John Sullivan is escaping to Denver. Even with a massive snow storm on his heels, he plans to hide away in his cabin in the mountains and ignore Christmas. It’ll be just him and a bottle of whiskey until the new year when he must return to Cincinnati for his best friend’s wedding.
At least, that’s the plan until he runs into Oz at the airport.
Oz … the man who should have been just a fling. The man who was fun and laughs but quickly turned into so much more before he completely kicked John out of his life.
Oz who desperately needs his help…
John is ready to leave Oz stranded at the Denver airport in the coming blizzard, but he finds himself possibly staring down at the reason Oz pushed him away, and John can’t say no.
Second chances don’t come around often, but John is willing to fight for one with Oz.
I loved last year’s Christmas novella by Jocelynn Drake, Walking on Thin Ice, the first in this series (well, I don’t know if its a series or not, but its one of two, so there you go) and was super glad to get to read this one as well. It was awesome to see more than a glimpse at Spenser and Evan’s HEA, as we watched Oz and John try to navigate to their own.
First, I will say, I was not quite sure I fully bought Oz’s reasoning for leaving John, except that when you saw what their relationship had been like, it made it more realistic. They both felt something for each other during their relationship five years prior, but communication (as can often happen with two men) was lacking, so neither felt they could say something. So, when Oz ended it, although it was hard for me to understand why he wouldn’t say a word, I could see how that might have been difficult for him to say to someone who he’d shared a connection with, but not felt close enough to tell the tough stuff to.
Now, you couldn’t help but love Lizzy. She was at that age that made the reader enjoy every second, as John found out so quickly. He just couldn’t turn that sweet girl away, despite the fact that he was still so hurt by Oz’s rejection. Even a temper tantrum (which I love that the author wrote in, because what 5 year old DOESN’T have a temper tantrum, especially at Christmas) wasn’t enough to sway John away from loving and working towards that family he had dreamed of.
John honestly had a heart of gold. To be as hurt as he was, and still take in two people over the holidays, knowing his own secret would likely be outed took a lot of courage. He knew that he would likely be hurt again once the storm ended and life went back to normal, but he still put his heart on the line, and let them both in. Then after being hurt once again, he took another chance. His heart was so big, and he was so ready for love, it had me bawling on the couch more than once!
Jocelynn Drake can write some hot and heavy sex scenes, and wow, she didn’t disappoint! These two men smoked up my kindle, and I was happy to go back and read it again. 😉
Another solid winner by Jocelynn, and I hope that she finds a way to continue this series! Whatever that looks like for her. 🙂
4.5 pieces of eye candy
Okay, so I LOVED the Unbreakable Bonds series and Ward Security spin off, so I just knew I’d love this one. Hot dads with cute kids are my weakness!
In this one, we have Oz, who’d met John on his way out for an obligated date to get his friend off his back but got distracted by the mans laugh after passing him and his friend on the street. He followed him into a bar and that started Oz’s exploration into men….. However, after a few months of “fun” that was more serious than either let on, Oz had a surprise pop up, that left him scrambling and afraid and he hurt John pretty bad in the process. So bad in fact, I was surprised he was so callous, I didn’t think he was like that. I understand where he was coming from but he could’ve handled it a LOT better and I wish he had because John is so great, I hated that he got hurt.
Cut to, five years, at an airport where Oz was flying to pick up his daughter from her terrible mother’s house over the holidays, he runs into John again, catching them both off guard and bringing back old hurts and old feelings. Especially since a snow storm keeps them stranded in Denver, where John is spending the holiday’s alone.
I know how it had to cost John to invite them to spend the holiday’s with him and again, my heart broke for him. He was so patient and understanding and ….sigh…. he was pretty perfect, I wanted to crap slap Oz a few times, even if I did kind of see where his reservations came from…. Not enough to keep hurting John though. I was team John the whole time. Team John and Team Lizzy both.
Over the course of their stay, things so good, but all good things come to an end, right?.. John was constantly fighting for Oz and Lizzy, but Oz needed to be the one to fight for something. So, as hard as it was for John to do, he had to let go….
All’s well that ended well though, with some help from John’s friend Spencer, Oz comes through when he needs to and puts my fragile, broken heart back together again, just like I needed him to.
This was a perfect little Christmas read and now I gotta go back and read Spencer and Evan’s story because how had I missed that??
5 pieces of eye candy from me!