This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Riptide
Released on November 23, 2016
Length: 3 hours 43 minutes
Be wary of Rebound Romances, right? Hot and heartwarming holiday romance novella by a new to me author left me convinced that adages prove true until…they don’t.
The story opens with Cole all set to get on the plane with his boyfriend Stephen to enjoy a holiday is gorgeous Banff, but then it all falls apart when he stands witness to Stephen’s ex hunting him down and proposing on the spot and the pair headed off into the blue leaving Cole alone and dumped as a casualty of a rebound romance.
Owen spots one of his regulars enter his bar and notices Cole is dreary and down. Owen cares for people and wants them happy so he soon discovers that poor Cole was dumped right before the holidays. Owen deserves a bit of stress-free fun and he likes Cole so he proposes that the pair of them spend the days leading up to Christmas taking turns doing a list of activities that both like.
Cole is cautious especially since he has been secretly crushing on Owen for ages. Learning Owen is bi and that Owen wants to spend time together has Cole agreeing, but only as long as they both know this is strictly friends and it can go no where- no more rebound relationships for Cole especially when he is still getting over Stephen.
But between the holiday fun, unexpected ease of connection between them, and their own personal need for each other, the two are confronted with either taking a chance that they can have something that works or to walk away.
Alright, this one was not very long, but it was a strong and well-developed story. It was an interesting scenario for a romance with one coming off a bad break-up and the other too busy to ever have a relationship. The holiday setting was fun, but understated as the pair enjoyed many scenes of friendship and hot sexy time.
Whew, yeah, the sexy times were something. I appreciated how the author used every scene to advance the relationship and the romance including when this pair were driving each other crazy with want and passion in the bedroom.
This could have gotten angsty, but it didn’t. Both shied away from commitment, but their reasons made sense and both made mistakes, but they handled it all like adults. I really enjoyed both characters and thought the closure and moment of truths for both was well handled.
I enjoyed an audio version of the book and particularly Nick J. Russo’s narration. I’m already very familiar with his work and he’s a favorite narrator. I wasn’t paying attention when I picked this one up for a listen so got a warm fuzzy to hear a familiar and talented voice who took both points of view and the elements of the story and worked his magic.
All in all, I enjoyed this short well-developed, but hotly passionate romance set against the holidays in Toronto. I can easily recommend it to those who enjoy m/m contemporary romance.
There was a funny moment in this story when Owen and Cole go to the Christmas tree lot to pick out a tree for Cole’s apartment. At first, all they saw were Charlie Brown trees. There isn’t much left, but then Owen spots THE TREE for Cole. He is injured and requires stitches in an attempt to keep someone else from claiming the tree first.
I had to chuckle because Owen’s head injury and trip to the hospital reminded me of a similar injury I got during the holiday season, but mine was not due to saving my friend’s Christmas tree. No, I was injured running for my life from a bully.
It went down like this: My mom’s good friend invited us over for dinner on Christmas Eve. Our families did kid’s birthdays and occasional meet-ups. I had learned to dread my visits to their house because the oldest son liked to pick on me and was sly about it so his parents never saw him- and it HURT. I was no weanie, in fact, I was a tomboy so I never told on him.
But in this instance, I didn’t have to. I was playing Lincoln Logs (younger people just appreciate that this is a cool toy from the past) with the middle brother when the bully came into the room to pick on us. First our log cabin was kicked over and then he started kicking us. I threw a larger Lincoln Log that clocked him in the side of the head. He picked up a baseball bat. I ran screaming for the living room and the safety of parents. I was in socks on linoleum tile flooring. I lost my traction and slid right into their TV stand slamming my face into the sharp corner of the stand. Head injury. Lots of bleeding. Freaked out kid and people. Bully standing over me with bat and attempt to look innocent.
I went to the emergency room. Bully was revealed though his mom called me a liar so my mom made that our last visit. And I have a cool scar just at the corner of my eye as my lasting gift from our last Christmas Eve dinner at the bully’s house.
So? Anyone else have any holiday emergency room visits? Haha! Okay or do you have any fun Christmas tree hunting stories? Do tell!