Rating: 4 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novella


Conrad separated from his ex-boyfriend, due to Mark’s infidelity. Well, that was their final break up, though Mark had been emotionally and verbally abusive previously, with some dubious consent for rough sex, to boot. Conrad has low self-esteem and abandonment issues, and Mark’s a narcissist, so he was able to string Conrad along for a while. It’s been three months since Conrad left, but he paid in for a Christmas holiday ski trip in Austria before their split and he’s not keen on losing his money–or his trip. Conrad loves skiing. Besides Mark (and Mark’s new boyfriend), there will be lots of work folks going on the trip, including the company owner. Conrad hopes he can avoid most of them.

It looks like Conrad’s fortunes are looking up when he meets Arlo at the airport. Arlo is sweet, sexy, and flirty. Beyond that, Arlo’s a pilot and he arranges for Conrad to upgrade to business class with him. Conrad is charmed, but what Conrad doesn’t know is that Arlo first saw Conrad at his work, a finance company owned by Arlo’s eldest brother. He was touched by Conrad, who’d been grieving the break up with Mark at the time. The men hit it off on the flight and arrange to meet up the next day for skiing together, much to Conrad’s excitement. He’s not close with any of the folks on the work trip and Mark seems determined to spoil his enjoyment, if given the chance.

Conrad and Arlo find some common ground and really connect. It’s great for Conrad, but Mark seems more and more peeved as things move forward. Especially because Conrad isn’t the sad sack Mark had been anticipating.

I really loved the connection between Arlo and Conrad, and respected how Arlo treated Conrad, especially confessing that he’d admired him for a while before trying to connect with him. These guys are both really sweet. Conrad also ends up meeting and impressing Arlo’s family, who are truly charming people, and the way Arlo’s family embraced Conrad was delicious. I loved how sweet this all was, and how gentlemanly Conrad behaved, even when put into some rather harrowing situations by Mark, who’s clearly jealous.

This story is a revision re-release with significantly more pages than the previous short work. There are sensitivity warnings for sexual assault, and they should be taken seriously. I honestly wasn’t prepared for how brutal it got, though Conrad’s survival instinct is vigorous.

The Christmas setting with Austrian culture woven through was fun to read about. It was a good story, with an unexpected ending situation that made me smile. There is lots of closure and a nice resolution for Conrad finding a new found family and making beautiful music with a lover who adores him.