When Kendall is let down by the Santa and photographer he’s booked for his garden centre, he frantically tries to find replacements. But no one is available to step in at the last minute and he’s running out of time and options.
Then Alfie arrives, with his electric-blue hair, piercings, megawatt smile, and three cute reindeer. And, he just happens to be a photographer. Finally, Kendall sees a glimmer of hope. So what if he hates Christmas, kids, beards and missing Santas? Kendall can play Santa himself, if he just learns how to smile.
As Kendall thaws and gets into the role, Alfie has renewed hope that he’ll manage what he came all the way here to do. It all depends on Kendall believing him, and that suddenly becomes a mountain Kendall won’t even try to climb. But Alfie won’t give up. It’s not over yet. This is Christmas and there’s magic in the air!
Christmas books? But it’s not even Halloween! I don’t care! Bring it on!
We start out with the quintessential Christmas grouch. He’s the manager of a garden center that does a big Christmas thing. Kendall is all about the bottom line. How much can the center make. He is fastidious and organized so when the Santa he booked nearly a year in advance cancels at the last minute, he isn’t quite sure what to do.
Then Alfie shows up. Claiming to be the photographer for Santa. And he brought reindeer. And sweet talks Kendall into being Santa. Which all of the employees can’t believe because he is super grouchy.
Obviously Alfie has ulterior motives, but they take a little bit to suss out. We don’t know right away where he came from or what he is doing. But he is trying to make Kendall happy. And the children who come to see Santa. And the employees of the garden center. All while taking care of his reindeer.
You can’t help but love Alfie. His happiness is infectious without being obnoxious. He genuinely loves Christmas and all that it entails. He doesn’t really understand why Kendall hates it and tries to be subtle about changing his mind.
Kendall can’t resist Alfie and the draw to him he feels. Even though Alfie has said numerous times that he will leave on Christmas Eve, they both finally succumb to the attraction.
Which isn’t part of the plan, but Alfie goes for it.
The story takes a delightful turn when we find out exactly what Alfie has been trying to achieve. Three meddling reindeer and an orphan add to the story and the magic.
It was almost like a switch was flipped with Kendall though. He thawed while playing Santa, but underneath he was still miserable. And then he wasn’t. He just had to believe.
This was different and lovely. I think I might have to reread it one night in a month or 2 when my tree is light and there are presents underneath.
4 pieces of eye candy