Review: Disarming Donner (North Pole City Tales #5) by Charlie Cochet

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.

Donner always acts according to his position as a Rein Dear. Maintaining a flawless reputation includes not associating with unsavoury elves, like a certain dark elf who keeps getting under his skin. But Donner finds it difficult to ignore the way his heart responds to the improper elf’s antics.

Calder refuses to let his birth or the nature of his magic define him. He may be a dark elf, but he’s not mean or evil. Calder sets out to convince Donner of that, and to convince Donner to give the spark between them a chance.

Each time I pick up a book from the North Pole City series, I’m enchanted. They’re animated Christmas movies in book format, with the addition of gay romance. A winning combination!


At the beginning of ‘Disarming Donner’, Calder and Donner have already known each other for a while. Calder takes every chance he can get Donner flustered, and Donner consistently falls for Calder’s teasing. Their early interactions are cute and funny.

It’s also clear that the two feel something for each other. Calder can’t stop thinking about Donner’s violet eyes and soft lips. And Donner can’t stop his mind from wandering to the infuriating elf.

The main stumbling block to their relationship is that Calder is a Dockalfar - a dark elf. It was a bit sad to see the mistrust and discrimination that Calder has to put up with, but it doesn’t take long for Donner, and the rest of North Pole City, to learn not to judge a book by its cover.

Once Donner realizes that he what he feels for Calder is anything other than hate, Donner doesn’t let the attitudes of those around him hold him back from loving Calder. On the other end, I really liked seeing how attentive Calder was to Donner, slowly drawing him out of his shell.

Plus, I really liked seeing prim and proper Donner get down and dirty with Calder. The sex scene was delightfully steamy.

The romance was sweet and fluffy insta-love, and I was all on board for it. Donner’s change of heart was quick, but I didn’t mind. The HEA was all butterflies and roses.

If you’re looking for sweet and inventive holiday MM reads, give this series a try!

Find on Dreamspinner Press or Goodreads!

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