Todd Burton has had enough of small-town Buckman. His abusive stepfather calls him a fag; his friend Austin makes him realize he may be gay, but Todd doesn't want to admit his stepfather is right; and he dreams of being a chef. Three good reasons to flee his hometown and pursue greener pastures. But when Todd reaches the big city, his luck runs dry. Soon he can't pay his rent and gets evicted. In the middle of a snowstorm.
Gabe Richards is a wealthy businessman with enough wounds of his own to make him afraid of ever being intimate again. But when he sees Todd outside his building, freezing to death, he takes pity on him and takes him in from the cold.
To their mutual surprise, Todd and Gabe find themselves drawn to each other. "One night" turns into a week. Maybe letting a man in from the cold can melt the ice around Gabe's heart - and maybe getting evicted will turn Todd's luck around.
©2013 B. G. Thomas (P)2014 Dreamspinner Press
This was a really sweet and fluffy read. Charlie David is one of my top ten narrators and he delivers again in this one. This is an insta love with a strong "pay it forward" theme. Pretty predictable, but still a nice listen. The only negatives are personal pet peeves of a lot of inner monologueing and characters "thinking" something and then saying "did I say that out loud?" Honestly, do people really do that? There is also an overuse of the fa**ot word IMHO. Worth a credit.
I was hooked from the first word spoken by Todd Burton. Charlie David's characterization was the reincarnation of Topher Manning from Brad Boney's "The Return", and that naive but smartass attitude and tone is something I could listen to all day. But then Charlie David could read the Bible to me, and I'd think it was sexy.
The story is sweet, though in audio a bit confusing when Todd channels his step-father's voice or when he is unaware he's said something out loud. What tampered my enthusiasm was (something of a spoiler ahead) was that in less than one week, Todd goes from "I'm absolutely straight, though maybe a bit bi-curious, broke, jobless, lonely, and homeless" to the completely opposite extreme. And that Gabe, given his past experiences, rolls along with it. Strangers one day to "I love you" two days later? That's the part that really kept me from empathizing with and identifying with the characters.
Also a little disappointed that Austin didn't appear in this one, since Todd pops up in Austin's book. Would have liked to have heard Gabe's reaction.
All said though, I'll probably replay it in the near future, if for nothing more than to listen to Todd's confrontation with his step-father and mother.
I'm an unabashed fiction fan: mostly M/M, Romance, Erotica, Suspense, Thrillers, Action, NA/YA genres.
3.75 stars out of 5
NOTE: The rating is entirely due to Charlie David’s performance. Once again, Charlie David delivers an entertaining production that cuts some of the too-saccharine sweetness from the story, leaving only enjoyment in it’s wake.
This is one of those times when the story itself doesn’t resonate deeply but I like the narration so much it elevates the final rating much higher than it would be as if I had simply read the story.
This is an insta-love heavy-dose romance (they know each other a week before the I-Love-You’s are exchanged) Cinderfella story. Todd is the down on his luck kid from a small town who’s been tossed out of his place on the eve of one of the biggest snowstorms to hit Kansas City, MO in years. Gabe is the out and proud gay man who helps him in spite of Todd’s constant problem with foot-in-mouth disease.
Kudos to Charlie David for making even those moments palatable.
Told from a dual perspective, I far more enjoyed the times I was in Gabe’s POV from when I was in Todd’s. Gabe was just so sweet, understanding, loving, sexy…he’s a bit of a paragon really, so it’s good Todd was there to temper that because that could have gotten old really fast.
B.G. Thomas believes in character substance over heat – so the sexy times are not plentiful, but what’s there was definitely enjoyable – and I did like the character development enough to continue the series.
Bottom Line: Thoroughly entertaining thanks to Charlie David!
I loved it! The performance was awesome and the story felt right. I had a little discrepancy with how picture perfect the ending was, but I'll get over it. They deserved a happy ending.
Avid reader, reviewer, blogger and budding author.
It's up toward the top for sure! Great writing and even better performance by Charlie David.
Peter, something about his old world style and the way David portrayed his voice mesmerized me.
Fantastic as usual! He got the southern insecure twang for Todd, the more mature tone for Gage and that British flair he used for Peter was amazing.
Both actually. Todd was so insecure and almost immature that his past made me tear up a little, but then his reactions and thoughts at times made me laugh out loud.
Todd Burton is jobless, broke and now homeless in the middle of freezing blizzard. Not the greatest combination. Little does he know that the man who lets him come inside the foryer of his apartment building is about to change his life, irrevocably. Gabe Richards is always paying it forward, so much so that he's had his heart demolished in the past because he is so kind. But he can't resist wanting to help the scared, frozen young man he finds outside his building. When Gabe offers him a meal and a place to sleep for the night that is safe and warm, Todd immediately gets the wrong idea and not only insults Gabe, but hurt's his feelings. None the less, when Todd realizes he has nowhere else to go, but out in the cold, he decides to take Gabe up on his offer.
