Rating: 4.25 stars
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After watching the rest of his cousins find their mates, Linus is at his wits end. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to find his mate too, including a sacrifice to the goddess in hopes of finding his person. In the process, Linus ropes Colby, the new guest at the Tinseled Inn, into helping, though Colby doesn’t know exactly what Linus is planning.
Colby came to town in search of his best friend, Tate, just to make sure the man was all right. But he’s confused as heck at all the weird goings on around the Tinseled Inn and Mistletoe Falls. And it doesn’t help that Linus seems to be getting up to all sorts of hijinks on his own. Colby feels the need to keep an eye on the accident-prone, bright, and cheery man.
As Linus’s magic seems to be failing, whereas his cousins’ magic thrived, Linus is even more determined to make things right. Which makes Colby all the more determined to ferret out Linus’s secret. But the more time he and Colby spend together, the more their attraction grows. Colby is forced out of his serious shell and pulled into Linus’s shenanigans. Colby might be exasperated by Linus’s antics, but he also finds them endearing. And Colby finds he wants nothing more than to keep Linus safe. But even though the two men couldn’t be more opposite, it’s clear the magic of the holiday, and of the world itself, has brought them both exactly what they needed.
In the final installment of the Christmas Sprites quartet, Linus finally gets his mate. There’s a lot of fun in this one, stemming mostly from Linus’s antics and his delightfully cheery attitude. While the puns are still over the top and the world building sparse, there’s a magic to this book that made it really enjoyable.
My favorite part of this story is just how opposite Linus and Colby are. And yet the way they compliment each other is really nice. Colby is a serious man who is very thorough in all that he does. Linus, conversely, is impulsive and fun loving, and generally has an incredibly positive attitude. It works so well as they both bring out the good in each other, while also tempering some of the other qualities. Colby gets Linus to think about what he’s getting up to, and Linus brings Colby out of his seriousness. The two work really well together and even though their romance is a bit less blatant than the others in the series, it works really well.
We also get a really nice conclusion to the series with this book. While the other three stories are more concurrent in timeline, Linus is an end cap to the rest of the series. That’s not to say it’s an afterthought, as Colby was introduced in the third book. But with the rest of the cousins settled with their mates, Linus finally gets his moment to shine. I also liked that we got to see a bit more magic in this book, as Linus’s magic goes haywire in a different way than his cousins’ did in previous books.
This book was full of fun, mostly stemming from Linus’s personality and antics. Linus is the type to find his own trouble, but it’s mostly just from impulsive decisions. He’s not one to think things through thoroughly. He’s also a full steam ahead sort of character, one who barrels in without worry about the consequences. The shenanigans are fun here, and while I don’t always love this kind of behavior, it works for Linus. He’s such a good hearted person that you can’t help but find him endearing. By the same token, it was perfect that he was paired with Colby who was there to watch his back and keep him from getting into too much trouble.
At its heart, the story has a message about letting go of the bad to make room for the good, and both characters needed the lesson. All in all, I enjoyed this series and this book. While not without it’s problems, they are minor and it’s easy to look past that for the fun and fluffy holiday magic-laden romp it is.