Mini Reviews: M/M Christmas Novellas – Mending Noel, The Heart of Frost, Vixen’s Valor

 
 

In Mending Noel, two elves in the North Pole who don’t get along discover their feelings for each other. In The Heart of Frost, the Rein Dear captain fears something that has happened will cause his lover, Jack Frost’s, heart to freeze over. In Vixen’s Valor, an elf who’s never really believed in love realizes he might be falling for someone. Enjoy my mini reviews for these three M/M Christmas novellas!

 

 
Mini Review: Mending Noel (North Pole City Tales Book 1) by Charlie Cochet | reading, books, book review, fantasy, christmas, lgbt
Title: Mending Noel
Author: Charlie Cochet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Book Number: Book 1
Pages: 54
Rating:
 
Review:
This was the first in a series of fun M/M Christmas-themed novellas, each one about different characters in the North Pole. This one was about two elves, Tim and Noel. At only 50 or so pages, it can be easily read in one sitting, but I thought it still did a great job of setting up the adorable North Pole world. It's kind of like our world, except everything is Christmas-themed. Their curse words are things like, "Holy Holly!" They have candy-cane clubs and gingerbread bars. Their criminal boss is the Mouse King. Their soldiers are the 'toy soldiers.' I loved it and just ate it up, haha.

You have to go into this with the right expectations though. When characters say things like, "It's not your fault you're broken, but if you play your cards right, maybe he can help put you back together," you know the book isn't going to be particularly realistic. And Noel was a jerk to Tim because he loved him? Really? (Secretly being in love is not an excuse for treating someone badly!) Not to mention the reason for Noel's disabilities was so random. (But hey, disability was included, so who am I to complain?) Overall though, the story was light and sweet and easy to read, all the North Pole/Christmas stuff was fun, and the book was exactly what I was in the mood for, so I enjoyed it!
 
 
Mini Review: The Heart of Frost (North Pole City Tales Book 2) by Charlie Cochet | reading, books, book review, fantasy, christmas, lgbt
Title: The Heart of Frost
Author: Charlie Cochet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Book Number: Book 2
Pages: 91
Rating:
 
Review:
This was another fun novella in the series, but this one was about Rudy and Jack Frost, and it was longer with a bit more to the story. It managed to be light and fluffy while still covering some heavier things, like prejudice against people in same-sex relationships. And guys, I just, I can't get over all their Christmas curse words and insults and euphemisms. I love it every single time, haha. "'I'd rather freeze my baubles off." "Jack, please, I'm very fond of your baubles." Like the first book, there were times when realism was pushed aside for the sake of fun and sweetness, but that's ok because that's the kind of books these are. The relationship in this one had more depth though. And there was one on-screen sex scene, but it was short and not too graphic. All in all, another cute Christmas read!

*Note: Even though each book has different main characters, I recommend reading these in order.*
 
 
Mini Review: Vixen's Valor (North Pole City Tales Book 3) by Charlie Cochet | reading, books, book review, fantasy, christmas, lgbt
Title: Vixen's Valor
Author: Charlie Cochet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Book Number: Book 3
Pages: 82
Rating:
 
Review:
This third book in the series was about Vale (Jack's cousin) and Vixen (one of the Rein Dear). Vale was quiet and sweet, and Vixen was flirty and confident on the outside but kind and a little sad on the inside. I think Vixen might be my favorite in the series so far. I especially liked how honest he was, always admitting to it when he did something wrong, not wanting to keep secrets from those he cared about. He was a good person. This one also had a brief sex scene. Oh, and I loved Vale's coming out scene. *MILD SPOILER (highlight to reveal)* I love when characters, or even people in real life, reveal something they were anxious/scared to reveal only for the person they're telling to be completely unphased because they already totally knew. *END SPOILER* Also, "His disposition is hardly my reason for wanting to jingle his bells." I can't. I just can't with these Christmas euphemisms---in the best way possible. I love them so much lol. My main complaint about this one though is that I kind of felt like the only reason Vixen fell for Vale was because Vale was the first person to treat him as more than a quick lay. But if you can overlook that and some of the more corny things, this was another book that managed to have some serious moments and angst while still being sweet and fluffy and fun!

*Note: Even though each book has different main characters, I recommend reading these in order.*
 
 

Talk to me!

