Snow, steam, and secrets.
The latest snowstorm carries something unexpected to the doorstep of Hutch’s secluded Alaskan cabin: a stranger named Jude, the most beautiful man Hutch has ever seen. Jude says he’s in the area for a ski trip and that he fled a domineering lover, thinking he could make it into town. But Hutch is a suspicious SOB and treats his unwanted guest warily. The problem is Jude isn’t just gorgeous, he’s funny and smart and flirtatious.
Two gay men snowed in for three days—things happen. Really good things. By the time the storm clears, Hutch finds himself a little too attached to Jude Devereaux, San Francisco-based male model. But is Jude what he claims to be? Or is he entangled in the secrets Hutch moved to Alaska to escape?
(Book reviewed here previously)
HOLY COW! This was not what I was expecting. At. All!
As a big fan of the author, I can say that this totally surprised me as being something she wrote. Not that she doesn’t have some great writing chops, but most of what I’ve seen from her is far less heavy on the action and adventure and more focused on the feelings and humor. (Blame it on the Mistletoe https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18776908-blame-it-on-the-mistletoe continues to be one of my all time favorite m/m books ever, and her Howl at the Moon series https://www.goodreads.com/series/148573-howl-at-the-moon ranks very high up there as well.)
Without giving away major plot spoilers, let me tell you that there are twists followed by turns and all kinds of misdirections in this story. Even knowing that and trying to figure out where they are – it was still chock full of surprises!
As an entertaining book – I give this top of the class marks. It was totally gripping and had me engaged from the very first encounter. I was honestly surprised by the depth of this – given the fact that it’s a Dreamspun desire book. While I can’t quantitatively say this for sure, it felt like it way hotter and more numerous and more “explicit” sex in it than the others I’ve read (which is 25 of the 29 published). I kind of “expect” this series to be on the “lighter” side when it comes to sex, but Eli pulled no punches with this one!
Eli’s writing, as always, is smooth, her characters well-developed and multi-faceted, the HEA was very satisfying and the action – wow – that was just non-stop!
If I have any complaints, it’d be that the relationship seemed to take a back seat to the very complex (yet very exciting) action. I was grateful for the HEA and really feel good about these guys making it in the long run – but we see very little of them when things are “normal” and I kinda wanted a few more warm fuzzies than I got. (spoiler) I missed a very sappy “I Love You” scene , though it is more or less mentioned and definitely implied by the epilogue. (end spoiler)
All in all – take a look at this, you won’t be disappointed – whether you’re a fan of the author or not – because it feels a bit different from what she’s written before, but she still holds true enough to satisfy her fans.
4.5 of 5 stars
John Solo is probably a good go-to for this series – Dreamspun Desires. He’s got a good narrating voice, a few accents he can use, a sense for the “melodrama” and can span several “themes”. I thought his particular reading style suited this story in particular because it was so full of melodrama. I ADORED his “Hutch” and thought his Jude was okay, too. I didn’t care for his accents in this story – his Hispanic accent could use some work. 😉 But he does try to give everyone a unique voice and it’s always very clear who is speaking. He handles the romance and action equally well and is very easy to listen to.
3.5 of 5 stars
Overall 4 of 5 stars
Copy Generously Provided by Publisher For Honest Review