Hubba Hubba Santa Claus

Hubba Hubba Santa ClausHubba Hubba Santa Claus by LaRae Parry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hubba Hubba Santa Claus is a quirky, chuckle-filled read. While we may have seen this plot enacted and repeated in hundreds of television shows and movies, Parry brings a delightful spin to the switcharoo scenario.

Written with sometimes subtle but more often “slap your forehead while thinking ‘doh, really?!’” humor, Hubba Hubba is a cute holiday themed romance. The main character Shelly is a character you love to scoff and laugh at, her antics bizarre in her disguise and efforts to maintain it. Yet you also feel for her even if only in an “oh you poor daft girl” humanistic way; we all want the heroine to win the day and snag the man don’t we? Rooting for the underdog is part of our humanity.

I know a lot of people like Shelly’s sister Rhonda who is the antithesis of Shelly’s personality. Shelly is rainbows and unicorns to Rhonda’s prudent rooting in reality. Parry’s analogy of “She’s a spreadsheet. I’m a paper jam” is so spot on I fell in love with the phrase. The dynamics between the sisters are one of the story’s biggest sources of humorous interplay but there is clearly a long suffering bond between them that goes beyond familial obligation.

Shelly’s paramour Brant Fields starts out as a mystery but fleshes out by the end. Initially I thought the guy had to be a few donuts short of a dozen to enjoy and even believe the Bubba-Bubba story Shelly feeds him. However, Parry weaves in an eventual explanation that is as touching as it is bizarre. By the end of the story we see that Brant’s willingness to suffer Bubba-Bubba’s antics is only because they appeal to his brand of bizarre quirkiness. They really are a match.

I enjoyed the Christmas theme and was intrigued by the introduction of some magical elements. But what Christmas romance is complete without some Santa magic to encourage love in blossoming?

Overall I enjoyed this book. The story was cute and refreshing in its quirkiness. Parry delivers strange but believable characters with real connections. I chuckled, smirked or snickered frequently during the reading and that’s always a good thing.

I did notice some editing misses:

Page 51 That’s why we need to spy on Brant to learn more about him.” (missing quotation)

Page 56: “Oh, ho, ho, ho—that—I shaved it crooked so my Santa mustache would fit better. I knew that didn’t make any sense, but hoped he would buy it. (missing quotation, should be: better.” I knew that….)

Page 83: It sort of sounded like an in-between voice—a shmalefe.” (misplaced quotation)

I also have only one notable mention, and that is to comment on the book’s cover. It does nothing for the story except to indicate it’s a Christmas romance but in a bland, unoriginal way. I would have liked a bit more pizzazz to go with the quirkiness of the story and writing.

In the end I gave Hubba Hubba Santa Claus 4 out of 5 stars with the addendum that her humor has me leaning toward checking out her other stories to get another dose.

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