I’m continuing my holiday reads for this season, and Studmuffin Santa was on my radar because I love this author’s humor with romance in every book she writes. There’s also a tad of mystery and serious issues for her characters to rise above. So you get a very satisfying read every time around with a Tawna Fenske book.
Jade and her sister Amber are trying to make a go of their Jingle Bell Reindeer Ranch, and one popular attraction will be Santa. Of course, Jade has no idea how popular the ranch will become when Amber hires Brandon Brown, a Marine on leave and Jade’s high school crush. All the single mamas in the area make their way to visit Santa along with the kiddos. Which is good, right?
What Jade doesn’t know is Amber has also asked Brandon to keep on eye open to figure out weird happenings around the ranch. Brandon is more than willing to help, especially after meeting Jade. He’s attracted to her right off, but soon realizes she has a few problems with him being there. However, I love how these two come together with laughter and smiles, as well as opening up about their issues – Jade’s from the past and Brandon’s current sadness.
Being bullied while in high school has made Jade a stronger woman now, even when coming face to face with her tormentor all these years later. Ms. Fenske does a wonderful job of giving the reader Jade’s emotions and feelings during that turbulent time. Brandon’s father is a shell of the man he used to be, and it’s terrific character development as Brandon learns to live with his now instead of looking back and wishing for what can never be again. Then there’s Brandon’s cousins who are opening their own venue to compete with Jade and Amber. I really like that that scenario doesn’t go where you’d expect in solving the ranch mystery. The twist at the end connecting Brandon and Jade in such a lovely way is a great topper for the love and romance we get.
The reindeer have a bit of a starring role in the story and I enjoyed every scene with them. Even the desperate mamas visiting Santa are fun. This is a short and delightful read, so be sure to pick it up – even if it’s after the season is over.
Brandon Brown is the unlikeliest Santa ever to don a red velvet suit.
His abs are more cheese grater than bowl full of jelly, and deploying to Syria is the closest he’s come to the North Pole. But family drama sends the jaded Marine home for the holidays, and lands him an unexpected gig as a part-time Santa.
Jade King is hustling to get Jingle Bell Reindeer Ranch off the ground, and she’s not thrilled her sister hired a Santa with sex-appeal. The last thing Jade wants is a beefcake circus, and guys like Brandon bring sleigh-loads of trouble. But Studmuffin Santa proves more popular than anyone dreamed, drawing hordes of happy kids, lusty moms, and a mystery foe hell-bent on wrecking it all.
The threat has Brandon playing protector for the reindeer and their sexy keeper, which is risky for a guy who’s sworn off happy endings and the whole Christmas mess. But as Jade and Brandon bond over Santa suit malfunctions and risqué Christmas cookies, they find they have more in common than a craving for gingerbread. Can they find a way to mesh their wish lists, or will ghosts of Christmas past bring things crashing down like a fat man in a cast iron sleigh?
Read an excerpt.