Title: Snowbound in Nowhere
Author: Andrew Grey
Length: 17,592 words (65 pdf pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: m/m contemporary
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?
This author tends to write sweet stories with likable guys, and this one is no exception. Chris agreed to travel from Arizona to Wisconsin to spend Christmas with his friend at his isolated cabin. However when a death in the family calls his friend away, he ends up at the cabin alone, in a snow storm, with no power. Neighbor Horace shows up to make sure he’s okay, and ends up staying. Before long the two are getting very friendly, however after, Horace kind of freaks out. He does come back, and Chris finds Horace is quite young and is only accepting his sexuality, in large part due to his dead father’s rigid religious upbringing. Chris knows it’s probably a bad idea to do anything more with Horace as he’s bound to hurt him when he leaves, but he can’t seem to resist the mutual pull of attraction.
Horace really came across as an innocent, and I suppose he was. Not slow, but growing up his entire life in the country, not having experience with men or any relationships made him quick to glom onto Chris. Still, their time together, as Horace exposes Chris to life in the winter and snow, cutting down a tree, riding a snowmobile, showed them getting to know each other beyond just having sex. It made you feel there was more to the relationship, or that it could grow into something lasting.
The problem with stories that bring someone from far away to visit somewhere, similar to another Christmas story I reviewed, is the inevitable ending. People have jobs, apartments, lives somewhere else, and there is often an irresistible urge to force them into a happy ending, which can come across as rushed. Granted, Arizona and Wisconsin are far apart, but sometimes I find myself wincing a bit and saying “Oh no, too soon.” It makes me question whether they will really be able to work long-term when you don’t even know someone. But, it’s romance, and a Christmas story to boot, so you do expect a certain amount of sweet romantic optimism.
I think fans of the author will really enjoy this, as it fits well into his oeuvre of work, and will familiar and pleasant to read. New readers will also enjoy it as a gentle contemporary, with a bit of inner angst, but not over done.