I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Let it Snow by Heidi Cullinan
Series: Minnesota Christmas #1
Published by Samhain Publishing on 2013-11-26
Genres: Contemporary, Gay
Reviewed by Cassie
The weather outside is frightful, but the cabin is getting pretty hot. Minnesota Christmas, Book 1Stylist Frankie Blackburn never meant to go to Logan, Minnesota, but his malfunctioning GPS decided otherwise, and a record-breaking snowfall ensures he won’t be heading back to Minneapolis anytime soon. Being rescued by three sexy lumberjacks is fine as a fantasy, but in reality the biggest of the bears is awfully cranky and seems ready to gobble Frankie right up. Marcus Gardner wasn’t always a lumberjack. Once a high-powered Minneapolis lawyer, he’s burned out and back home in Logan to lick his wounds, not play with a sassy city twink who might as well have stepped directly out of his past. As the north winds blow and guards come down, Frankie and Marcus find they have a lot more in common than they don’t. Making a relationship last beyond a snowstorm could prove impossible when one man won’t live in the country and the other won’t return to the city. Yet the longer it snows, the deeper they fall in love, and all they want for Christmas is each other. Warning: Contains power outages, excessive snowfall, and incredibly sexy bears.
Stylist Frankie Blackburn is on his way back to Minneapolis when a bad snowstorm and a malfunctioning GPS conspire to strand him in Logan, Minnesota. After a small-town childhood that left him feeling like an outsider, Frankie is determined to get back to the city. Instead, he ends up at the cabin of three huge, scary-looking lumberjacks. He’s astonished to discover that the three men are gay. Too bad the hottest one is cranky and surly, and seems to dislike Frankie on sight.
After a really bad experience with an ex, former lawyer Marcus Gardner can’t stand city twinks. He takes one look at Frankie and assumes the sexy hairdresser must be cut from the same cloth. There’s no way he’s going to let himself get hurt again.
The more time they spend together, the more Frankie and Marcus realize their assumptions about each other were dead wrong. As the snow continues to fall, they become closer and closer—but it can’t last when they live in two different worlds. Will their newfound closeness vanish when the snow clears up?
I loved Let It Snow. Frankie, a somewhat effeminate stylist, should have been a walking gay stereotype. Fortunately, he came off as anything but clichéd, due to his sweet, genuine personality. He might seem shallow on first glance, but he’s not at all. Gruff, bearish Marcus also had hidden depths. Burnt out by his high-powered lawyer job and a terrible experience with his ex, he’s decided to focus on his new job and taking care of his mother, who’s suffering from Alzheimer’s and lives in a local care center. He’s determined to ignore Frankie’s friendly overtures and keep his attraction to the man at bay in order to protect himself from another heartbreak. Mother Nature has a mind of her own, however, and the snow keeps coming down.
Watching Marcus’s coldness thaw was definitely a pleasure. Once Frankie and Marcus get together, the heat between them is intense. So are the feelings. Of course, real-world obstacles such as their differing lifestyles and locations get in the way, as do their issues. Frankie is hesitant to live in a small town again after his unhappy young adulthood, and Marcus can’t leave his mother or return to his soul-crushing former occupation.
The conflicts are realistic, the emotions are sweet, and, to add icing to this already excellent cake, there are some great secondary characters. Marcus’s fellow lumberjacks and housemates are entertaining, and I liked the scenes with his mother and the others in the care center. While I found the scene near the end that gave Frankie the courage to act to be a bit on the predictable side, I can’t hold that against this delightful story. If you’re in the mood for a holiday tale, or just a sweet opposites-attract story, pick up Let It Snow.