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HOLIDAY REVIEW: “The Trouble With Elves” by Therese Woodson


Cal Martin loathes Christmas music, especially the clichéd carols pumped through the mall speakers on endless loop. Even worse is the holiday-themed hell of Santa’s Village that looms right in front of the sports store he manages. It’s yet another hurdle for Cal as he tries to survive the world of retail during the soul-sucking holiday season… until he catches a glimpse of one of Santa’s elves and becomes infatuated with the cheery, gorgeous guy dressed in candy-cane tights.

Of course, just walking up to the guy and asking him out isn’t easy, and a botched attempt at matchmaking ends up turning a simple courtship into a mess for the gossip page. What can Cal do to overcome his social ineptitude, correct erroneous assumptions, and maybe have a merry little Christmas of his own?


So, I’ve had a ridiculously goofy grin on my face the entire time I read this story…neverthemind that I’m sitting at home, alone, no one around, and just…smiling as wide as can be.

This story was so FREAKING adorable and sweet.  And my heart felt full and happy.  I adored Cal and Xander…and Brock…what a great younger brother character!  The banter between all of them and the camaraderie and the obvious affection was both realistic and entertaining.

I had my hesitations: I don’t like stories, necessarily, about musicians nor do I like stories about athletes.  And anything that describes retail life during the holidays at a mall gives me hives as I remember my teenaged past and also the pains of the present and facing holiday shopping.  I didn’t want to read this, actually.  But I’m so glad I did.   The musician + athlete storyline did not headline and was really a secondary consideration.  It was all about the character interaction, the mall itself playing a role as well.

Therese Woodson is a new-to-me author and I really like her voice.  The characters were likable, yet imperfect and the dialogue and descriptors grabbed my attention and kept it.  The quick friends-to-lovers relationship was charming and I loved every interaction with Cal & Xander…every single glance, wave, blush, and more.

Now, obviously, being this smitten by the story, my one complaint is that it’s too short!!! And it ended too abrubtly!  And I. WANT. MORE…of these guys!  I want to know what Cal decides for his life.  I want to see Xander step into his role as music teacher.  I want more of Brock.  Pretty please?!



Ami – 4 stars



19099889Title:  The Trouble With Elves
Author:  Therese Woodson
Publisher:  Dreamspinner 
Pages:  78
Release Date:  December 1, 2013
Purchase Links: Dreamspinner

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This entry was posted on December 24, 2013 by in Contemporary, Reviewer: Susan and tagged , , , .

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