Book Reviews

Sugar Cookies and Computer Code by Kris Jacen at MLR Press

Genre Gay / Urban Fantasy / Elves/Fairies/Sidhe / Magic / Mythological Creatures / Shifters / Romance / Holiday
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 09-December-2018

Book Blurb

Tandy has never fit in with the others at the North Pole, whether it's his size or love for computers. But he wants to contribute to the mission of making the world's children happy. Every elf does. Taking time away from his baby - a new process for the Nice and Naughty lists - to do the yearly census on the Isle of Misfit Toys just doesn't fit into his schedule.


It seemed like every time El turned around, there was another elf getting under foot for a census. Did the elves think that toys just disappeared from the Isle? And those that arrived were accounted for before they arrived. All El wanted at this point in his life was to become a baker at the North Pole. He'd had the love of a child already and Jack Frost did it hurt when he was no longer in his heart. Maybe if he avoided the elf this year, they'd just leave him to his cookies.


Can the magic of the holidays bring these two together? El and Tandy both need help healing and isn't Christmas the season of miracles?


Book Review

Variations of the North Pole have me fascinated, and this one certainly has a few extra special twists. In this world, toys are shifters – alive when they are on their own or among themselves, they become toys when they are with their designated child. Unwanted toys return to a special island, from where they are adopted out after completing the relevant census forms. Very cool worldbuilding like this always has me fascinated, and add in two fabulous main characters, this story made for excellent entertainment.

Tandy is the son of the COE – Chief Operating Elf – but he does not fit into the family or mesh well with any of the traditional elfs and their tasks. For one thing he is way too tall for an elf, then there is his inability to cook or to make toys, and finally there is the fact that he is very good with computers and can’t wait to update the way the Nice and Naughty lists are compiled. So when he is sent to the island of Misfit Toys for the annual census, he is not a happy elf!

El is a teddy bear and his story broke my heart. Rejected by the boy he loved with all his heart because of bullying, El has decided never to be adopted again. Instead he focuses on baking treats for all the misfit toys, and he is very good at it. The book is filled with his yummy recipes, and even though I am by no means a talent in the kitchen, reading them made me drool. Love is just not for him, or so he thinks.

When Tandy and El meet there are a lot of misunderstandings at first. But when they start to open up and talk about their past and what they want to do in future, it becomes obvious that they might just be what the other needs. Obvious to me that is, not necessarily to them. It takes some Christmas magic for that particular problem to be solved.

If you like imaginative Christmas worlds, if you think a rejected teddy bear and a misfit elf deserve some happiness together, and if you’re looking for an entertaining read with lots of humor, some deep emotions, and a very happy ending, then you will probably like this heartwarming short story.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by MLR Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Short Story, 51 pages/13000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 07-December-2018
Price $2.99 ebook
Buy Link