Rating: 4.25 stars
Buy Link:
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Length: Novella

 

Tate needs an escape from the demands of his family and the hustle of his life. He just wants to relax and do what makes him happy, so he purchases a shop in the sweet little town of Mistletoe Falls and sneaks off to enjoy some time by himself. Tate’s first run in with Eldon, the owner of Deck the Walls and his shop neighbor, is a delight. Though Eldon certainly doesn’t seem to think so.

Eldon is on edge when he meets the new owner of the Snowda Shop, worried the outsider will turn the place into something unfitting for Mistletoe Falls. He also doesn’t appreciate Tate’s evasiveness. With his cousins’ magic returning, and the possibility of fated mates, Eldon should have other things to focus on. But he can’t get Tate out of his mind.

The more time they spend together, the more banter and flirting ensue. Tate is instantly attracted to Eldon, finding his grumpy demeanor adorable. And despite Eldon’s misgivings, especially because Tate won’t tell him what he plans for the shop, Eldon finds he’s attracted right back. The connection between them won’t be denied, and when Eldon’s own magic starts acting up, he can’t pretend he doesn’t know what that means. Tate may have only been in town a week, but there’s no doubt their love will last a lot longer than that.

Eldon is the third installment in The Christmas Sprites quartet, and just might be my favorite of the bunch. While these books are part of the author’s larger Chosen One universe, they don’t need to be read in conjunction with those books. However, this series does have a concurrent timeline with several overlapping plot points, so they are best read as a set.

Eldon and Tate have a such a wonderful banter between them, right from the start. Tate has a way of getting under Eldon’s skin, and he uses that to his advantage to needle the other man. Blake does a great job of walking the fine line of never taking it too far. It’s always presented in a way that shows that it’s all in good fun. Tate adores Eldon’s scowls and grumpy attitude, and Eldon thinks Tate’s strange. But the best part about that is Tate is able to be his true self, right from the start.

This book has the traditional romance beats, but the author uses them well here. These guys meet and get off on the wrong foot, though attraction is instant and consuming. They have a dark moment where they fail to communicate, but it’s quickly resolved by actually talking. Eldon is definitely more staid than his cousins, but Tate brings fun and humor to his life. Right from the beginning, it’s clear these two are meant to be together, and the speed at which that happens is in keeping with the series and the fated mates trope.

Of course, there’s magic and secrets, but it all comes out in the end. I loved Tate’s acceptance of the world, and I really liked the way the reveal and explanation, such as it was, were done in this book. Though the world building is still light, now that we’re three books in, it’s easier to go with the flow of that. My only minor complaint is the plethora of puns, which for me were too over the top, but it’s easy to see how many readers would find them amusing. As with all the books, I would like to see more explanation of the world and a bit more magic as it were. But it’s a fun, fluffy, feel good romp of a romance.

Overall, this book is my favorite of the set, as I enjoyed the romance between Tate and Eldon a great deal. It hit the right notes for me, and coupled with the magic and the magic of the holiday season, it’s definitely a winner.

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