When Jarne walks in on his husband cheating on him, his carefully constructed world crumbles. To make it worse, his family doesn’t care as long as it doesn’t interfere with the family perfume business. Jarne loves his work as a fragrance developer, but he works with his husband and now he needs a break from everything and everyone. Jarne leaves the city and finds himself in the small mountain village where his younger brother, Aryn, lives. Jarne didn’t have a good relationship with his brother; he didn’t have any relationship with him, and when Jarne married Aryn’s ex-boyfriend, Jarne never thought that needed a conversation. When Jarne arrives in the village, he’s approached by Ketho, a half-nymph, and Jarne finds himself intrigued and interested in spending the night with Ketho.
Ketho moves through the village and comes and goes whenever he wants. His childhood was troubled and he never wants to rely on anyone again and he refuses to get attached to any man. But Ketho finds himself wanting to see Jarne again, however both men know it’s temporary. Jarne has to go back to the city and Ketho can’t and won’t let anyone in ever. But their feelings are real and they both need to do some rearranging to get the life they never even dreamed was possible.
I’ve been enjoying this Nymph Solstice Romance series from Gigi Rivers about winter nymphs in a small mountain village and the completely opposite men they fall in love with. The books are listed as being standalones, but I have enjoyed reading them in order and this book links back to the first book in the series, A Winter Romance, as Jarne is Aryn’s brother from that book and Ketho is Sero’s ex. There are also glimpses from of other previous MCs in this book, and I appreciated knowing their stories when they were on page.
Jarne was all about work to the point that he had blinders on about everything else. So much so that it was difficult to make him an empathetic character once the way he has lived his life is revealed, as well as his treatment of his younger brother. But lots of things start shifting in Jarne once his marriage crumbles and he sees that nothing is as he thought it was.
Ketho is one of my favorite characters of the series. He was an orphan and homeless as a child and the only person he thought he had on his side left him traumatized. Ketho now lacks the skills to make a true connection with someone, which is truly all he wants, and his life is sad. Since these books are shorter, their connection also happens in a shorter amount of time, but these two men find everything they need in each other and are able to begin to heal and repair what was broken along the way.
This book, like the rest of the series, takes place during the winter Solstice. It’s easy to get transported to this snowy village and I am looking forward to the next in the series.