Secret Santo is a fun, sweet, seasonal read that will get you into the Christmas spirit in just a little over 50 pages.
With short stories, you can’t really expect a lot of character development or any complex plotting, and Secret Santo is no exception here. I was hoping for a less clichéd development of the story, but the final twist didn’t really surprise me.
The story offered an interesting juxtaposition of two people hiding behind fake names. Holly is a romance blogger, Sultry Scarlet, by night and works in a bookshop by day. Santo Randolfi, on the other hand, is a writer who publishes his works under a pen name. They meet at a Christmas party organized by a publisher, and while Santo openly criticizes book bloggers, Holly fears he is the author she slammed on her blog.
This conflict between them persists, even though they feel more and more attracted to each other, until Santo reveals that he’s guessed her secret. There’s a lot of Christmas slapstick humor in between, some of which felt flat to me, but a sweet ending follows once both of them reveal their true identities.
While Secret Santo is short, it’s a sweet and quick read that will get you to hum Jingle Bells and wish for Christmas miracles to happen under the mistletoe.
Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short Reviews. It has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.