Daniel Diaz is getting ready to take a week-long vacation in a mountain cabin with a new (maybe) boyfriend. Daniel is a workaholic and he doesn’t usually do spontaneity like this, but he is trying to shake things up and get out of his rut. Just as he is heading home to pack, Daniel gets a call from the hospital. It seems his former stepbrother, Cole Smith, has been injured. Daniel hasn’t seen Cole in ten years, and their parents were only married about six months. He has no idea why Cole would have made Daniel his emergency contact. But when he realizes Cole is all alone for the holiday with no one to help him deal with his injuries, Daniel decides to bring him along on his trip.
Cole had a huge crush on Daniel when they were living in the same house; in fact, his attraction to Daniel is what helped Cole figure out he was gay. So despite the circumstances, Cole is thrilled to reconnect with Daniel after all these years. When Daniel’s date turns out to be a total jerk, Daniel and Cole end up spending a cozy week in the mountains together just the two of them. Cole gets to know the real Daniel, the one behind the cold, reserved guy he usually is. And Daniel sees that Cole isn’t the kid he last knew, but a man that really makes him happy and feel content. As the two spend their days cuddled by the fire and enjoying the hot tub and the holiday, Daniel and Cole might just find there is a chance for a future for them together.
In Case of Emergency is a sweet and kind of fluffy winter wonderland holiday story. I enjoyed seeing these men reconnect after so many years and finding out that they fit really well. There is a nice opposite attract element here as Daniel is pretty stiff and uptight, though he is trying to change that. His first attempt backfires spectacularly in the form of his horrible almost maybe boyfriend, but he takes another chance with Cole and pays off. I liked the little moments between them as they get to know one another as adults and realize that they might be a good fit. At first Daniel doesn’t even have Cole on his radar as a potential romantic partner, but while he is a bit put out at first at having to bring him along on the trip, he quickly becomes a sweet caretaker and champion for Cole. The story is mostly tame, but at the end when the guys get together, it picks up a lot of steam.
I found that the pacing here felt a little off as this isn’t a long story and a lot of the first part is the guys dealing with the fallout of Daniel’s dickish date. During this portion, I had a hard to time really feeling the romance between them. It is clear that Cole is lusting after Daniel (has been for years), but after not seeing each other for ten years and barely knowing each other even then, I had a hard time buying real feelings at first. I wanted to see why Cole liked Daniel for him, not for the teen fantasy he used to be. And like I said, Daniel didn’t even have Cole on his radar for quite a while. As the story continued, I started to get a better sense of a real connection beyond pure lust, and by the time the epilogue rolled around I was totally on board. I liked how Cole really helps Daniel to open up and gives him the emotional support he needs to feel safe letting go a little.
So this is a fun, sweet holiday story with a quick and easy vibe. I enjoyed seeing the two men reconnect and finding something real between them after all these years. If you are looking for a light and entertaining holiday story, this is a nice book to give a try.