Reviewed by Morgan
Title: Menorahs and Mistletoe
Author: Jess Roth
Series: Sleigh Ride – 2015 Advent Calendar
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 59 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 30, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: If nothing else, Hanukkah this year will be interesting. Single dad Martin’s six-year-old daughter, Sara, is determined to get him a new “friend.” Martin isn’t even sure he wants to step back into the pool, much less go out with the mall elf they met while shopping for gifts. But he’s starting to get to know the cute receptionist at work, Tim, and thinking maybe the whole dating thing isn’t such a terrible idea. Too bad things are never that simple.
Review: Martin and his six year old daughter, Sara, are shopping for Hanukah presents in the mall when Sara suddenly demands to see Santa. Though they don’t “believe in Santa” Sara sweetly asks him to bring her dad a friend so he won’t be so lonely. When a helpful elf hears that request, he gives Sara a note and asks her to give it to her father over Hanukah.
The note is the elf’s phone number and though Martin is tempted to call the sweet, YOUNG, man – he isn’t sure he wants to expose his daughter to another dating fiasco. Not to mention, there’s a guy at work who has caught his eye and he’s not sure where that’s headed either.
Eventually, Tim (the guy from work) ends up being the elf (of course) and the two sort of start dating – but will Martin’s fears of the future stop him from even trying to enjoy the present?
Sara is a dear! She was cute and funny and really well written. Tim is also a neat guy, and I wished we had gotten to see things from his POV as he is not nearly as well developed as either Martin or Sara.
Martin confused me. On the one hand, he was very reluctant to divulge private information but then he was spouting his dating worries to Tim on the first day they meet. He also waffled terribly back and forth about dating again, but then seemed to dive head first into bathroom sex and a relationship without much serious consideration.
In the end, this story felt a little bi-polar to me and though I ended up liking it, I didn’t love it because I felt like I had whiplash from all the starts and stops and changes of direction. I think if there’d been a few less “issues” (ie the age gap, the working together, the single fatherhood, the bi-sexuality, the just met…) and the author had limited them to maybe only one or two “hurdles,” this story would have worked for me better.
Overall Impression: I liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*