Author: Caroline Mickelson
Not quite a romance in the sense the other books I’ve read this Christmas are, but there is romance in there, even if it is only secondary to the new genre this book is spear heading that being the genre of ‘Christmas, Christmas on everything, adorn your household pets with antlers and stuff yourself with candy canes until your burps smell like peppermint’.
For Ms Kane’s Christmas throw all logic out the window, Santa is real, elves are everywhere and they all live at the north pole. Santa has sent his daughter Carol Kane, posing as a nanny, to the house of Ben and his two children because Ben is writing a book to spread ‘lies’ about how Santa doesn’t exist and Christmas is just commercialism. The book literally has ‘Humbug’ in the title.
This is a novella, so it has all the issues that usually come with that, lack of any character development and everything presented at its most shallow. But here it works, because the main theme of the book is embracing Christmas at its most shallow. It all fits together nicely.
That said I did enjoy it, apparently, there is some fun to be had in shameless shallowness. It’s funny! The entire premise is this poor man Ben is basically Scrooge McDuck personified, running around his house trying to stop the Christmas themed natural disaster that is Carol while his kids try and pull him along for the ride. Our scrooge uses words like ‘invasion’ to describe what’s happening to his home and can come to no other conclusion than the fact he’s tripping on his pain medication when he finds an elf in his house.
While it is mostly silly, and I did call it shallow the author clearly had good intentions for the message of the book since the idea that ‘Christmas is all about the children’ comes round multiple times throughout. Even the romance itself is less about the romance and more about bringing a family together.
The end slows down a little when the book becomes less about a house invasion and more about concluding everything – but it’s novella, so even that was all over so quickly I couldn’t even be annoyed about it.
It’s a bit childish as well, in that I can imagine children enjoying it if not for one or two inappropriate jokes (a dominatrix joke comes completely out of left field). Personally, this wasn’t a problem for me, a can dig a bit of childish joy now and then, and the book certainly didn’t take itself seriously, but I know stuff like that is a deal breaker for some.
If you’re not sure, just know the book took me an hour and a bit to get through, and I thoroughly enjoyed that hour of my life.