Justin Bennet is an accomplished snowboarder on a trip to Austria with his best friends on the snowboarding trip of a lifetime. Justin is struggling with college and this trip is exactly what he needed. Andi, the hot guy at the ski resort, is also exactly what Justin needs, but Andi will barely have a conversation with Justin.
Justin can’t let it go and Andi is all he can think about. He tries to get his attention and while he gets shot down each time, Justin knows Andi is attracted to him. Justin then books a private heliboarding trip with Andi as his guide and cannot wait to spend time with Andi alone. But when the weather changes abruptly, Justin and Andi get trapped in a snowstorm and survival may be the catalyst to get Andi to open up and go after what he wants.
There aren’t many books in the genre set in Austria and this book was a good fit for International Week with the addition of snowboarding through the Alps. The book takes place solely at the resort that Andi’s family owns and there is a little bit of local flavor with language, as well as the sights of the mountains.
The story is told solely through Justin’s first-person point of view. I do enjoy first person and we are given a thorough understanding of Justin, but I really needed Andi’s viewpoint as well here to make this story work better for me. It’s fine in the beginning as we learn about Justin’s issues with school and his mother. He feels something different when he looks at Andi, but he knows a hookup could be the only thing on offer as he’s leaving in a week. Except, Andi will barely speak to him and leaves every time Justin gets near. This is a constant loop for more than half the book and I was ready for the story to advance. Justin is also on the trip with his two closest friends who didn’t add much to the story for me, and from the description of all of their finances, it seemed incredibly unlikely any of them could have afforded the trip to begin with.
Andi is not out and works tirelessly with his family. He teaches snowboarding in the morning and then works in the resort restaurant the rest of the day and it’s seems to be a demanding schedule that we never learn about. We don’t learn anything about Andi except that he’s an amazing snowboarder, plays in a band, is a hard worker, and he’s in the closet.
It’s well into the book that the guys have any substantial interaction with each other and then they have to deal with an issue of survival when they get stranded in a storm. The guys are both hurt and hypothermic, but this is apparently the best time they have to make their moves on each other. This is also a coming out story, but Andi came out through Justin’s eyes in another language and it felt like the wrong point of view to be in for me. The guys fall in love after eyeing each other for a week and the end leads us to believe Justin is ready to change his entire life.
The writing itself was descriptive at times as Justin talks about the scenery, although I was hesitant with how well this style of narrative fit into the rest of his dialogue. This seems to be the first book by this author and while the story had some issues, there is promise to be seen. If you are familiar with the Worlds of Love imprint and like that style of story telling, you could spend some time with Justin as he snowboards and falls in love in the mountains of Austria.
This review is part of our Reading Challenge Month for International Week! Leave a relevant comment below and you will be entered to win a prize pack of some of our favorite International Books. Commenters will also be entered to win our amazing grand prize sponsored by Dreamspinner Press (a Kindle Fire filled with Dreamspun Desires/Beyond books, plus a 3-month subscription!). You can get more information on our Challenge Month here, and more details on International Week here, including a list of all the books in this week’s prize.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.