Rating: 4 stars
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Sam and Etienne have been best friends for years. Sam’s family even jokes that the guys are basically boyfriends, though Sam has never considered himself anything other than straight. Either way, the men have been missing each other for the past couple of years as Etienne is far away training with his ice dancing partner and a new skating coach. But when Etienne faces some upheaval with his skating career, the only place Sam wants to be is by his side.
With Etienne working a holiday figure skating show at resort, Sam tags along to stay with him for a few days around Christmas. Once there, Sam begins to realize that his feelings for Etienne may be more than just friendship. He hasn’t ever been into guys, but he is definitely feeling into Etienne. And Etienne has long wanted Sam, but never shared his feelings, assuming Sam was straight. But with the pair spending days together in a cozy cabin — with just one bed — it may be the perfect opportunity for them to finally act on the feelings they have for one another.
Only One Bed is an adorable friends-to-lovers holiday romance. It is a fairly short novel and completely sweet and charming. Sam and Etienne are so likable as two best friends who are just taking steps to move to more. Sam is figuring out his sexual identity, and Etienne is getting brave enough to admit his feelings. Their romance is fairly light and easy and a nice fit for a short holiday story. This may sound strange, but I particularly liked how awkward and fumbling these guys are as they first make their way from friends to more, especially since Sam has never been with a man before. I appreciated that they both aren’t quite sure how to proceed with one another, and that they don’t always know how to express themselves. It is endearing and realistic and made their coming together so rewarding. Andrews gives Sam and Etienne a great sexual connection, but the real root of the story is in their strong friendship, and that shines through nicely.
Aside from their relationship, the other main plot centers on Etienne and his figure skating. He is an elite ice dancer, one of the teams expected to vie for a Canadian Olympic spot in the upcoming games. But he faces some upheaval in his career on a few fronts and that uncertain future gets explored. This is a pretty short story, so I do feel like it resolves a little more quickly than I would have liked. But I am a figure skating fan and I did enjoy the little glimpses into the figure skating world that we get here. While I didn’t see this listed as a series, the book does set up another romance that will be coming in January (I won’t tell you who so as not to spoil the fun, but Andrews does reveal it at the end of the book). So I am looking forward to revisiting this world and it seems like the next story will also have a figure skating focus.
Overall, this is a sweet friends-to-lovers romance with a nice dose of sexy. Sam and Etienne are adorable together and I enjoyed them as a couple. Figure skating fans will appreciate the bits of the sport interwoven into the story and there is a lovely holiday feel. If you are looking for a light, easy, holiday romance, check this one out.
This sounds like a story I’d enjoy. Thanks for bringing it to my attention with your review, Jay.