It’s just after Thanksgiving and the many couples of St. Augustine’s finest private security firm are enjoying some down time, decorating for the upcoming Christmas holidays. Colton Connelly, billionaire shipping magnate and husband of Anston “Ace” Sharpe, is reminded of his longtime wish for an idyllic white Christmas. It turns out that Colton is a huge fan of Hallmark Christmas movies, and his desires for a happy, snow-filled Christmas season even led him to identify a destination for such a visit: Winterhaven. Knowing that he and Ace won’t want to spend the holidays away from their found family of other Kings, Wild Cards, and their significant others (the Boyfriend Collective), Colton books the entire crew, including their fur-babies, into a huge lodge in Winterhaven for the entire month of December.
Ace is stunned at Colton’s generosity, but he’s also a little taken aback. How can he and his business partners–King, Red, Lucky, Joker, and Jack–simply walk away from their jobs for the next four weeks? Sure, they’ve been expanding and training new specialists, but can he and his fellow former Green Berets afford to take so much time off? It’s actually possible–and necessary in some cases–for these men to take a good long break and enjoy the fruits of their labor for an extended time. The trip seems like a dream come true, until they arrive in Winterhaven and discover that they’re the only tourists to the area, unusual for Christmas destination town. It turns out a huge early winter storm had blown through and knocked out power to local businesses, including the Ice Palace, the main event and attraction venue in town. The cost to repair the damage is enormous, and there aren’t skilled people available to fix things, even if they could get the needed supplies delivered immediately. With the loss of activities, many travelers canceled, leaving the townsfolk with few customers in what is generally their biggest tourist month. They were forced to call vendors to stop deliveries of supplies that would go unused, with no tourists in place to need or want them. So, while Colton’s crew is in Winterhaven, everything that would make it a glorious Christmas getaway–the decorations, the cooking contests, the sleigh rides, the holiday market–is essentially canceled, too.
However, every Christmas movie has a dilemma, and Ace convinces Colton that he–with his massive shipping empire–could solve the supply chain issues to fix the Ice Palace. And, all the tech help currently on hand, between Ace and his brethren, could do the work to fix and decorate the Ice Palace. If they are able to do this, people will indeed come to Winterhaven, and their Christmas will be saved. So, Colton’s new mission is to coordinate the saving of Winterhaven’s Christmas season, and thereby make a merry, jolly holiday for all his beloved found family.
This is the first of four novellas set in the Four Kings Security universe and is likely best enjoyed by fans of the Four Kings/Wild Cards series. With the Kings: Treemendous Christmas series, the scene is set for joy. Ace is determined to make all the found family fall into line, to ensure not only that Colton’s generosity is respected, but that his beloved husband gets the magical white Christmas holiday his Hallmark heart has always dreamed of. I loved how these guys, who have always seemed so married to the job, take time to celebrate and plan fun things to do with each other, and as couples. Fans get to see more intimate moments for four of the seven couples, plus the books are built on lower-stakes conflicts that are solved through teamwork, instead of the high danger situations that connected the Kings and Wild Cards with their men. It’s a great start to a set of holiday stories, with plenty of in-character hijinks and all the trash talk fans will remember from the previous books. I loved Ace and Colton’s book, and will definitely read on.