Saturday, December 8, 2012
Hard Candy for Christmas by Ella Dominguez
Lia was in magical limbo. That's what you get when you piss off a witch! How was she to know that the man she threw Pixie dust on was the witch's lover? He had seemed interested and she had been in the mood to play. Now she's stuck in the human realm with no magical powers. She had to break the curse, but she was running out of time. If the curse wasn't broken by midnight on Christmas Eve, she would be stuck human forever.
Nick and Dale had been friends forever. They had grown up together and had been there through each trial the other had endured. Nothing could separate them. Until they met Lia. The stunning petite woman was everything each of them had ever wanted.
Would their friendship survive if only one of them won her heart?
Lia didn't know what to do. She had finally met someone she believed she could love. But that wasn't the problem. She had met TWO men that tugged at her heart strings. Would one or both of them love her back by Christmas Eve? And if so, what happens when her powers return?
Where to Buy
What a wonderful little story this is! What it lacks in length it makes up for with a tight story that's paced just right to develop the relationship between the three main characters at a believable rate. While there's instant strong attraction between them, this not a story of undying true love at first sight. True, it is still a very fast romance, taking place over the course of only three weeks, but it's a pretty intense three weeks so it doesn't seem so unreasonable that they're each ready to make a commitment at the end of that time, especially when you add in the paranormal aspects that are at play here.
Lia is a fun, sassy character who's adapting to life as a human as best she can, and she's been doing pretty good for herself so far. Though understandably depressed at the knowledge that her curse is soon to become permanent and she'll never again be a pixie, still she has become resigned to the fact. Mostly anyway. Whether she admits it to herself or not, she's obviously still hopefully, and I think that's likely at least part of the reason why she didn't argue against going with her roommate to the party where she meets Nick and Dale.
Nick and Dale have been best friends since elementary school, and they have never let a woman come between them. "Bros before hos", as Lia puts it, is the motto they've lived by. It is this camaraderie and loyalty to one another that is part of what makes them so attractive to Lia. As they embark on the trial of dating the same woman, leaving it to her to decide which of them she wants, they promise one another that no matter how things end up they won't let it affect their friendship, but they both privately worry that it will, and with good reason really, for how could such a thing not affect it? They are each rather different personalities, but they complement each other well, and as Lia puts it, are really two sides of the same coin in many ways.
Going into this story, I had expected it to contain a lot more sex than it really does, especially when it opens up talking about how Lia is sitting on her couch playing with herself as she muses about her situation. Thus it was surprising that the sex remains limited to petting and oral for most of it. That's not to say there wasn't a lot of heat here, because there was, particularly the scene of Nick and Lia's first date where he ends up fingering her to orgasm while sitting on a bench in the park. The tension slowly builds throughout the story until the finale is just as explosive as you'd expect. Not just in terms of the sex either, for what it really leaves you with is a heartwarming "Aw, that's so sweet" feeling, not just wet panties.
A quick, wonderful read that I'd highly recommend to anyone that enjoys romantic short stories, particularly those with a paranormal bent. Fans of contemporary romance shorts will like it as well I think. I have no qualms about giving this one 5 stars, though I would note that the rating takes into consideration the fact that it's a short story. Would it stand equal to 5 star full length novels? Probably not, but I daresay it rates highly amongst its peers in the short story field.