fools spring coverRating: 4.25 stars
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Length: Novel


Eric has taken a job as a teacher in the tiny town of Gryta in northern Sweden. Eric thought he was prepared; he lived for two years in Stockholm, he speaks Swedish, and he checked out the town and his new cottage before moving. But the unseasonably cold spring is proving him wrong and Eric is struggling to handle the weather and the challenges of taking care of an older cottage in need of repairs. What’s even worse is that he keeps appearing at his most hapless just as his hot neighbor Björn, a sexy Viking lumberjack of a man, shows up nearby. Not that it really matters, as Eric is sure that Björn is both straight and uninterested, but it would be nice to at least stop embarrassing himself.

As it turns out, Björn is, in fact, both gay and quite interested. He loves life in Gryta managing his family’s extensive forests and he hates to see Eric struggling. Wherever he can, Björn steps in to offer a little help to the newcomer, and it gives the men a chance to get to know one another well. Björn is a little more shy and reserved, so it takes a while for Eric to realize that Björn shares his feelings. But once the men figure it all out, the connection between them is intense.

Living in such a small town with the gossip mill on high, the guys decide to keep their relationship under wraps for a while. It gives them a chance to explore what is developing between them with a lot less pressure. Björn enjoys showing Eric all the things he loves about living in the area and Eric is thrilled with the charming small town. Soon, the men are falling hard for one another and really opening themselves up to love. But Eric is still struggling to fully find his fit in Gryta and isn’t comfortable accepting too much help. Now that the men have found their way together, Eric must figure out if he can make his new life work for him in Gryta.

Fool’s Spring by Roe Horvat is a charming and romantic story and I really loved it. If you are a fan of small town romances, I think this one will really appeal. Gryta is super tiny (only about 300 people) and most folks live on the outskirts of town. Eric is coming in not only as a newcomer to the town, but an American who is relatively new to Sweden as well. No one quite believes he is going to manage to stick it out, and while Eric absolutely loves his new life, he isn’t 100% sure he has what it takes either. Horvat brings a really lovely sense of place to the story, showcasing the beauty of the region and the details of life in this small community. On one hand, Gryta is small enough for folks to be in each other’s business, but this is also a warm place where people are eager to provide help.

This is a romantic, slow-burn story with a nice warmth. The guys do eventually figure out the other’s interest, but it does take a little while for them to get themselves sorted and act on their attraction. For fans of Horvat’s omegaverse books in particular, or even some of his other contemporaries, be aware that this is not nearly as sex-heavy a book as the author often writes. I felt like the pacing here for both the sex and the relationship was spot on and fit both the tone of the book and the characters. And when the guys do end up getting together, it is romantic and sexy and just a really feel good story. I loved the dynamic between Björn and Eric and found them a very appealing couple. I also really liked the other members of their tiny gay club in town, as well as the lovely connection between Björn and his step-mother, Madde.

I found this one just such an appealing small-town romance. I loved both Björn and Eric and their relationship growth and ultimate conflict felt well suited to them as a couple. The setting is lovely and really enhances the story. This one is definitely recommended, especially for those who enjoy small town stories or those set outside of the U.S.

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