Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Working Elf Blues by Piper Vaughn

Title: The Working Elf Blues
Author: Piper Vaughn
Purchase at All Romance  eBooks                    
Cover Artist: 
Genre:  fantasy, holiday
Formats:  Epub, MOBI, PDF

Garnet Evergreen has never heard of an elf abandoning the North Pole for a human, but he yearns to be the first. Ever since he saw Wes, the boy with sorrowful eyes, Garnet felt an undeniable kinship. Over the years, he's watched that boy grow into a man, and now he's determined to give Wes a Christmas he'll never forget. If only Garnet had thought to test his father's sleigh before leaving...

Orphaned as a child, Wes spends every Christmas alone at his cabin. When he's woken by a suspicious boom and finds a wrecked sleigh and an unconscious elf, he doesn't know how to react. Wes isn't fanciful. He doesn't give much credence to the stories about Santa Claus and flying reindeer. But a part of him wants desperately to believe when Garnet promises forever, even if life has taught him that no one ever stays... 
Cute premise: an elf from Santa’s workshop wants to spend his life with a human, and finds a way to accomplish that. However, Garnet’s not the most deft pair of hands in the workshop, and manages to drop himself from heights and get into other predicaments from which he needs rescue. Getting pulled out of snowbanks is meet cute but rather embarrassing for the guy who’s now soaking wet.

Wes, on vacation in the frozen forest, is attracted to the inept elf, but his own history doesn’t include a lot of love, so he’s not good at recognizing what’s going on. Also, other forces are at work, both to help and to hinder, so if he gets left again by this pointy-eared Christmas present, he won’t be entirely surprised.

The whole setup is one of proving oneself, which I liked, but I was rather disturbed by one element. Garnet’s always been attracted to Wes, which fine, except, he first sees Wes as a child, and the story evolution doesn’t really start with something on the order of “this kid needs a friend and I could be that friend” and progress from there; it’s always presented as “we should be together always, even if he's not gay, oh goodie he's gay”. I could have missed something, but I don’t think so, because I was looking for it, so it comes across as creepy stalkerish. Garnet reads young, but he doesn’t read young on the par with child Wes, which... brrr. Only his extreme naiveté keeps the squick factor down. Otherwise, everything that takes place in present day is cute.

I seem to be the only one with this problem, so maybe I’m the Grinch. 3 marbles

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