Micheal Donovan’s family has kept the peace between mortal and magical realms for generations, but Micheal skipped out on glory for other plans. He finished school, got a nine-to-five, and tried to fit in. When his cousin meets an unfortunate end on All Hallows, Micheal abruptly inherits the position of Riftkeeper, along with all the prestige and responsibility he didn’t want. Estranged from his family, Micheal never learned the details of the job. All the grumpy, ancestral spirit now possessing his goldfish can tell him is that a mistake could be catastrophic. Micheal isn’t feeling the holiday cheer, and coworkers’ attempts to encourage him only add to a headache of magical proportions. To make matters worse, Ryan Nickles, Micheal’s colleague and cubicle neighbor, has assembled enough Christmas decorations to attract more pixies than Micheal can hide.
When Micheal’s attempts to find the Winter Court on the week of the solstice leave him with nothing but a bad cold, he fears he’ll be the first Riftkeeper to break ancient contracts. He’s too stressed to handle Ryan’s attempts to get him into the holiday spirit, but Ryan might know more about the magic of the season than Micheal realizes.
You know how holiday meals are? When you skimp on breakfast and nibble a little all day while smelling all the deliciousness from the kitchen wafting your way? Just waiting for the Big Meal when you can gorge on all the yumminess?
Well, this is a little like that, only instead of a Big Meal to reward and satiate, you end up with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich… that’s half-eaten. That’s not to say you didn’t like it and it’s mostly filling – but it wasn’t what you were waiting for and it’s not satisfying so you’re still hungry even though it’s gone.
The world building is tremendous. We learn about Riftkeepers and The Winter Court and pixies, and fairies and Spirit Guides. Michael is suffering through learning to be the newest (and unwanted position of) Riftkeeper while trying to do his human job at year’s end all the while battling a cold and some sort of magical interference that makes his head ache. The author does such a tremendous job of describing his agony that I felt like taking an aspirin for him!
Then we get some really delicious sexual tension between him and Ryan as well as some funny “Scrooge”-type anti-holiday-ness and all of this if overlain by a sense of urgency as Michael fights to find the needed information to appease the Queen.
Just when it looks like all things are doomed and the world is about to be lost we’re shown the Way AND our MCs begin to realize they might be more than cubicle-mates when *Poof! The story ends. *sigh
Just when I was starting to feel relief from the headache and our MCs had finally found one another, the story ends. Without even ONE KISS!
So… on the one hand this was a really lovely story but it left me absolutely unsatisfied.
3.5 of 5 stars
Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review