun in bed but can get a little weird outside of it. Sure, a gorgeously redecorated bathroom is nice and probably a very good Christmas present, but having your entire house rearranged without asking for it? In his defense, when Holly mentions it, Claus apologizes and then doesn’t do it again. That’s one good example of the pattern of their relationship: a misunderstanding, followed by communication to resolve the issue. It’s downright refreshing.
On the other hand, the bits about why Holly hates Christmas didn’t resonate as much with me. As a child, a tragic event at Christmas led to Holly hating the holiday and, because Santa didn’t bring her anything that year, fostered a belief that she was one of the proverbial “bad” kids. The eventual reveal of that event is heartbreaking, but the way she finally rejected that belief was a little too pat and quick for me.
There’s other bits of the Santa myth that are tweaked as well. There’s reindeer, but no elves, so he makes the toys for every good child who believes in him by himself. It’s unrepentantly goofy in spots. For instance, there’s the requisite Santa-related dirty jokes, involving candy cane condoms and cum that tastes like peppermint (which gives a new meaning to minty-fresh breath), as well as joining the mile high club in the famous sleigh. Though I can definitely say I never want to read the words “Kringle tingle” again.
“None of this makes sense, and if I’m honest, it scares me. But it excites me too. For now, I’m just going to enjoy it for what it is.”
Overall, I finished this novella not being exactly quite sure what I just read but I enjoyed it all the same. If you’re looking for a fluffy and filthy erotic novella.