Author: Charlie Cochet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 68 Pages
Category: Holiday Romance, Fantasy
At a Glance: Disarming Donner is heavy on charm and light on drama, which is exactly what I look for in a book from this delightful series.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: As a beloved Rein Dear and Christmas elf for Mayor Kringle, Donner prides himself on his flawless reputation, good sense, and wise decisions. Donner never does anything until he’s thought it through properly. He’s certainly not one to get flustered, infuriated, or fall prey to romantic nonsense. At least not until the most unlikely of elves begins chipping away at Donner’s defenses.
Calder is a Dockalfar—a dark elf. He’s wicked, untrustworthy, and armed with lethal magic. At least that’s what everyone thinks. It’s easy for them to believe the worst and mistrust him before they’ve even spoken to him, but Calder is out to prove that he’s more than his Dockalfar blood, especially to a certain Rein Dear who has caught his eye. But it will take more than sweet words for Donner to admit what’s in his heart.
Review: One of my favorite moments in December every year is when I see the cover reveal and release date for the next book in the North Pole City Tales. The covers are beyond adorable, I’m always so excited to see the new installment, and my excitement over the books is always rewarded. The series is consistently well-written and fun; Charlie Cochet nails every one of these stories, including this year’s.
Disarming Donner picks up with part of the storyline from Loving Blitz, where we learned the dark secret Cupid was keeping—that he was part Dockalfar. These dark elves are known for their bitterness and use of dark magic, which is a reputation Cupid’s brother Gunne certainly lived up to. But Cupid’s other brother, Calder, is completely different. Calder only wants people to see past the history and actions of other Dockalfar, and see him for him. Calder doesn’t want the other elves in North Pole City or nearby Winter Wonderland to fear him; he is a gentle and generous soul who simply wants to be loved.
While training Cupid to learn to fully use his magic, Calder develops a crush on Donner, one of the other Rein Dear. I loved the initial meetings between these two. Donner was so flummoxed and appalled by Calder’s cheekiness, and Calder couldn’t help but take advantage of that and do whatever he could to get under Donner’s skin. Lots of cute, funny stuff going on even before Donner realized his attraction to Calder. I enjoyed Donner’s character so much as well. He’s so sincere and kindhearted; I loved getting to know him.
The flow of the book was great. Cochet does a nice job, as always, of introducing the characters and building up the connection. The bulk of the story focuses on Calder, and his work on convincing Cupid and Donner’s fellow Christmas elves, and maybe most importantly, Jack Frost, that he is different than Gunne, and that he only wants to help the people of North Pole City. The romance between Donner and Calder is also lovely – they were so natural and sweet with each other—but, I think my favorite thing about this book was learning about Calder and watching his growth and acceptance into Donner’s life, as well as the lives of everyone else around him.
Though, of course there was an interesting and exciting conflict, Disarming Donner is heavy on charm and light on drama, which is exactly what I look for in a book from this delightful series. If you haven’t started the North Pole City Tales yet, I would definitely encourage you to read the other books first. But, if you are caught up, then go grab this one now! And, then join me in the long, twelve month wait until next December.
You can buy Disarming Donner here: