“It doesn’t matter if you’re 20, 40, 60, 80, or 100. Embrace your sexy-ass self and express it!” ― Steve Maraboli
Pip’s Boxing Day Wish
Having been sent to the North Pole with the Santa’s Little Helpers outreach programme as a child, Pip has always worried what the other inhabitants of Christmas’s homeland thought of him. But after spending a heated Christmas with two other elves, selected from Ms Claus’s super sexy list, Pip is even more worried. He didn’t mean for everyone to think he was just another guy trying to get his sugar-balls off. Pip wants love and a boyfriend, and that pretty much makes up his Christmas list.
When Santa employs the elf for a super important Christmas mission, Pip is over the moon. But his guide on that mission is to be someone he shared mind-blowing sex with for the randy Ms Claus at that fateful Christmas party. Judging by the looks he’s getting, Pip is sure that this elf thinks of him like all the rest do. Could he be wrong? Could this mission turn things around and grant Pip his Boxing Day Wish?
I will start this review by saying that this is the second instalment of Ms Wadsworth’s endearing Christmas tale from the Naughty North Pole (the first was a tale of Ms Claus and so I skipped it and went straight for the man-on-man section of the holiday romp). Naturally, coming in at a later stage in a tale is always tricky, as some parts of the fable are missed, but true to her style, Deanna Wadsworth has all bases covered and leads the reader by the hand and straight into the fantasy with all questions answered. Next, I will commend the author for taking a story that has been an institution for hundreds of years and giving it a fresh and original take. What Twilight did for vampire lore, Wadsworth has done for the candy coated tradition of the classic Christmas stories of yore. To summarise, the team at the North Pole are derived from Norse mythology, Santa and Ms Claus being descendants of a God and thus, their power inherited. The elves in this story are not the little people with curly toed booties; instead, they are light and dark elves who have been sworn to the cause from their distant lands. Think Legalos instead of Willow, and you are getting the right idea.
For me, this story was quite a delight to read, despite being an erotica story, which is something I don’t generally get involved with. But lucky enough, I’m a Christmas junkie, so I liked it anyway. Whilst still capturing the essence of the holiday, the author has delivered a great little tale of life at the top of the world, with characters that we can all relate to. The dark and brooding elf, Erik, seemed complex and stoic. Light elf Lars was cocky and arrogant. And then there is Pip. Pip for me was the epitome of the holiday, his playful nature and childlike ponderings slotting perfectly into a holiday tale of finding love where you least expect it. However, his innocence may or may not have made the sexual parts of this story a little hard to swallow (much like the candy-cane flavoured orgasms these little guys seem so fond of exchanging). But ultimately, I couldn’t help but love each of these characters, all so different yet all so familiar at the same time.
The stories progression was executed with precision and delivered gift wrapped in colourful words that truly embraced the reader. Each little event was planned and delivered down the chimney of my imagination and for the short time it took to ingest the tale, I was right there, knee deep in snow, playing games and riding reindeer with the fictional offerings. This story also served to be an introduction to the character of Nick (that’s Santa Claus to you and me) and give us just a little teaser of what’s to come when Old St Nick (who is more like an Abercrombie model) takes the reins.
This tale is not meant to be taken seriously; it was written in good humour with an erotic twist that had me finishing reading it in no time at all. Whilst it sated the dirtier side of my mind, it also made me excited for the impending holiday festivities. If you want some light-hearted Christmas cheer, then this series is right for you. Though the thought of peanut butter flavoured spunk repulses me, this addition to the prolific works of Ms Wadsworth left me hungry for more. Luckily, Santa hears all our wishes and is delivering me another story, his own story, from the Naughty North Pole.
While this wasn’t my favourite instalment from the series, it still did the trick for me. 3.5 glistening snowflakes for Pip and his sexy Boxing Day wish.
A Gift for Santa
As a young man, Nick watched as the party boomed, his eyes fixed on the handsome weather sprite as he painted images on the window in ice. The two men bonded, their attraction building into the perfect kiss. And then Jack walked away. Decades later and Nick is still smarting from the rejection, his heart still longing for Jack Frost the way it had when he was younger. So when Jack approaches him on the street, Nick cannot deny the attraction is still roaring between them. Almost on a dare, they retreat to a nearby hotel and indulge in the pent up sex they missed out on as young men. But Jack’s frosty outer layer has always been their biggest obstacle, and Nick is left out in the cold once again. How could Nick feel so strongly for a man who hates everything he stands for? What kind of man hates Christmas?
After reading the light-hearted prequel to this Christmas jaunt, I was not expecting what I read in this short novella. I was expecting scenes of sex and blazing lust with a twist of good humour. But as with most great writers, Deanna Wadsworth set to shading outside the lines in this beautifully romantic erotic tale that left me pining right there with Nick. Nick, for those of you who don’t realise, is actually Santa Claus, only much younger looking, with an athletic body and sans beard. Both Nick and Jack being God-like characters of mythology make a perfect match for each other, and their tale has so many levels that I was taken in and cosied up with the men within the first page. Wadsworth transcended the genre when she put this story together, and the best part about this was the romance that, I must admit, had me shed a tear or two throughout.
