Del Fantasma: Winter Break by Dawn Montgomery

Del Fantasma: Winter Break by Dawn Montgomery
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Holiday, Christmas
Length: Short Story (56 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Ice Play
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Review by Phlox

Christmas alone isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and for adult toy QA tech, Nicollete Snow a little non-silicone action at the Del Fantasma is just the ticket. Who shows up a little ticked off and delicious riding a sweet bike but Jack Frost, ready to cause a little mischief. What happens when Old Man Winter takes a holiday?

We’re all familiar with anthropomorphic representations: the Grim Reaper personifying death, the old, bearded Father Time, but how often do you get to run into one who happens to be a smoking-hot, leather clad bad boy? This is the rather fun premise to Winter Break, in which Jack Frost gets to play the sexy, tortured hero. Del Fantasma – for those who might not have run across it – is an Aspen Mountain creation where authors get to play with paranormal stories centered around or originating in the vampire-owned bar of that name in Vista Loma, California. Some are full length stories and some shorter pieces with a drink name in the title (see “A Slow, Fuzzy Screw’ for example.) The drink recipe is at the end of the book.

This is a holiday release, so one expects light and fun, which Ms. Montgomery delivers with a heroine who does QA for adult toys at the North Pole and carries a bottomless purse reminiscent of the old D&D Bag of Holding. Hers is mainly for a plethora of cookies, good for whatever might ail you. I did enjoy the characters and the erotic scenes are white-hot and imaginative since Jack can do all sorts of fun things with wind and ice. The issues, unfortunately, come from this being a holiday release as well, most likely written on a schedule and edited too quickly to get it released in time. The text is peppered with errors, incomplete sentences and syntax oddities. (‘Sweat-slickened blonde hair’? And for a male at that?) There are some plot holes that left me with a feeling of having missed something (we never get a good explanation of who Nicolette really is, we’re not entirely sure what Jack has done to unbalance the weather patterns, and the resolution is left a bit vague.)

Taken altogether, though, it’s a fun, fast read, well steeped in the sentiments of the season. It is, after all, a story about two lonely people, (even if one is a demigod) who need to learn to trust and to recognize they need one another. In this, Ms. Montgomery succeeds with humor and abundant imagination.

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