Author: Charlie Cochet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 3.5 stars
Type: Novel from Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Rein Dear is a prestigious title, accompanied by admiration, devotion, and celebrity status, all of which one saucy Vixen thrives on. Alas, Vixen’s only concerned with having fun, unlike his stuffy and sensible best friend, Rudy Rein Dear, who Vixen has always been jealous of. Aside from being chosen by Mayor Kringle to be captain of the Rein Dear Squadron, Rudy’s managed to snag himself a prince, even if that prince is the dangerous and imposing Jack Frost.
All’s not lost for Vixen though. He discovers Jack’s cousin Vale has a soft spot for him. Vale Frost might not be a dashing prince, but he’s the next best thing: a decorated lieutenant for the Toy Soldier Army, and a member of the Frost monarchy.
Determined to get what Vixen feels he deserves, he sets off on a mission to ensnare the kind-hearted lieutenant. But Vixen’s selfish ways are sure to lead to disaster, and it’ll take more than a little courage to set things right.
Review: Vixen is a Rein Dear and he wants a prince to call his own. Vixen is a really nice elf who does a ridiculous amount of compensating for low self esteem. In some ways he knows this is what he’s doing but he can’t really stop himself. Vixen just really wants to be loved for being himself but he’s afraid no one will like him, so he sleeps with anyone and hams it up for the fans of Rein Dears. When Vixen sees an opportunity to date Vale Frost, he takes it. Rudy can’t be the only one with a prince. Vale’s family are convinced Vixen is going to hurt Vale. Vale is certain there is more to Vixen than is immediately apparent when people look at him. Despite really falling for Vale, Vixen’s low self esteem is hard for him to overcome. He’s pretty easy to take advantage of as a result. Things go wrong. Very, very wrong.
This series is fun. It’s a mash-up of various Christmas tales featuring an evil Mouse King, toy soldiers, and a Mayor Kringle. The setting is very much a Winter Wonderland with characters full of human flaws. Vixen was a wonderfully flawed character. Unfortunately, Vixen’s wonderful flaws were kind of my problem. Vixen was a fascinating elf stuck in a straightforward novella. I wanted Vale and Vixen to talk about Vixen’s problems. I wanted Vale to know why Vixen was hurt. I wanted Rudy and Vixen to really discuss the nature of friendship. I did not have a problem with the length of the story itself, but I felt the characterization of Vixen was too complex to fit the length. I thought Vale was wonderful. He had depth without leaving me feeling like I wanted a novel to show his motivations.
Fans of this series will appreciate moments with both Rudy and Jack as well as possible hints of next year’s couple, who I’m thinking will be Dasher and Cupid. Overall I thought this installment of the North Pole City Tale’s was charming, yet I wanted a bit more from it. I simply wanted to see more of Vixen resolving his problems. This installment is, however, still very much worth a read.