Nate can’t believe it’s been a year since he has seen Quinn, his brother’s best friend. Nate has been in love with Quinn since forever and he is finally determined to tell Quinn how he feels. In one moment, Nate gets everything he has ever wanted and in the very next moment, his heart is shattered.
Nate has absolutely no intention of forgiving or even speaking to Quinn when he shows up two years later. But a road trip, some forced time together, and a snow storm may be just what Quinn needs to win Nate’s heart once and for all.
There are so many tropes at work here for this holiday novella. There is friends to lovers, second chances, road trip, snowbound, and a holiday that brings this story together. I have read several of Kostova’s books and have enjoyed her style and tone in every one. This holds true here as we first meet Nate.
Nate is 20 years old, living with his parents, and working a basic job while his brother, Brandon, and his friend Quinn are at college. Quinn was a constant fixture in Nate’s house growing up and they had their own friendship, but Nate has always been in love with Quinn. When the story opens his excitement as well as his nervousness comes through at the thought of not only seeing Quinn again, but finally going after what he wants. When the guys all spend the weekend together, desires and feelings explode but then Quinn takes off without an explanation.
The job of a novella is to offer just enough information to keep the story together without then opening up threads of new information that don’t have time to be explored. It’s a balancing act between all of it. The relationship between the guys when they are together was a great read. There is lots of time of them being snowed in and what else is there to do but stay warm and make up for lost time and Kostova excelled with offering many heated and intense scenes.
I did have issues with what wasn’t seen or shown. We are not shown anything of how Quinn felt but are simply told of his strong feelings for Nate. When two years pass, we are not shown anything that happened, which was a minor point, but then new information was offered on Quinn’s early college years that weren’t then fully explained. Also, Quinn remained friends with Brandon and Brandon and Nate were still exceptionally close and I didn’t get that Brandon would let Nate suffer like that without telling him something. The tension that kept the story moving was to find the reason that Quinn left and the reveal wasn’t strong enough for me that he completely cut off only Nate. The way the storm played out also was not as realistic for as bad as the conditions were described, the guys should not have been able to drive for as many hours as they did.
Still, wait, back it up, I really liked the scenes of these guys when they were together. So we can focus on what we did get and not what we didn’t get and that will have me reaching once again for the author’s next book. For a shorter story with many themes all coming together and two guys unable to keep their distance any longer check out Snowed In.