winter waits coverRating: 4 stars
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Length: Novella

Gentry Kane is a famous rock star who travels around the world. When he gives a concert in Colorado, Gent’s eye catches on a gorgeous man in the audience. Something about the man captivates Gent and he feels like the guy is all he can see. Gent even fantasizes about meeting him after the concert is over. But when the man appears to get a troubling text and leaves the concert, Gent fears he will never see him again.

Winter Waites is an occupational therapist doing a house call to work with a man with a hand injury. He is shocked to come face to face with Gentry Kane, the lead for his favorite band and a man he has crushed on for years. Seeing Gentry at the concert made Winter feel like Gent was singing right to him, but he knows the man would never even have noticed him. Winter can’t believe Gent is now here in Aster Valley as his patient. As it turns out, Gent is taking a month off to write songs and get a break from touring, and has taken up a remote cabin where he can get some quiet and privacy. He is equally thrilled to recognize Winter as the man from the crowd whom he couldn’t stop watching.

Things are a bit awkward at first, but it doesn’t take the men long to work up the nerve to admit they had each been admiring one another the night of the concert. The connection between them is intense and immediate and they end up spending weeks together, both in bed and out. But Gent’s time in Aster Valley is only temporary and his job requires a lot of travel. Now the men have to figure out if the connection they built during their winter holiday is one that can carry them through into a long-term relationship.

Winter Waites is the prequel to Lucy Lennox’s upcoming Aster Valley series. It was originally released as a free story as part of a big winter giveaway event, but now is for sale (unchanged) as part of the series. While this book is officially a prequel novella, we do get introduced to other characters in Aster Valley whom I assume will have their own stories, and Winter appears in some of the main series books. So this story ties up nicely and could stand alone, but it builds into the series and if you are going to read the other Aster Valley books, I’d definitely start here.

This story is a sweet and sexy romantic fantasy. It is a Cinderella story of sorts, with the financially struggling Winter catching the eye of the wealthy famous rockstar (complete with him leaving the concert early while Gent chases after him trying to get his name). The two have an instant connection and, upon meeting again, fall into bed almost immediately. Gent is generous with his money, buying expensive gifts for Winter and being generally too wonderful for words. So there is a bit of a fantasy element here in the set up and these characters, but I found that I really enjoyed it. The men are both so sweet and loving. After some initial hesitancy, they are confident enough to tell each other how they really feel, so things move quickly and are quite intense from the start. I think the shorter format helps here, as things can move fast and still feel like it all works. Not everyone can pull together a tight novella, but this one really feels complete.

I’ll throw out a note here to the doctor/patient issue as Winter is Gent’s therapist and almost immediately they are in bed together. It is implied he continues to work with Gent even after that, though we only see that one session on page. So you have to be ok with the ethical issues here, though I found given the more romantic, fairy tale feeling of the story, it didn’t bother me.

This book was a great start to the series for me. This story is sweet, romantic, sexy, and with just that touch of fantasy that makes it all work. We get some teases here for Right as Raine, the first official book in the series coming out next week, so I am eager to get started reading that one as well.