Working retail during the holidays can be hard… Unless you are the Krampus, a legend whose sole purpose is to punish the naughty, then it’s nothing more than a buffet of bad manners.
When he wakes from several centuries of sleep, Vilhelm is dismayed to find the world so changed. He decides the best way to discover how people behave is by taking a job in a small coastal town showing signs of growing magic. Much to his delight he finds more than spoiled children and inattentive parents; he finds a sweet, young woman who brings out his every lecherous thought, as well as his long forgotten gallant side.
Life was already changing for Wren when a young girl knocks on her door one rainy night. Helping Aspen with her sick friend, Rowan, is instinctive but things take a drastic turn when Wren discovers they are not human. Learning the fey creatures she read about as a child are real isn’t nearly as magical to her as the relationship she’s building with Rowan.
But, when she starts her new job, she is constantly tempted and teased by Vilhelm and his unsubtle hints her boyfriend is no obstacle to his becoming her lover.
Santa’s little brother has woken from a very, very long winter’s nap and the world he knew has moved on. The magic is missing or maybe just buried, except in one small Pacific Northwest town that draws not only the Krampus but a young lady who is more than the meets the eye. She just doesn’t know it, yet. It also draws other curious fey creatures, all looking for the same thing. Belonging.
I first heard of the Krampus when it hit the theater. I wasn’t sure I wanted to see the movie but then I started seeing the theme in books. He’s an interesting character. Not really good. Not really bad. He has a “punish the wicked and steal the children” type reputation but it only mostly matches reality. I found the explanation of why he does what he does very interesting. The author painted this character, Vilhelm or Vil in this story, as a type of anti-hero but he piqued my interest, more so than the others but then I kept reading to see how their story would mesh and play out. Vil was just full of surprises to say the least.
As an aside, if you have idealistically sweet images of Santa always being good and jolly, this may not be the book for you. Personally, I thought it was a clever twist on Ole St Nick. Everybody has to have a way to let off some steam. He just happens to have a talented hand with a whip and the ladies. The author only gives a sample of Santa’s kink from a distance but I wouldn’t mind reading that story, especially if he finds the one.
The story comes together pretty smoothly and didn’t feel rushed. If anything, I wanted to get to the part where Vil makes a place for himself in Wren and Rowan’s lives quicker. But it turned out that he didn’t have “make” a place, he fit into their lives, completed them really. That part was both sweet and sexy. While there is some MM kissing and caressing, there’s no intercourse. Also, while Wren gets to sample both men, it’s separately as opposed to a single MMF or even MFM event. I have to believe that they probably got around to that but just not in this story.
Something sinister is sleeping in this fictional town but I get the feeling it won’t stay asleep. This story felt like the beginning of something. I’d like to see where the author could take it and what other not so mythical individuals make appearances. Jack Frost perhaps? Like the witch hurnters who set up camp outside Wren’s home, I’ll be keeping watch to see what, if anything, comes next.