WTF Holidays: Sugar Plum'd by Leon Mauvais

As a young stag-shifter, all Pembroke dreams of is being harnessed to Santa’s sleigh. Yet his world comes crashing down when Santa is slain by the imposter Frost.

War erupts in the Arctic Circle, pitting elf against reindeer, and Pembroke is sent on a perilous mission. If he fails, his herd will be lost. When the mission goes awry, the stag-shifter must put his trust in an unlikely ally.

Where does one turn in a land of ice and blood? What happens when the enemy infiltrates your heart? What begins as a wavering alliance just might take Pembroke farther than he ever imagined.

   

With the number of review requests that come pouring in every week, it takes a lot to catch my attention, especially as we near the end of the year and I'm just looking to relax with my own overflowing shelves. I wasn't even sure I'd do a WTF Holidays theme this year, and then this Leon Mauvais comes along with a pitch like this:

It's like "Rudolph" & "50 shades of gay" meets "Mad Max" at Santa's workshop!

I mean, come on . . . how the hell was I supposed to resist that? It's like slathering sugar plum dust and elf blood all over a horny reindeer and expecting them to just politely walk away. Oh, wait. I've skipped ahead, haven't I? Okay, so let me step back a bit and set the stage for you.

Sugar Plum'd is the story of the North Pole at war. Santa Claus is dead, the elves have gone mad with power, and the reindeer are losing a bloody war of attrition. The civil war is a cool enough concept on its own, but these reindeer are weredeer (I'll get back to that), with GPS-antlers, who have the magic of teleportation. As the story opens, a reindeer by the name of Pembroke is trapped behind enemy lines, fleeing from walruses with sharpened tusks, and having trouble focusing on his coordinates . . . until the taste of elf blood reminds him of his first holly jolly high.

That memory takes us back to pre-war times, where we get to witness a charge, a locking of horns, and wrestling for dominance, which leads to hot-and-heavy BDSM-themed, buck-on-buck, shifter sex. That kind of raw, visceral sex is a driving force throughout the story, a primal force that leads Pembrooke to betray his anti-elf prejudices, even as it opens him to betrayal from within the herd. It's almost purely physical, with little in the way of emotion, but I liked how Mauvais used the sex to parallel the dark themes of violence and eroticism. I wish I could tell you more, I would love to share some of the scenes that had me taken aback, but I'm afraid of the weredeer, and I'm not about to tempt their appetite for blood.

This is like a slice of a much larger story, reducing something epic to the point-of-view of Pembrooke. We don't get to see much of the civil war itself, and we have no idea what Santa's death means for the rest of the world, but that distilling of the story down to its essence makes for something as intense as it is unique. There are genuine moments of dramatic tension, more than one crucial twist, and a climax that more than pays off. Sugar Plum'd is a work of post-apocalyptic erotic horror quite unlike anything else you'll read this holiday season.





Kindle Edition, 82 pages
Published December 1st 2018 by JMS Books LLC



The WTF Weekend gang is group of readers and reviewers who enjoy Weird, Taboo, and Forbidden fiction that is most definitely NSFW. Normally posting on Saturday and Sunday, we've broken out to celebrate the holidays in twisted style!

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