Title: Grumble Monkey and the Department Store Elf
Author: B.G. Thomas
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Characters: Nick St. George, Kit Jefferies
Sub-Genre: Holiday, Erotic Romance
Kit Jefferies, a part-time department store Christmas elf, is an artist who loves life and his family. Unfortunately, his car dies at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere as he is heading home for Christmas. Enter Nick St. George.
Nick is a very unhappy man—he’s achieved his professional goals only to find the rest of his life bleak and empty. Deciding there was only one way to make everything right, he is on his way to San Francisco on a dark mission, and even the horrible sleet storm that blocked his path won’t deter him. That’s when he found Kit.
At first, Nick is pretty sure rescuing Kit was a big mistake. Kit’s personality is just too, well, effervescent. But as the miles go by, Kit begins to bring light to his dark heart. It might even be bright enough to illuminate a Christmas miracle.
At first I was taken aback by Nick’s swearing and harsh inner thoughts. But I think that was the point because of, not only his horrible original destination, but the tremendous change he undergoes during his trip through the snowy highway with a chatty Kit. Nick’s not an easy person to like, but Kit is the most positive character I’ve read about lately, so no surprise he breaks through the blocks of ice and stone that form Nick’s shell.
This was an absolutely beautiful, life-affirming story. Kit’s in dire straits, giving Nick the chance to show he can be more than the desperate, resigned man he depicts. Characterization and dialogue shine here, so realistic and captivating you can’t help but continue reading. I do wish we had been inside Kit’s head a bit more, but this is more Nick’s story.
The writing, the pace, the plot. All show remarkable depth, hidden in plain sight, effortless and bittersweet. There’s not much sex here, but a slow-burning sensuality and erotic tension that fills the void. It is all too easy to recommend this to everyone who loves the M/M genre in general. When Nick starts to enjoy Kit’s company, the gloomy mood lifts so easily that you’ll be swept away by this love story, I guarantee it.
Reviewed By: Susan