Monday, December 26, 2011

Naughty: The Santa Problem

Title: The Santa Problem
Author: Tam Ames
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: contemporary, holiday
Length: 6800 words

Lane would do most anything to make his live-in love Gavin happy, but this is taking things too far. Just because Gavin can’t find someone to play Santa at his office building, doesn’t mean it’s Lane’s problem too. But Gavin can be very persuasive when he wants his way, and Lane may be taking on more than he can handle in order to keep his man content.


After the first coffee snort, I put down the cup, and my computer is grateful for it. First, Gavin has to wheedle Lane into agreeing to play Santa, and a less likely Saint Nick is hard to imagine. Young, buff, and regarding kids as some exotic species best kept on leashes, Lane takes a lot of convincing.

Gavin seems born to play a particularly naughty elf, all big eyes and tights-worthy legs. Any chance Lane had of evading the red velvet suit was lost about the time these two got together, some unknown time ago. They are a couple, but still feel like they are in the honeymoon phase. Lane is still inching his way out of the closet in some directions, and Gavin's letting him choose the ways to do it.

Of course Lane gets his ho-ho-ho on eventually, and don't plan on drinking anything while he does it; it will land on your reader. From the scared, to the wild, to the mercenary, every sort of child, not all of them housebroken, ends up on his lap. Boy, does Gavin owe him for this!

Reading between the lines on Lane's objections, there are clues that holiday and family aren't good memories for him, that this whole Christmas business is more painful than he'd like to let on. Did he not love Gavin so much, he'd be impossible to persuade, even with the winsome pleading and the *heh* bribery. And because Lane does allow himself to be persuaded, there's also a bit of healing for him; Christmas becomes better in the arms of his lover.

This isn't just a humorous romp, this story shows a relationship taking a step forward in a sweet way, and a different step in a naughty way. Two sex scenes in such a short piece are not excessive; they move both the story and the relationship along, and are just plain fun to read, too. Gavin and Lane learn something new about each other, and I'd like to peek on them again after they've had some time to explore their new information. Once again, Tam Ames has combined funny with hot, and shows growth for the couple. This author does great humor pieces (who else would give us were-hamsters?) but here the underlying serious theme gives dimension to what would otherwise be a just a lark. Fun, but with depth. 4.5 marbles

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