It might seem a little tacky to make jolly old Santa a hot and sexy guy, but with the twisting etymology of his roots, based in ancient mythology in this case, the character stood as a beacon for the old ways, whilst still embracing the traditional values of the holiday. It was like reading that same jolly giant but with much more sex appeal. And what made it better? Santa was holding out for the man he loved and had not made love to another in decades. Jack seemed to be the opposite of Nick; dark where Nick is light, smooth where Nick is hairy, bitter where Nick is optimistic. He literally had his frost sewn into the fabric of his character and together, the two men made a duo of unexpected yet completely natural antithesis. From very early on, it was clear that Jack’s dislike of the holiday was more than just his razor tongue and his ingrained cold veneer. There was more bubbling beneath the surface.
This book also saw the return of some of our previous beloved cast; Nick’s half sister, the optimistic elf Pip, the jaded elf Lars. This is what I love from a series. It takes great skill to interweave characters like this, but Wadsworth seemed to do it effortlessly and it flowed perfectly like a fresh glass of eggnog, right down my gullet and warming me all the way.
Now let’s talk sex. For an author known for her raunchy plot twists and tangles of heated flesh splaying out across the page, this addition actually saw a tenderness I was not expecting. The sex was slower, more calculated and appreciated as something more than just body contact. That’s not to say it wasn’t hot as hell (or cold as ice). Here’s a hint…Jack can make anything out of frost, including things shaped like a cock. I‘m still reeling from that little treat. I also found the fight for sexual dominance very intriguing, as both characters were rooted in typical views of masculinity, and having them fight for the upper hand was both increasingly erotic and so typically alpha male. A lot of time and thought clearly went into the creation of this power struggle, and it backed the story up magnificently.
Ultimately, what we have here is a Christmas tale that transcends the norm. It is a tale of want and desire and the complexities of a love that won’t diminish through time. It was effortlessly easy to get drawn in and impossible to escape the feelings between these two men. And to top it all off, it was a very original take on all our Christmas traditions. I strongly recommend this book. Read it by the fire with a cup of peppermint hot chocolate and the Christmas tree lights illuminating the room. A 4.5 snowflake addition to a cracking Christmas series. Deanna Wadsworth has truly outdone herself. And she isn’t stopping there. Keep your eyes peeled for the next installment.
Fun and Games with Rudolph
Ever since that fateful night where Lars was picked from Ms. Claus’s list, the light elf has had the niggling feeling that something big is missing from his life. After countless one-nighters and the ease of sex from the newly developed Elf4Elf app, Lars could have any ass he wanted. But his correspondence with an elf over the app has led him to break his cardinal rule; no repeats.
Something about Mike has him hooked. So when Mike abandons his daily messaging, Lars is back in his slump.
At Santa’s request, Lars sets out across the snow to Sugar Plum Ridge on a mission to deliver a Christmas gift to the shamed elf Rudolph, who has put himself into isolation after the embarrassing events of his failure to breed flying reindeer with glowing noses. A storm traps the two men together on the ridge, and what should have been a night of magical Christmas cheer, might just turn into something neither elf had ever dreamed.
Book four in the Naughty North Pole series, Fun and Games with Rudolph, is the story of Lars, a light elf who has popped into all the previous books. Lars has a reputation for being quite the cad, using and abusing his conquests before kicking them to the dirt. I liked the way this characters ambiguous thoughts on relationships were hinted at in the earlier stories, and when we meet Lars, the reader already feels they know a thing or two about the detached Lothario. Whilst we have been trained to dislike this character, being inside this elf’s mind gives the reader a view of the softer side of Lars and uses the exposure to Ms Claus’s powerful pheromones as the stimulus that opened his eyes to a new way of thinking.
I was quite fond of the introduction of Elf4Elf, a newly developed dating app created by Pip, one of our former protagonists who found love in book two. This not only modernized the story, but truly gave Lars the means to have all the loveless flings he wanted, which were what started him to questioning his motives for his detachment. On the app, Lars meets Mike, and the two strike up an inexplicable bond that suddenly breaks one night after Lars asks to see Mike’s face (after performing a particularly raunchy sex act on video).
It was just good fun. This whole book was a silly, sexy jaunt through the snow and I liked it a lot. It didn’t take a genius to figure out who Mike was and it didn’t take long for Lars to find him, but it was sweet and endearing and I liked it all the same. Rudolph was a very complex character, made almost stubbornly to accommodate Lars’s sexual thirst. I choose to think of it as a match made in heaven, when in actual fact it was just a way that Lars could stay true to himself and have all the sex he wanted since Rudolph didn’t think monogamy was such a big deal. I’m not a huge fan of open relationship stories in my romance. I mean, I don’t see the point. But for the sake of these characters, one insatiable sex fiend and one hermit with a kinky side, this arrangement was the best they were going to get.
I think this book stuttered after being released following the epic love story of Nick and Jack. It was never going to compare when its predecessor was a romantic tale of the fathers of winter, but it was good fun nonetheless. Wadsworth used Nick and Jack’s tale as a way to manipulate Lars and Rudolph into their version of an HEA and did so with good humor, excellent adventure and a whole lot of sex. These two characters seemed made for each other, two outcasts finding love against the odds. Not my favorite book in the series, but definitely a good, fun read. 3 stars for this unconventional holiday romance.