When a funeral calls his friend Martin away, sunbelt resident Chris is left alone in Martin's cabin in the dead of winter - and in a blizzard to boot. When the power goes out, Chris thinks he's going to freeze to death. Luckily, Horace drops in to check on him - and then runs out after a few kisses, leaving Chris upset and feeling used. Horace does come back with explanations, but is their time together keeping each other warm enough for them see they belong together? Or are these sudden emotions the product of being snowbound?
©2012 Andrew Grey (P)2014 Dreamspinner Press
Avid reader, reviewer, blogger and budding author.
The connection between Chris and Horace.
Stardust by the same Author. Characters are quite similar.
His laid back, smooth voice.
Chris, so I could slap the stupid out of him.
Stranded in a blizzard at his best friend’s cabin, Chris is settling in for another lonely Christmas. That is until a neighbor stops by to make sure Chris is okay and gets stuck when his snowmobile won’t crank. Alone by the fire, bundled up to keep warm, one thing leads to another and before long, Chris and Horace no longer need the fire to keep warm. While Chris tries to tell himself he shouldn’t get involved, it’s hard when Horace has made up his mind that Chris is what he wants. Chris is determined to go home at the end of his supposed two week stay. But what, exactly, is he going home to?
I really like the easy, laid back, husky tone of Kelly’s voice. It was the perfect melody to tell this story, especially for the character of Horace with his Minnesota accent, which Kelly conveyed quite well. This was a short sort of sweet, sort of moody story, a bit of a May/December romance with Chris being several years Horace’s senior. There was some steam of course, and not just from the hearth. I think I knew Horace was a goner when they decorated the tree, but Grey keeps you hanging until the very end to know whether or not Chris wants to stay stranded in nowhere with his gentle giant.
Chris is stranded in a blizzard. He’s been burned by love and is reluctant to get involved in a relationship anymore, but he’s lonely. While stranded, Horace the neighbor helps him survive. Within a couple hours the brusque Horace and the worldly Chris have gone to bed but it freaks Horace out and he flees.
Chris is a little heartbroken, but really, what did he expect from someone he knows next to nothing about? Fortunately(?), Horace returns and the two resume the relationship (if it can be called that) despite Chris’ misgivings. First: Horace is only 21 but acts like he’s 14 at times. He’s been very sheltered and taught that gay loving is wrong (and so is masturbation, apparently). Two: They live in complete opposite parts of the country, and though I honestly couldn’t tell you what Chris does for a living, Chris isn’t inclined to live where it’s cold. Three: Chris is worried he might get his heart broken by a man who may be only picking him because he’s the only one around/has ever met.
After spending nearly two weeks together, the two are in love but Chris is still conflicted. Luckily, Martin convinces Chris to dig deep and prioritize love.
If this was a shifter/vampire/paranormal book it would totally work. Why? Because two people who should never be together fall in love with no real reason other than great time in bed and agree to live together without knowing anything about each other. Sounds like a shifter/mate book, right?
I kept telling myself to let reality go and accept the flight of fancy for what it was: FICTION. But I couldn’t look past the huge hurdles that weren’t ever discussed and the fact that the deciding factor on whether or not Chris stays is based on the fact that Martin was lonely .
I liked Horace but didn’t understand him much. Was he just sheltered or developmentally different? I really didn’t understand Chris either (some of this could be because it was an audiobook and it was hard to flip back and look for facts I missed). At no point in deciding to stay or go is his career ever brought up. Huh? Maybe I missed that in the beginning, but wouldn’t that be a concern? Also I was unclear of Chris’ age… he’s certainly emotionally older but in years too? I think that should have been addressed more.
I read a review on GR where someone mentioned feeling a little skeezy with this relationship between Horace and Chris… I can see where they are coming from. It’s really just about the physical – as far as we can see – very little relationship building is done on page.
I know Andrew Grey is capable of writing wonderful books, I’ve read some of them. I was disappointed by this, it’s not his finest effort.
I give the story a 2 of 5 stars. I liked where it might have gone, thought the characters Horace and Martin were interesting, but didn’t see the relationship between Horace and Chris as viable. A far more probable and sweet relationship would have been Martin and Horace…just sayin’.
KC Kelly is another of my favorite narrators and he does a great job here– especially with Horace. KC made Horace very three dimensional for me and really added to the story. I was glad I had only listened to the book instead of read it as well, because he did such a nice job with the narration.
I give the narration a 4 of 5 stars.
Overall, 3 of 5 stars. If you are interested in a mostly sweet, Holiday story, this short story will entertain you by a warm fire. (I got cold just reading the book!)
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