REVIEW: Tinsel in a Tangle by Ainslie Paton
A Christmas story that packs a punch…
It’s Shelby Yule’s job to make sure the office Christmas party was a success. That means no dodgy Kris Kringle presents, no one gets too sloshed, and there are definitely no dance floor injuries. Never did she think she’d have to worry about the shy new guy, her inappropriate crush, starting a fight.
Adam Tide can’t help it if his job as the lead coder means he has a better relationship with his project management software than his human colleagues, but that doesn’t mean he’s unaware of Felix, head of HR, and the way he treats Shelby. Adam has suffered a whole twelve months of Felix being a dick and after one over–warm beer he just can’t take it anymore.
Decking Felix lands Adam in the Emergency Room, and likely the unemployment line, but since Shelby’s New Year’s resolution is to go after what she wants most, there’s still a chance this season will be jolly.
Dear Ms. Paton,
Two other DA reviewers have enjoyed your novels but this is my first time trying your work. A cute little beta office romance is a great place for me to start. It’s quick, it’s holiday but without a lot of angst or too much sugar.
Sitting in casualty (US=ER) with bloody knuckles, a cut on his forehead and the knowledge that he just decked a fellow employee is not how Adam intended to end the day after the staff Christmas party. He is curious about the nativity set on display – Lego baby Jesus’s father looks like a Spock doll. Then the object of his year long affection walks in and sits down. Shelby couldn’t let Adam sit all alone not after he’d hit someone at the party which is totally out of character for him. “Books over brawling; movies over mauling, almost anything over being aggressive.” Why did he do it?
Adam was thrilled to find a dream job in Sydney after leaving some family drama behind. He knew it was going to be an even greater place to work after meeting Shelby from HR. Shelby is the caring type of person who makes sure things run smoothly, people feel included and she brightens the day just by being there. Adam is smitten but hesitates to do anything about his feelings. One office romance has flared then gone sour over the past year and the arse who is head of HR seems like the kind of bastard who would twist things against the woman Adam secretly adores. So Adam watches Felix being arseholic and seethes. That is until the holiday party when 12 months of pent up frustration and anger finally burst loose.
It’s over, he thinks. Shelby won’t want anything to do with him now and he’ll get the sack. Happy Christmas, right? Or is there still a chance?
This is a cute, charming holiday present. Just long enough to tell the story without bogging down in anything not needed. Shelby and Adam are both quiet people who notice things and try to make life easier and better for each other as well as the other staff members. The fly in the ointment, the fart in church, the pain in the arse is the HR director who is clever about his needling, humiliating jokes and bullying. Shelby and Adam have both had enough of Felix but the fistfight was unexpected.
But things don’t go quite as they fear. True, physically lashing out wasn’t the right thing for Adam to do and that gets dealt with but they’re in for a Christmas present neither expected from a boss I’d love to see duplicated x 1,000,000 so everyone had someone that caring in charge of their work life. Suddenly Shelby’s “orphan” holiday lunch looks like it’s going to be personally lot happier this year. B