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Book Info

Barbara Elsborg
27 October 2022
Book Type


Reviewed By: Josh Dale


So, what makes a great Christmas Fairy-tale?

A missing Santa (no)

Cute Reindeer (yes)

A cute and adorable blue haired elf (yes)

A reluctant stand in Santa (yes)

A few heart breaking / heart-warming events (yes)

Add all the above to the bowl and sprinkle a little magic and you get the perfect story.

This story is truly magical Christmas story, of a determined sunshine Elf named Alfie, who is a bit of a rebel in the good way. Who has borrowed a few of Santa’s reindeers and set off to save Kendell from his sorrow and his hatred of anything Christmas.

Kendell is having a bad day, at his least liked time of the year. He is told the rent a Santa + photographer is not able to turn up for the children to meet Santa.  Kendell has had a rough life which has made him a grumpy man that tries to ignore Christmas as much as possible.

This is such a heart-warming story filled with magic and humour, there are a few heartaches (it is a Barbara Elsborg novel after all.)  but there is so much happiness and a perfect happy ending at the end.

And I knew I caught Santa Claus kissing Mammy when I was a kid. (You will get this, after reading the book lol)

What makes a true fantasy, paranormal, fairy-tale story is when the author writes the unbelievable, and makes it believable.  That is exactly what Barbara has done in this book.

Kendell starts off as a prickly bear that might attack you if you mention Christmas.  But with Alfie’s cheeky humour, his everlasting smiles and determination, boy does Alfie need determination to break down Kendell’s armour shields. By the end of the book Kendell is not only smiling but is even buying presents and decorations.

I loved the surprise near the end of the book and the ending is so heart-warming I had to stop myself from re-reading the whole book again.



Barbara Elsborg lives in Kent in the South of England. She always wanted to be a spy, but having confessed to everyone without them even resorting to torture, she decided it was not for her. Volcanology scorched her feet. A morbid fear of sharks put paid to marine biology. So instead, she spent several years successfully selling cyanide.

After dragging up two rotten, ungrateful children and frustrating her sexy, devoted, wonderful husband (who can now stop twisting her arm) she finally has time to conduct an affair with an electrifying plugged-in male, her laptop.

Her books feature quirky heroines and bad boys, and she hopes they are as much fun to read as they were to write.

Thirteen facts about me

1. I’m blonde, but after having spotted one grey hair - I now dye my locks with mixed results. I know I should read the packet but hey, what can go wrong? My nicknames – badger, skunk (purely the look!!), snowball and pinkie. Yes, that time it really did go wrong.

2. I hate milk. Can’t drink it, smell it or even look at it.

3. Writing. I really do love that. I started by making up episodes of TV series with me as the heroine. You name it, I’ve been in it. My range is from paranormal to suspense to contemporary to erotica but everything I write has a touch of romance and humor. Well, I think I’m funny. My family laugh at me all the time.

4. Former life – a sad cautionary tale. Started off as a government inspector – spying on people trying to cheat on their taxes. A short period as a media planner in an advertising agency. I fled that at dead of night. Several years selling cyanide – mainly to Sweden for the largest chemical company in the UK. Grand title of export manager. There was just me in the department. Had kids. Ughghghg. Then went to work as Government Inspector, spying on teachers. I was so popular, you can’t believe. Thank goodness I married well. (Married for money anyway)

5. No I didn’t, dear. Husband is financial whiz. Met at university when he was bringing a sack of potatoes to my flat mate. Romance is his middle name. Gifts to me include – supermarket vouchers, hedge trimmer and a hammer drill and reduced flowers past their wilt-by date. He spent most of his life in the aerospace industry making missiles. He’s atoning for his sins by doing my shopping.

6. Two children. Daughter a lawyer. Son has escaped to live in Texas. Enough said.

7. Books – I ADORE. I read at least one a day. I have thousands as I can’t stand to part with them. I read at lightning speed. 70-80 pages in 20 minutes. That’s fast? Right?

8. What do I do all day? Write. All day if I can. It’s my world and I love it. Start at 8.00 and finish late. Interspersed with journeys on the internet and satisfying needs of husband. No, not those sorts of needs. Really!! I was thinking of making coffee.

9. Worried about – possible visit from FBI. Research for one of my thrillers did involve some investigation into how a fetus would decay under a boat shed. Research into plastic handcuffs brought a deluge of porn. Well, that was my excuse and I’m sticking to it. I find I need to keep checking dubious sites. I might be addicted.

10. I’m very tall. 5’10 and a bit. I used to be very self-conscious about my height. Now I don’t care. I’m far more worried about other bits of me.

11. I won the prize at school for ‘Good Conduct and Example’ It was the worst day of my life. Well, one of them. I so want to be bad. Sigh.

12. I am incapable of telling right from left at crucial moments. Won’t be flying jets anytime soon.

I’m struggling now. I’m really not interesting.

13. Ohh, I was once kicked by a giraffe.

Phew, made it.



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