Reviewed by Marieke
TITLE: Hearth and Home
SERIES: Sleigh Ride (2015 Advent Calendar)
AUTHOR: E.T. Malinowski
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
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.
Christmas stories are about love, friendship, kindness, holiday cheer and Santa. Most stories I’ve read so far in this genre, were sweet and warm and gave me that fuzzy feeling of joy. And when I started reading this one, I got the same feeling.
Thistle is a very sweet but clumsy elf. He wants to help so bad, yet something always goes wrong. When we first meet him, he walks into a workbench and breaks all the glass that’s on it. It also turns out the boxes he was carrying weren’t supposed to be moved. But when Thistle is at home, he shines. His strongest power is the power of hearth. He cooks and he bakes like a pro, and he makes a house a home.
But then the story kind of changes…
It’s pretty unnerving to read about a sweet elf ––who bakes cookies and is a home-maker–– who wants to be bent over a desk and fucked hard. Yeah…weird.
The first time, I gulped but continued reading. The second time I stopped and looked at my husband. He asked me what was wrong and I told him. He laughed, of course, but then agreed with me that an elf of Santa should NOT be having hardcore sex. They should have soft, romantic evenings, making love in front of the fire.
That was actually my only complaint about this little story, but it made reading it weird and less fun. Therefore I rated it pretty low. But if you don’t mind horny elves, this might be the story for you!