Winning and losing are subject to sexy interpretation…
Navy chief Calder Euler loves to win big. His latest score? A remote mountain cabin. Checking it out is supposed to be a quick trip, but Calder’s luck abruptly turns when a freak injury and a freakier snowstorm leave him stranded.
Oh, and the cabin isn’t empty. A silver fox caring for two young girls claims that the property is his, but Calder’s paperwork says otherwise.
Felix Sigurd is on a losing streak, and his ex-husband risking the cabin in a reckless bet is only the latest in a series of misfortunes. He’ll tolerate the handsome stranger for a couple nights–even care for his injuries—but that’s it.
Calder doesn’t know a damn thing about kids, but making pancakes for Felix’s girls is a surprising delight. Trapped in the cabin, the four of them slip easily into the rhythms of a family. But when the ice melts, they’ll have to decide if a future together is in the cards.
This book is exactly what I needed. Sweet, low angst, funny kids, two guys navigating whatever it is their relationship is, etc.
Calder and Felix are both of the “no thanks” camp on relationships. Felix is fairly newly divorced and is now raising his two nieces so his focus is elsewhere and Calder just never really believed in happily ever after.
But a mishap leaves them stranded in a cabin because of snow. Calder seems to get right into the groove of dealing with the girls, etc. He comes from a big family so it makes sense, even though he doesn’t think so. And who wouldn’t be enchanted by those 2 girls? I loved them from the start.
It is utterly adorable that Calder makes flimsy excuses for he and Felix to see each other again once they are back home. And it isn’t even for hooking up per se because they do way more kissing and cuddling than anything else. Which I really kind of loved. It wasn’t a sex driven romance at all.
Felix has to realize that he has room in his life for a partner and Calder does everything he can to prove that. I definitely think Calder worked a lot harder at establishing a relationship than Felix did, but he was a bit salty still from his divorce that happened because his husband had no intentions of being a parent.
Even though I really appreciated that it was low angst, the girls didn’t seem very affected by the fact that their mother died and Uncle Felix’s husband left. There as a comment or two, but nothing like that you normally see with similar situations.
So yes, I did love it even though I wanted the girls to express a bit of their trauma and I wanted Felix to try a little harder and not be a martyr.
4 pieces of eye candy
Having really enjoyed book 1 in this new military series by Annabeth Albert, I was super ready for Calder’s book. (If you haven’t read book 1, Sailor Proof, I highly recommend. They are both stand alone, but you get a good little peek into what is ahead for Calder, as well.) This book did not disappoint.
It was super sweet, but with such a different feel than what I would have gone in expecting for Calder, given what we knew of his personality. He’s all about the win, coming out on top, etc. Yet, he is not only a big softie, but also not out for the quick score. He wasn’t all about jumping into bed with Felix. Yes, there was sex, but it felt more like just a gradual step, not a big leap, and it worked for them both. It provided such a deep layer for Calder, one I certainly didn’t expect. It was a different approach, and really allowed Calder to grow into the person he was, but didn’t realize.
In fact, based on other tropes, there might have even been the expectation that Felix would have done the chasing, and Calder didn’t want to jump into a relationship. In reality, both of them realized they didn’t want a relationship, until Calder finally realized, yes I do, and wanted to get Felix on the same page. No small feat.
Felix had every reason in the world to be gun shy, and apprehensive of not just another relationship (what a d-bag his ex-husband was!!!), but one that could mean his nieces might have their hearts broken. Giving any sort of dating a chance was not what he was expecting, but one date, one night, one meal, one text at a time, Calder made Felix see that they had something worth continuing to work on.
Such a sweet, fresh approach, showing a lot of depth of character in the MC’s, and it was just a feel good book.
4 pieces of eye candy