Rating: 3.75 stars
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Length: Novella

 

Brodie is in love with his best friend, but he knows nothing will ever come from it. Not only is Gabriel straight, but they’ve been best friends since they were 11 and Brodie is practically a member of Gabriel’s family. In an attempt to get over Gabriel, Brodie agrees to attend a speed dating event at a resort a few hours away. He just needs something to help him start moving on.

Gabriel offers to drive him to the event, and Brodie is glad to have Gabriel with him, even if the whole reason for going is to move on. With anxiety threatening, Brodie makes his way inside anyway, but speed dating isn’t going well. It takes time to even begin to get comfortable, and even then, things are only okay. When the power goes out after something that feels like a tremor, Brodie night takes a turn.

Gabriel wants nothing more than for his best friend to be happy. Even if that means he doesn’t get Brodie himself. Gabriel hasn’t even told anyone he’s bisexual, and he’s certain nothing can happen between him and Brodie. So he supports Brodie, drives him to the speed dating event, and waits in a lounge for him to be done. But all he can do is think about Brodie. And it’s only when Brodie finds him, earlier than expected, that Gabriel learns of the avalanche that has cut the hotel off from the rest of the world.

Trapped together for a few days, alone in a room with only one bed, and with Christmas looming, the two friends dance around each other. Despite the fact that they are both pining for the other, it takes them time to finally have the conversation and admit their attraction. But there is more at stake if they take the leap from friendship to more. Brodie and Gabriel need to figure out if their love for each other is enough.

Snowed in. Only one bed. Friends to lovers and mutual pining. All of that combined with Christmas, and this should have been my exact right kind of reading crack. But as it was, I finished this story with mixed feelings. While there were parts of it I liked, some of the execution feel short for me.

The author really did a good job with the mutual pining and laying down the groundwork for why both men were hesitant to talk. It was clear there was attraction and plenty of affection between them. It was just as clear why Brodie didn’t want to say anything to Gabriel. If he does and it goes wrong, then Brodie loses not only his best friend, but the man’s family, to whom he’s just as attached. Gabriel has some of the same reservations, as he knows how much he and his family mean to Brodie, and he fears that if they get together and things go wrong, Brodie will lose them all. Not to the mention the fact that he’s only ever been with women, despite the fact that he knows he’s bi. So the two definitely have reasons for keeping their feelings to themselves.

As I said, the affection and attraction is clear between them. And the dual POV gives the reader a good picture of what is going on in both of their minds. But I found their declarations of love a bit hollow and they didn’t ring as true as I would have liked, especially because their conversation, when it finally came, was a bit repetitive and felt somewhat immature given their age in their mid-twenties. They said the “I love yous” but at the same time, they also had to reassure each other that they “liked” each other several times. It felt somewhat discordant, and the conversation wasn’t as in depth as I would have liked to see considering what it was supposed to be. So this part didn’t work as well for me.

This is part of the multi-author collection Snowed Inn collection, a series set in the same inn following an avalanche, and the books can all be read as standalones. While I liked the characters, and liked the mutual pining, other aspects left me wanting. The Christmas/holiday aspect was a minor part, but it did add a little extra sweetness to the story. Overall, it was a decent story that I would cautiously recommend if you’re a fan of this author or looking to read all of the stories in this collection.

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