Todd spent the better part of his life ignoring his sexuality. There have always been hints, little clues, like the heated make out session with his best friend Austin, the mens fitness magazines he horded as a teenager, oh and the underwear model ads, all male models. But a verbally, mentally and sometimes physical abusive homophobic step father made him deny ny and every inclination he had toward the same sex. But now that Todd is staying with Gabe, he's finding it hard to ignore the attraction to him. There is also a familiarity and a trust with Gabe that Todd has never experienced with another human being.
Gabe was rescued himself by his boss, mentor and friend Peter when he wasn't much older than Todd is now. It made his very aware of just how precious life is and how some people just need a helping hand sometimes. Gabe also wears his heart on his sleeve, which some people will take advantage of, which is how he got his heart broken by a young man he helped once a few years ago. Though Gabe still does anything and everything he can to help someone that is down and out on their luck, he's safeguarded his heart. Fear of being taken advantage of and hurt again make him deny his increasingly growing feelings for Todd.
Love at first sight and all that are at the core of this story, that and coming to terms with who you are and how you want to live your life. Todd will have to set aside all the ingrained hatred that is stuck on repeat in his brain and Gabe will have to open himself up for possible heartbreak again, if they are going to stand a chance at any kind of happy ever after.
I was hooked on this story from the first words uttered by Charlie David. The scenario of a young man that is battling his own mindset in order to be who he really is was seriously fascinating. Thomas did a great job of writing the inner turmoil that Todd goes through with his step father's barage of insults constantly repeating themselves inside his confused mind. It's not until he finds a way to turn that off that he finally opens himself up to Gabe. The narration was splendid, with David giving that southern twang to Todd's accent while Gabe had the more mature and commanding tones to his voice. But my personal favorite voice would have to have been Peter, Gabe boss and friend. David really captured the maturity and British nuances to Peter's proud voice.
If you are a fan of coming of age and being true to yourself stores with a sexy edge, Charlie David narrating and just overall a fun, romantic read then you really should give this one a go. I recommend it!
Thomas' characters are well crafted and fleshed out. You will come love them. The story is touching, heartfelt and seasoned with both humor and tears. He tied up every loose end and even provided a perfect ending. A very god read.
I would be happy to recommend this story to anyone, the storyline was solid, and it was every bit of the stellar work I have come to expect from this author!!
When Todd's mom and stepdad showed up, my heart broke for Todd, but I was proud of him too, and I believe he really came into his own in that scene!
I loved the narrators mastery of all the accents he had to use in this one, he was very very good and you believed you were really hearing the story as it played out, and that is hard to do!
I must admit I only took a break from listening to this one to cook and spend some time with my kids, this is such a good story I wanted to listen all at one time!
I might have reduced the amount of repetition of Todd's inner demons. I got the point and the repetitive quality of those fears got to be a bit annoying.
Narrator Charlie David, (a bit of a celebrity from his own book Mulligans and the movie made from it), was a great choice and did a credible job of portraying all of the main characters and carrying the main narrative thread. However he could have used a bit more rehearsal or another take on some sections. It was a bit jarring to twice hear him misspeak saying "kitchen" when the word was "chicken" and to hear him mispronounce "dash hound."
This could easily make a great movie but for limited venues such as GLBT film festivals
When lonely Gabe Richards let scruffy, destitute Todd Burton into his building foyer on that snowy night little did he expect that he'd soon be letting him into his apartment... and his heart. And small town boy Todd couldn't believe the man's kindness when no one else in Kansas City or in his whole life had really been kind to him before. Can these two lonely souls together find shelter from their storms?
I've always been a sucker for stray pups and lost boys and this story had its full measure of that appeal but it was more as well. It was sweet story of coming out, coming to terms, and overcoming years of prejudiced rhetoric. The main characters and the supporting cast are all charming and a treat to spend time with. Todd's inner monologue is sometimes a bit repetitive but it has that "hamster on a treadmill" quality that is so true of many guys first realizing that they can no longer lie to themselves about being gay.
This is a bit of a fantasy fulfillment story for all parties and it was a light feel-good read for the most part but there were some scenes involving the guy that broke Gabe's heart and confronting Todd's parents that transcended the norm and forgiveness and redemption were given their due as well. Also this was in large part about a man who loved to cook and the cooking and dinner party scenes were well crafted and enjoyable.
Love listening to great stories matched well to the right narrators.
I liked the narrator of this book very much.
the narrator voice and interpretation of the characters
I'm Married 25 years with 5 sons. I love romance anything to do with love, love and more love. I am officially a audible junkie :)
I thought this book would be different than it turned out to be. It wasn't very interesting and i couldn't get into it at all. I think it would be a good book for someone trying out the m/m genere for the first time, I love Charlie David but not so much in this book.
I would recommend this book as the storyline is believable and interesting
A good listen at a good pace without too much repetition.
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