Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Werewolf before Christmas by Charles Payseur – Stocking Stuffers

Ray seems like the perfect boyfriend—he’s gorgeous, incredibly romantic, and has a mechanical suit he invented to become the dastardly MantaRay. For Alec, who also spends his nights making life difficult for do-gooders everywhere, it’s a match made in supervillain heaven. Except that Ray is a bit too into the hit soap opera All My Werewolves. When tempers flare during what’s supposed to be a quiet night out, Alec nearly ruins everything over a stupid bet with an alien gorilla.

Desperate to prove his feelings to Ray, and with Christmas fast approaching, Alec decides the fastest way to Ray’s heart is to embrace the thing that threatens to divide them—a certain werewolf show with a certain actor who Ray admires. A simple kidnapping promises to do the trick, only fur (and fandom) fly when Alec’s romantic gesture leads to a very hairy situation. Can Alec prove to Ray how much their relationship means to him, or will his plans be ruined by the werewolf before Christmas?

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Day 30
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

While I ultimately enjoyed The Werewolf before Christmas, it took me four attempts to read it. As a rule, once I opt in to review a book, I don’t reread the blurb so that I can read the story without any expectations as it’s usually been a couple of week to a few months since I read the book’s blurb. In the case of this holiday short, it probably would have been better if I had reread the blurb because the first few pages of the story were a tad confusing as I didn’t realize that the main characters were supervillains.

That said, the fourth time was the charm at getting through the author’s setting of the scene and my making sense of who and what the characters were. And to clarify, it wasn’t the author’s writing that made it difficult to read because once I got past the first few pages, I plowed through the story. I wanted to see what dastardly plan Alec came up with. I enjoyed watching him carry out his plan and making the necessary adjustments to the plan when he learned previously unknown information about the target of his plot. I found his interactions with Ray to be sweet and his insecurity about not being good enough for Ray to be charming – even supervillains have doubts. I thought the ending was perfect, especially when Alec revealed the final bit that Ray didn’t know about. Even better was that Alec didn’t enforce the terms of his “win” because he’d been bitten by the werewolf-bug too. The Werewolf before Christmas was not the typical holiday romance, but it was certainly an entertaining read.

CHARLES PAYSEUR currently resides in the frozen reaches of Wisconsin, where his partner, a gaggle of pets, and more craft beer than is strictly healthy help him through the long winters. He works an incredibly boring day job so that his nights can be filled with spaceships, magic, and attractive men kissing (and maybe a bit more than kissing…). His work can also be found at Less Than Three Press, Lethe Press, Circlet Press, and in Lightspeed Magazine’s Queers Destroy Science Fiction!

When not writing fiction and poetry, he contributes to a number of blogs and review sites, and runs a home for his thoughts on short speculative fiction at Quick Sip Reviews. On Twitter, he annoys the internet with far too many cat pictures and cocktail recipes.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Stocking Stuffers: The Werewolf before Christmas by Charles Payseur to read and review.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review. Sounds interesting, especially as it is not your typical holiday romance.