Sweet Rein Volume 3
The final volume of the short Sweet Rein series by Sakura Tsukuba is also a kind of romance, as Santa Kurumi finds out that spring is mating season for the human Reindeer. As a result, Kaito, already handsome, is nearly irresistible to girls, making Kurumi jealous.
The story that results has potential, but the relationship aspect falls strangely flat, with most of the chapter devoted to Kurumi’s waffling about what she wants to do. It’s a younger-aimed series, so that’s probably more age-appropriate.
Other stories in this volume feature a summer vacation where they discover a sick child who wants to make up with a playmate he treated badly; a Halloween-timed tale with a lone reindeer who makes Kaito jealous; and a final Christmas story in which a black reindeer (one separated from his Santa) finds redemption and final happiness. They’re well-intentioned, if slight, and this series length seems about right.
Volume 3 seems to be aiming at expanding the mythology and characters, but I think the potential of the concept has been about played out. Any of the books in the series would make for good light reading during the holiday season, with none of the stories strongly serialized. (The publisher provided a review copy.)