by Victoria Blisse, contemporary (2006)
Phaze, $2.00, ISBN 1-59426-585-2
Proving Santa Exists is a bite-sized 23-paged (counting cover and all) ebook that surprisingly enough feels like a complete story despite its short length. Victoria Blisse has spinned a pretty enjoyable fantasy just in time for Christmas.
Told in first person, this story features heroine Jessica who is known as "Jolly Jessica" in the Manchester branch office of the imaginatively-named company Computers Inc because she's that plump and adorable woman who is everybody's good friend. When the handsome Jonathan is transferred from the Texas branch, Jessica is sure that he'll see her as a pleasant friend like everyone else does. Still, she should do something for the poor man since he's all alone and Christmas is just around the corner. She has to get him to celebrate Christmas with her and her family. This leads to a kiss that surprises them both and later Christmas songs play during the grand... er, climax of the story.
The characters in the story are normal, which is to say they are not neurotic, crazy, angst-ridden, undercover, vampiric, or liable to turning into hairy creatures when the moon is full. Instead, this is a story of likeable people that I can meet everyday in real life in a story where the sexual situation comes naturally. There is no contrived set-up to get the main characters to have sex - the attraction and the sex here come off as a natural progression of the events that happen in the story. I like the heroine and she's a sweet character without coming off as too bizarre or stalkerish in her desire to see the hero spend Christmas with friends.
With this book clocking in at 23 pages, I can't say much about depth and characterization because realistically, there isn't much of any of these in Proving Santa Exists. Nonetheless this story feels complete, like an actual story, unlike some other Phaze books I've read, and the romance is nicely build up to a satisfying conclusion. This story could've been longer - and I wish it is - but with it being what it is, I'd like think of this book as a satisfying appetizer to build up the mood for longer books in the TBR pile. Proving Santa Exists is a quick and actually satisfying read to me so if you think the price of the book is reasonable for its length, who knows, you too may like what you'll find in this one.
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