Review: Sno Ho by Ethan Day

Title: Sno Ho
Author: Ethan Day

Publisher: MLR Press
Length: Novella
Buy Links: Amazon  ARe

Rating: 4.75

Boone Daniels is visiting Summit City, anticipating spending a week with his boyfriend celebrating their one year anniversary in the picturesque ski town.  So he is quite shocked when he is dumped over the phone and finds himself alone with an already paid for cabin and ski lessons.  When we first meet Boone, he has just woken up from a drunken night hooking up with a guy he doesn’t really remember.  So he is quite shocked when he shows up for his first ski lesson and realizes that his instructor, Wade Walker, is in fact last night’s hookup.

Boone is totally caught off guard as memories of the night before start coming back to him.  He is flustered and turned on around the gorgeous, hulking Wade, and irritated with himself for his feelings.  Especially because the two men can’t resist pushing each other’s buttons, teasing and giving each other a hard time.  However, after all that aggression turns into another bout of hot, sweaty sex,  Boone agrees to go out with Wade for dinner.

Boone is surprised to find out that he is dating the town Golden Boy.  Everyone knows Wade and everyone is checking Boone out, evaluating him for boyfriend potential.  Boone is understandably freaked by all the attention, but he isn’t one to be cowed by Wade’s celebrity, something that Wade secretly loves.  The two men spend a wonderful week together, and Boone finds himself falling for Wade, despite knowing opening up his heart is risky when he is going to have to return home at the end of the trip.  When the week is up, the men have to figure out if there can be more between them or if this is just a vacation fling.

This book was so much fun and kept me giggling throughout the story.  It is told from Boone’s first person POV and he is a total riot.  Constantly talking, brain constantly moving, he says what he thinks and is never shy.  Boone knows Wade is used to getting whatever he wants and he refuses to let him get away with it, pushing and challenging him.  The two guys are constantly poking at each other and their interactions, and especially Boone’s internal monologues, are so much fun.  This is a longish excerpt, but it gives such a great sense of both guys and the banter between them.  Immediately post sex from Boone’s POV…

I lay back down, and smacked him in the side as I spied a muffin on the floor just out of reach. I was instantly starving and reached out for it, my middle finger grazing it.

“Please tell me you aren’t seriously going to eat that?” Wade asked. “It’s been on the floor!”

I was just about to curse him and his buckets of sperm which I was trying to keep from running off of me and onto the floor as my finger caught the edge of the muffin top, rolling it close enough for me to snatch it. “Five second rule, dude!” I tossed one of my legs over his and nudged him with it to keep quiet.

Wade stretched his arm out, allowing me to prop my head up on it as I tore off a chunk of the muffin.

Wade shook his head at me. “That’s been there longer than five seconds.”

I smiled and laughed a little as I popped it into my mouth. “Five seconds to me, I just noticed it.” I tore off another chunk and held it up to see if he wanted some.

“No thanks,” he pushed my arm away. “I don’t do white flour.”

“Oh Jesus, please tell me you aren’t one of those food Nazis!”

“That shit will kill you.”

I fake cried, letting my body go into full faux racking sobs. “Why God…why?”

“You already hate me, so what’s the difference?”

I let out a gasp. “After all the dirty, dirty things I just let you do to me?” I raised my voice up to sound all girlie. “My daddy warned me about boys like you!” I tore off another chuck of muffin and stared down at my chest. I shrugged and dabbed the muffin in the cum and popped it in my mouth.

“I can’t believe you just did that!”

“Yeah,” I snarled up my lip, “didn’t quite think that one through all the way.”

He laughed and I felt his hand land on the leg that I’d tossed over his. “That’s the best you got?”

“What?” I shrugged. “I was craving sweet and salty and it was right there in front of me. Like everything that had happened today had led up to this moment when I discovered that cum and banana muffin were an irresistible combo.”

I also loved the way the story plays on Wade’s celebrity (I’m being vague here to avoid revealing too much).  Everyone in the town knows him, and after losing his parents, he is sort of the adopted son.  I couldn’t help but laugh at Boone’s dawning horror as he realizes that everyone is aware of his drunken sleepover with Wade, as well as following along with their developing relationship.  It could be overwhelming or annoying, but Boone takes it all with good humor (and won’t let Wade get away with anything).

We can see right away that the guys are perfect together, each challenging one another but also incredibly sweet together.  It is such a great relationship to watch – fun, sweet, sexy, always pushing one another just enough to keep things interesting.  And it is clear that each man is seeing something more than the usual casual hookup.  Wade’s actions make it obvious that he thinks of Boone as someone special, and that he has real feelings for him.  And we are able to follow along as Boone finds himself falling for Wade, trying to convince himself to keep some distance, but starting to lose his heart anyway.

I really liked Wade but I will admit my heart totally belongs to Boone.  He is so fun and outrageous and  unashamed by his inner slut.  His internal monologue is a total riot and the quick way he thinks and talks keeps the book zipping along.  Despite the levity, we do get to see some of the serious side to him though, as he thinks back to his failed relationships and wonders if he has been guarding his heart too much to ever have things work with someone.  He wants to take his time with Wade and make sure that it is not all lust and that they can make something lasting together.

I will mention that Sno Ho gives us a nice ending, but it is definitely not an HEA at this point.  The story was originally published as part of an anthology, and the followup, Life in Fusion, came out about a year later.  I knew about the sequel (and am reviewing it later today), so I was fine with everything not being completely resolved with the guys, but I will admit I would have been a bit disappointed if I didn’t know the next book was still to come.

Overall I loved this story and thought it was great fun.  It is not that often that a story has me constantly grinning and even laughing out loud the way Sno Ho did.  It was a really nice combination of light and humorous, but with enough substance to the men and their relationship to hold things together wonderfully.  Great book, highly recommended.

P.S. I will admit that the title of this book had me avoiding it for a while.  Maybe it just felt too cheesy somehow?  But after reading the book, it totally fits.  Boone admits to be a bit of a slut (or more than a bit) and points out to Wade that he is unwilling to be his little sno ho.  So never fear, it all comes together nicely.

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