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Minnesota Christmas #3
Finding Mr. Right can be a snow lot of fun.
Paul Jansen was the only one of his friends who wanted a relationship. Naturally, he’s the last single man standing. No gay man within a fifty-mile radius wants more than casual sex. No one, that is, except too-young, too-twinky Kyle Parks, who sends him suggestive texts and leaves X-rated snow sculptures on his front porch.
Kyle is tired of being the town’s resident Peter Pan. He’s twenty-five, not ten, and despite his effeminate appearance, he’s nothing but the boss in bed. He’s loved Paul since forever, and this Christmas, since they’re both working on the Winter Wonderland festival, he might finally get his chance for a holiday romance.
But Paul comes with baggage. His ultra-conservative family wants him paired up with a woman, not a man with Logan’s rainbow connection. When their anti-LGBT crusade spills beyond managing Paul’s love life and threatens the holiday festival, Kyle and Paul must fight for everyone’s happily ever after, including their own.
Warning: Contains erotic snow art, toppy twinks, and super-sweet holiday moments. Best savored with a mug of hot chocolate with a dash of spice.
With the cupcakes finished and the reason they’d gotten together in the first place punted to Sunday, Paul should offer to drive Kyle to his car and let him go home. Instead, he stared at Kyle again, and once more, he was caught.
Kyle touched the side of his hair self-consciously. “Why do you keep looking at me that way? You make me feel like I’ve grown a unicorn horn.”
Paul fumbled with what excuse to give, which somehow led him to confessing the truth. “You’re different tonight.”
Kyle frowned. “Different than what?”
“Than you usually are. Though, I guess we haven’t spoken much before.”
Except for the mostly one-sided sexting.
Paul cleared his throat. “So, uh. Stencils and snow…stuff. I didn’t realize you were so into art.”
Kyle nodded, relaxing somewhat. “I’ve always been creative. I did more sculpture than painting in school.”
“You’re good. The snow dicks were…lifelike.”
Kyle gave Paul another sideways look, as if to ask, Why are you bringing this up? “I enjoy making snow sculptures. Linda gets one every fresh snowfall. At the rate this winter is going, we’ll have to branch into a field to house them.”
“How did you make them so fast? The ones on my porch?”
“Oh, I’m pretty clever when it comes to cock.”
The quip came with Kyle’s affected voice, except instead of simpering affectation, it was a whip crack. It startled Paul, inspired him to sit a little straighter. Kyle didn’t blush, simply stared Paul down.
Paul tried to regain his ground, but between Kyle’s sharp gaze and the mental image of Kyle being good with cock, it disarmed him. He reached for a familiar wall. “I— Sorry. I didn’t mean to start anything again.”
Kyle’s lips pursed as he stood up. He reached for his coat. “I should be heading back.”
Paul rose too. “Kyle, I didn’t mean it like that.”
Kyle waved a hand at Paul, a gentle flick of a slight wrist. “Enough. Message received. I won’t flirt with you anymore, even for fun.”
Paul hurried after him, eventually cutting him off. “Look. You’re a great guy.”
“But you’re not interested, I know. I was making a damn joke.”
“It’s not that I’m not interested. But you’re too—”
Kyle’s gaze flashed a half-second warning before he whipped out a hand and covered Paul’s mouth. When Paul stumbled away, Kyle came with him, until Paul’s back went flat against the door.
“Don’t say another word.” Kyle stared angrily down at him—down, yes, because he was a little bit taller than Paul, though decidedly less than half his width. It didn’t seem to matter in that moment.
“Don’t say I’m young. Don’t say you’re old. Don’t fucking say a word because I don’t want to hear it. It’s demeaning to us both. I’ve already figured out you’re not interested. I’m a big boy—all grown up—and I’ve moved on. Personally, I think it’s your loss because I have it on several authorities I’m absolutely wicked in bed. Not quite as intense as Arthur, maybe, but then that didn’t exactly work for you, did it?”
