Rating: 4 stars
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Length: Novel

Hunter Adams has graduated college and is having trouble finding a job, or even really figuring out what he wants to do with his life. Home for the holidays, he takes a temporary job playing an elf in the mall Santa’s Village. As it turns out, the guy playing Santa, Nick Spini, is super hot and Hunter’s total fantasy man, but he is also not very friendly and the sexy older man kind of intimidates Hunter.

Nick isn’t sure how he got roped into this Santa gig, but he agreed to help out a friend. Nick hasn’t had too many people in his life since he lost his partner to a tragic accident, and now he spends most of his time on his tree farm by himself. The idea of all these people around is overwhelming and what is causing most of his grumpiness. But that doesn’t stop him from eying the adorable elf…

When Nick needs some help on his farm for the week, he reluctantly agrees to offer the job to Hunter. And when a blizzard traps them together, the guys get a chance to know each other a little better. As it turns out, not only is the attraction between the men mutual, but their interests in daddy kink align. It has been a long time since Nick has found someone who shares his needs and Hunter is thrilled to explore sex for the first time with someone like Nick. As it turns out, Hunter is a good fit on the farm as well, finding that the outdoor work really suits him. As the guys spend more time together, they realize that there could be something more here than a holiday fling, but both men need to be brave enough to reach for what they want together.

Santa Daddy is a cute, fun holiday story with a lot of tropey goodness that is right up my alley — virgin hero, age gap, snowbound, a little daddy kink… Pretty much just written for me! There is also a nice little bit of enemies to lovers vibe as well, as things start out a little rocky between the guys. Not only is Nick gruff and kind of surly (mostly because he is totally overwhelmed by peopling), but he also gets a bad first impression of Hunter when he is late to the job. So at first, both guys are totally hot for the other, but also not really liking one another. Even in this shorter story, with a relatively short timeline, I think Andrews does a nice job giving us that progression from mutual dislike (but totally hot for one another) to a nice bond between them. I liked how not only does their relationship build, but we get growth from both men. Nick is able to move on from his past and also starts to take some steps to being more social and comfortable with others. For Hunter’s part, he really finds himself here and learns to stop focusing on what he thinks he should be doing, and instead figuring out what he actually wants from his life.

On the relationship end, these guys are good together. The early part of the book is more focused on the getting to know you, but then things move into steamier territory. This is a daddy kink story, but definitely on the mild end. If this is your first foray into this type of kink, I think this is a great place to jump in, but if you are looking for more intense Daddy/boy play, you might not find this as satisfying. The guys call each other Daddy and boy and there is a light spanking scene, as well as a bit of domination in their sex. But things are really low key and there isn’t that sense of a Daddy who is really guiding his boy along, nor of really intense play during sex. So the kink worked for me as adding a little fun and steam to their encounters, but as I said, it is pretty mild.

Overall I found this a fun and sweet story. It is a quick book, but Andrews made me believe in their relationship and their individual growth. I enjoyed seeing the surly Nick find happiness and watching the men create a future for themselves together.