Sugarplum: Mutts
By Chrissy Dionne
Dec 12, 2010 - 3:22:49 PM

Christmas is supposed to be the happiest time of the year but Matt can’t help but feel a bit depressed.  His mom has decided to forgo the Christmas tree and family togetherness and spend the holiday season in Greece.  Matt may be twenty-six but he feels abandoned and very alone.  His one pleasure is in creating new and exciting recipes but with no one to share them even that is depressing. 

Josh lives across the hall from Matt in the brutally cut up downstairs section of an old Victorian house.  He’s in the same sort of situation as Matt.  His mother decided to take a Hawaiian cruise and told him he needed to start making his own Christmas traditions.  Josh struggles with bills and doesn’t have many luxuries in life besides his book collection which seems to be his only indulgence.


Matt and Josh both suffer their holiday depression alone until Matt hears puppies in the hallway.  He knows that their grouchy landlord, Mr. Scrapple, would never allow puppies in the house so heads over to Josh’s place to confront him about bringing the cute little critters into the house and then leaving them in the hall.  If Mr. Scrapple, who lives upstairs, finds out about them Matt and Josh could find themselves evicted for the holidays – and yet, neither of them is willing to take the puppies to a shelter.  They need the loving little guys as much as the puppies need them.  Matt and Josh work out a schedule of sorts so that the puppies won’t be alone and risk attracting their landlord’s attention.  What neither of the men expects is for the puppies to bring them together or the realization of how perfect they are for each other.  Unfortunately they won’t be able to keep the puppies hidden forever so what will happen when Mr. Scrapple learns about the newest four legged tenants?


Sarah Black’s MUTTS is the fourth title in Changeling Press’s SUGARPLUM collection.  When everyone around you is full of joy and holiday spirit it’s hard to imagine that for many people Christmastime can be depressing.  Matt and Josh obviously love the holidays but for them it’s more about the people they share it with than gifts and candy canes… ok, so maybe Matt has a little sugarplum fetish, but who can blame the guy?  I love how the puppies, rambunctious little creatures that they are, bring Matt and Josh closer together.  Even the crotchety Mr. Scrapple managed to make me smile by the end of the story.  Ms. Black’s MUTTS is a feel good story that gives a reader hope that Christmas might indeed be the season of miracles.


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