“Go ahead and think I’m some infant twink wiggling my ass at you, hoping to get plowed by a sweet teddy bear.” The grin faded, leaving only feral heat. Kyle didn’t stroke Paul’s face, but he could swear he tingled simply from the focused gaze of the man before him. “I’m not an infant, I can’t help my body type, and if I got you in the same room as a bed, it wouldn’t be my ass sore in the morning.”
Paul couldn’t speak, his breath coming in erratic staccato bursts. When his shock bled away, it left him still paralyzed, but with want, not fear. That can’t be right, his brain kept telling him, except as he stared at Kyle, really looked at him, he was pretty sure his brain was wrong.
Paul also suspected, with the way Kyle kept leaning closer, a fiery warrior closing in on his prey, he was about to get kissed. To his surprise, he was ready to be kissed. By Kyle Parks. Against the back of the shop door. An angry, I’ll show you kiss that already had Paul melting inside.
At the last second, however, Kyle stopped. He drew away, averted his gaze. Then he zipped up his coat and pulled his hat and mittens from his pockets with shaking hands. “I—I should go.”
Don’t go. That was insane, so Paul swallowed it. “I’ll drive you.”
Kyle jammed the hat over his hair. “It’s fine. I’ll walk.”
No, that was insane. “It’s a mile plus to the café, and it’s ten degrees outside.”
“Sounds perfect.” Kyle wrapped his scarf around his face and saluted Paul with a fat mitten. “Text me about Sunday.”
He pushed Paul aside and opened the door, and Paul watched him trudge through the falling snow into the dark night.
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This is my favorite of the series. In books 1 and 2, Paul is a bit of a side figure, what with being in a fuck-buddy relationship with Arthur in book 1, but wanting more, and then losing Arthur for good in book 2 when Arthur falls hard and fast for Gabriel, the librarian.
So, I was looking forward to him getting his own book, and hopefully, his own special person.
And Kyle, no matter how young Paul may think he looks, is exactly the man Paul needs. Even if Paul doesn't get it for a while.
I adored Kyle. A super awesome brother to his sister Linda Kay (who is fantastic, and I loved her), and Paul's secret admirer, who's been in love with him for a long time, and who leaves him snow penises on his porch, just to get his attention. There's much more to Kyle than meets the eye, and the author cleverly reveals him bit by bit.
But Paul is stubborn, because Kyle looks too young, and Kyle's body type is more twinky than Paul would like.
I loved how the author turned the stereotypes on their heads in this book, and how she made both Kyle and Paul have to want the relationship, despite the roadblocks (Paul's family, OMG) in their way.
I loved how Kyle's family was so accepting of Paul, and how wonderfully Linda Kay was portrayed.
There are hot sexy times, too, of course, with one toppy twink taking charge in the bedroom (and the kitchen, and the living room), and Paul wondering if he might be dreaming, because Kyle delivers exactly what Paul's been craving.
Of course, there's more to Kyle than just a toppy twink, and I loved the descriptions of the snow sculptures, and how well that fit within the overall theme of a Winter Wonderland being created in the small town of Logan.
And, oh, the snark. Some of it made me giggle out loud, only to follow that with an aww moment full of emotion.
This was simply fabulous, and a fitting end (or is it?) to this series. Absolutely loved it.
** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher via Netgalley. A positive review was not promised in return. **
About the author:
Proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality, Heidi writes positive-outcome romances for LGBT characters struggling against insurmountable odds because she believes there’s no such thing as too much happy ever after. A member of Romance Writers of America since 1999, Heidi has served as president of Rainbow Romance Writers, run local chapter newsletters, and volunteered for committees on the national level. In addition to teaching writing since 1993, she also served as the writer’s workshop coordinator for GayRomLit Retreat for 2013. Find out more about Heidi at heidicullinan.com.
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Promotional materials provided by the author.