Have you read any of these M/M Christmas novellas?
Do you ever feel in the mood for an quick, light, fluffy read?
Do you like when books include heavy topics but still stay light overall?
Are you able to overlook things easier in books that you know are meant to be fun?

 

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  1. Let's Get Beyond Tolerance

    Oh yeah, I don’t really criticize books that are meant to be fun – and especially in novellas because there isn’t really a ton of time, and you know that going in. I read a lot of m/m Christmas novellas last year and there were some really good ones! These all sound great! Loving the Christmas-esque euphemisms too!

    lauren

    Let's Get Beyond Tolerance recently posted: Skin by Christian Baines

    1. Kristen Burns

      Exactly, I’m a little more lenient when I know it’s just supposed to be a fun book (although I still can’t bring myself to rate them higher than 3.5 usually). But these little things are exactly what you need sometimes! And I really am enjoying these. Love those euphemisms lol.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’m not a big fan of novellas either, in fact I’m not even a big fan of standalones usually lol. But sometimes I get so stressed that I go on fluffy book binges, and these have been perfect for that because they’re fun and easy to focus on!

  2. Wattle

    Ah these sound cute. I’ve seen the first one on my Christmas m/m travels but haven’t read it yet, I’ll have to add them to my list. Christmassy and a bit silly can be so fun when you’re in the right mood for them :)

    Wattle recently posted: Sunday Post #10

  3. Greg

    I think I’m more likely to overlook stuff if it’s a novella, actually, just because they’re so short and so I expect less maybe? Or aren’t as hard on them? Same thing I guess. I do love the sound of a North Pole setting, and candy cane bars? Yes please. Sounds fun. That dialogue example cracked me up too.

    Are these elves Santa’s helpers? And I want to know wha a Rein Dear is??? :)

    Greg recently posted: Sunday Post #222

    1. Kristen Burns

      Same. I just don’t expect as much from novellas. But then, that’s also why I don’t tend to give them above 3.5 or 4 stars.

      The elves all have different jobs throughout the city, so some of them make toys and whatnot. The Rein Dears are pilots, and they’re the ones who fly out their planes on Christmas Eve to deliver presents. And they’re handpicked by Mayor Kringle and use his magic to expand time and whatnot. The rest of the year they’re basically celebs and do charity work and stuff. And Jack Frost’s father is the king. It’s all very cute and creative lol.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Ohhhh, no, this isn’t my rec post! This is just reviews. The rec post is Wed, and that’s where the vampires are lol. But you’re right, I do love you as you are, confusion and all ;-) No worries about not liking Christmas books. I didn’t read them before I started blogging, and the only reason I’ve been bingeing these is cuz I’m stressed and suddenly in the mood for light and fluffy, and these turned out to be fun!

  4. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    OMG, these sound adorably Christmassy and fun! I am refusing to read any Christmas books now because I am so not feeling the Christmas spirit and won’t until I get to break up for the holidays but I love the sound of these. They sound like the right level of fluff for this time of year but still have a little bit of story to them.

    1. Kristen Burns

      They’re so much fun!

      Of course you can use the spoiler thing! A lot of blogs do it that way, it’s not like you’re stealing my idea or anything :-)

      Thanks!

  5. Lola

    These sound like great reads! That sounds fun they’re set in a Christmas themed world and how they feature different characters in each novella. They sound like fun and quick reads and sometimes that’s exactly the type of read you want. I also like how the covers nicely convey that Christmas feel!

    I think it’s nice when books can deal with heavy topics while still staying light, because sometimes I do want to read about those type of topics, but I am not always in the mood for a dark or heavy read. And I do think in some fun books it is easier to overlook some things because the book is just so much fun. And it’s hard to really get bothered by something when you’re having so much fun with the book. Great reviews!

    1. Kristen Burns

      They were so much fun! It was exactly what I wanted at the time. And the covers do have a great Christmas feel!

      It is nice when light books cover heavy topics because, like you said, not everyone wants to read heavy books. Thanks :-)

  6. Olivia Roach

    As much as I do like reading m/m romance I don’t read seasonally so I haven’t read any Christmassy m/m romances! I especially love the sound of the euphenisms and swear words being adjusted in these short stories. It’s amazingly clever what some authors come up with! But I totally agree with you on the first short – being mean to someone because you like them is never excusable >.>

    Olivia Roach recently posted: November Wrap Up 2017