Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Christmas Fling by Beth Barany


What if falling in love put the life you cherished in jeopardy?

Dahlia, a Santa’s Elf, has twenty-one days left before Christmas to create the best toy in the world without using magic or revealing her true identity. Stuck on how to complete the prototype and working as a temp in San Francisco’s financial district with no time for love, will her Christmas fling get her unstuck, or will she turn her back on her beloved career for her heart?

Liam, an up-and-coming financial analyst, swore off women after getting dumped by the love of his life. He just found out his ex is going to the company Christmas party with his rival Michael Hendricks. Up for promotion against Hendricks, Liam has to win the favor of his boss. His best bet is to invite the vivacious secretary Dahlia to the party. Will Dahlia be a welcome distraction, or will she turn his life upside down?


I bought A Christmas Fling because the blurb didn’t make sense to me when I was putting together the Marketing for Romance Writers Newsletter, which is not a good reason to buy a book. It turns out Santa’s Elves get a year off from the North Pole to live among humans as a human. During this year they have to support themselves at human jobs, live in human abodes, and invent a toy without the use of magic that will earn them the rank of Master Elf. Dahlia is at the end of her year, and she just cannot get her toy to work. She’s worried she’ll return home and be assigned to Janitorial Services.

Liam is up for a promotion, and his main rival has already taken his fiancé from him. His boss is a “family values” kind of guy. If Liam shows up stag at the Christmas party, it will diminish his chances for the promotion. He needs a “girlfriend”—fast, so he asks Dahlia, the vivacious temp, to pretend to be his sweetheart. Of course, in order to pull of the charade, they have to get to know each other.

A Christmas Fling should have grabbed me and sucked me in. Maybe I’m Christmassed out. I only watched two holiday movies this year. I’m probably the only reviewer who found it tepid and wasn’t particularly engaged. I also don't like the idea that Liam needs a girlfriend in order to get a promotion. A company that promotes men based on whether or not they appear to plan to have families will hold women back for the same reason, because they would believe women should stay in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant.  Besides, I don't see what one's marital status has to do with one's ability to perform a job.

And here’s a SPOILER ALERT. I really hated the end. Dahlia wins an award for her toy, which she was supposed to have completed without help. At the very last minute Liam looks at the toy, realizes what the problem is, gives her the tool to fix it, and she does not admit that. I do not think she should have accepted the award without admitting she had help. I don’t like people who cheat on their final exams. Even if she had engaged me, Ms. Barany would have lost me there.

I do not recommend this book.

Length: 112 Pages
Price: $2.99

Thanks for visiting. RIW

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a fun idea that maybe needed more time to gel?