Silver Bells - Sadie Hart

I am probably being a little generous with the star rating on this one, but out of the books I read so far for December Reads, this one definitely had all the elements needed for a decent story. The page length is about 45 pages.

 

Dasher (yep, he is the reindeer shifter) and Merry (daughter of Rudolph, who died in a tragic car accident in his human form) get together. Dasher is working at a community park in the poverty stricken area of the city, taking care of the equipment, including a carousel. Merry has been homeless since the death of her parents. Dasher offers her his office/barn for shelter; she helps him repair the equipment as payment. Dasher begins bringing her food and she now has shelter and food in return for her continued help.

 

Dasher was a kid going down a wrong path when Santa Claus gave him a magical harness with silver bells; in exchange for helping pull the sleigh, Claus mentored Dash to become a better person and give him the kind of positive attention that a kid desires but rarely gets. However, this year is Dashers last ride - the magic has served its usefulness in Dash's life and now must be used on someone new. Dash can only shift when wearing the harness. Merry recognizes Dash as a reindeer because she remembers her dad having the same one.

 

Dash gets one wish from Santa for the years of dedicated service and Merry gets to use her dad's wish. It was emotional read throughout about two really kind, hardworking, decent people getting together despite life being incredibly tough.