Ignacio Angel Ortiz Santana, known to the customers of his adult top shop as “Mr. Santa,” has big problems. His last boyfriend was a gold-digging twink, Manny, who emptied Ignacio’s accounts and ruined his rep in the kink community there in St. Petersburg, Florida. While more than half-drunk, Ignacio writes a “please help me” letter to Santa…of all things.
And, inexplicably, Santa receives Iggy’s plea. Turns out Santa has an elf who doesn’t actually fit at the North Pole. Arlo’s a talented toy maker, but Santa can’t really give out those kind of toys to kids. And Arlo is kind of freakishly big for an elf. Arlo knows he’s a bit of a square peg, but he’s still stunned to get fired from Santa’s workshop. His boss has a plan though, and it involves Arlo watching adult movies—featuring sexy men—and preparing for entry into the human realm.
Iggy’s “Help Wanted” sign doesn’t seem to attract anyone, but the most innocent little white boy he’s ever seen. Arlo has never stepped foot in an adult toy store, but he knows a mate-bond when he senses it. And, Mr. Santa is lighting Arlo up brighter than a Christmas tree. But, Iggy isn’t going to let Arlo get close, not after Manny nearly ruined him. It doesn’t matter that Arlo smells like sugar and his innocence is practically corporeal. Iggy may want a boy to love and cherish, but not now. And not with his awesome employee who confesses he’s one of Santa’s true elves and in St. Pete to help Iggy save his shop. Iggy doesn’t really believe in miracles anymore, but his attraction to Arlo is only growing. The thing is, the more that Iggy keeps himself from accepting Arlo’s love and cementing their bond, the more Arlo’s elf magic begins to backfire. If Iggy doesn’t get his act together, Arlo’s magic is going to take him out of the equation altogether.
This is a sweet and sassy Christmas supernatural romance with fun additions to the mix, like a kelpie, a sasquatch, and the bonus that Iggy himself might have supe ancestors. The plot is whimsical and inventive, and I’m shamelessly interested in what toys Arlo might dream up for the over 21 crowd in St. Pete. I liked that Arlo showed up to help around October, so he and Iggy have a lot of time to spend together, building their connection and taking their frustrations out on one another. Arlo’s sweet disposition sure takes a turn in the face of Iggy’s constant rejection. Iggy’s cousin and dear friend are great confidantes, and they make it plain to Iggy his decisions are wrong-headed. The end brings some fun magic and a deep and abiding love, not to mention a good claiming of this “boy” for a very grateful Santa Daddy.