Book Reviews

Sleigh Ride (Minnesota Christmas 2) by Heidi Cullinan

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Erotic Romance / Holiday
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 29-December-2017

Book Blurb

The way to a man’s heart is on a sleigh.

Arthur Anderson doesn’t want anything to do with love and romance, and he certainly doesn’t want to play Santa in his mother’s library fundraising scheme. He knows full well what she really wants is to hook him up with the town’s lanky, prissy librarian.

It’s clear Gabriel Higgins doesn’t want him, either—as a Santa, as a boyfriend, as anyone at all. But when Arthur’s efforts to wiggle out of the fundraiser lead to getting to know the man behind the story-time idol, he can’t help but be charmed. The least he can do is be neighborly and help Gabriel find a few local friends.

As their fiery arguments strike hotter sparks, two men who insist they don’t date wind up doing an awful lot of dating. And it looks like the sleigh they both tried not to board could send them jingling all the way to happily ever after.

First Edition published by Samhain Publishing, 2014.

Book Review

It's wonderful to be back in Minnesota, with loads of snow and bears. Three gorgeous bears, to be exact. Marcus and Frankie are still madly in love one year later. The only problem? Now everyone seems to think that Arthur and Paul should be a couple, too. However, as far as Arthur is concerned, Paul is his best friend, they sleep together, sometimes with other people they've picked up, but they're not dating, and they never have been. Paul throws down an ultimatum, and ends up moving out, leaving cranky, "I don't want or need love", Arthur behind. Hmm. Looks like 'Sleigh Ride' is going to be just as exciting as the first installment in Heidi Cullinan's series, 'Minnesota Christmas'.

"His mother playing yente was problematic, not only because Arthur didn’t want to date, but because if he did date, he’d never go in for nice boys, which was always how Corrina introduced her prospective sons-in-law. There wasn’t any way to explain Arthur wanted a man, big and rough and raw. Some cuddling was nice, but only after some serious pounding and a lot of raunchy talk. Nice boys weren’t ever going to private message RedBear69 with a dirty pic. And until they did, Arthur had no time for them."

Have you got a visual in your head, now, for Arthur? He's a grumpy bear of a man, with a rather foul mouth, according to Gabriel, and he's a bit of a man whore, also according to Gabriel. In case you couldn't figure it out, Arthur and Gabriel despise one another. Arthur thinks Gabriel is a prissy know-it-all, sweater-clad stick figure, and so far from his type that Arthur would need GPS to get home to bear country, while Gabriel thinks…well, you know what Gabriel thinks. Just add oaf, and idiot, and that sums up Gabriel's feelings. But neither one of them seem able to get around Corrina and her plans.

Arthur and Gabriel are more than pleasantly surprised when they end up having smoking hot, dirty talking sex, something Gabriel fantasized about, but never thought he'd ever do. And it was hot. Steamy, people, steamy. Of course, then Gabriel tries to hide, but Arthur's having none of that. After watching Gabriel with the children during their story hour at the library, Arthur starts looking at Gabriel a little differently, like maybe they could be friends. The seriously hot sex isn't hurting anything, either. So now, Arthur is doing everything he can to get the best fundraiser possible for their little town library. Along the way, through miscommunications, hurt feelings, and battered pride, somehow they become friends.

Things aren't even remotely as easy as I've made them sound. Gabriel has a lot of baggage from childhood, and his dating experiences. He's very afraid of the deep, dark desires he pushes way down deep, but now Arthur knows. It's so much easier for Gabriel to push Arthur away than deal with his own feelings. Arthur makes Gabriel want all those things he lost when he came out to his parents. Gabriel wants to be loved, he wants a family, and he's terrified of needing it. Poor Arthur, he doesn't know, or even understand, his feelings for Gabriel. Arthur just wants the man in his life, because when Gabriel isn't around, Arthur misses him terribly.

As much as I loved, loved, loved, 'Let it Snow', this second book in the series captured not only my heart, but my mind, too. All the wonderful story time "lessons" that Gabriel teaches this small town's children and their parents were simply beautiful in their earnestness and honesty. Children are the future, and it's from them that racism and bigotry will die out, but only if they learn from a young age. The romance between Arthur and Gabriel was so incredible, it made my heart hurt. Arthur and Gabriel are, most definitely, getting added to my list of favorite couples. Now I'm waiting for Paul's book, because I'm betting it'll be just as amazing.





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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 209 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 28-September-2017
Price $4.99 ebook, $15.99 paperback
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