Rating: 4.5 stars
When Martin suggested that Chris Fellows spend the holiday with him up at his cabin on the lake, Chris only hesitated for a moment. Chris knew his friend had little family and looked to his closest friends to supply the support and comfort a family would have, so yes was the only possible answer, even for the cold allergic Chris. So Chris packed his bags and left warm Phoenix for the wilds of Wisconsin and tons of snow. But Chris wasn’t prepared for a death in Martin’s small family and a funeral to keep Martin away and Chris all alone in a unfamiliar cabin. And then the power goes out, a situation Chris is definitely not prepared for.
Enter Horace Anderson. Horace lives by himself in a house his father built and was checking on his neighbors when he found Chris panicking about being by himself without power. Horace is huge, gentle and very shy but soon he has wood stacked for Chris to use in the fireplace, and lanterns lit for the coming night. Hesitant conversations provide the men with the knowledge that in some ways they are very much alike. Both are living alone, their parents having died years ago and both are gay. The last fact was determined when Chris placed a kiss on Horace’s mouth, only to see the big man run away like a frightened deer. Torn between hurt and exasperation, Chris is delighted when Horace returns the next day. Then the following day. and the one after that too. Soon the men are spending all their time together, closed off from the rest of the world by the lack of power and tons of snow. But as their emotions deepen, Chris worries that his feelings are the result of being snowbound instead of something real. What will happen when the power comes back on and they are no longer snowbound? Will Chris accept the clear path to love once the snow is gone?
Snowbound to Nowhere is that lovely story of love found that Andrew Grey does so well. He sets up disparate characters and lets the situation and the setting they find themselves in lure out their hidden feelings and hopes. And we get to watch the slow, lovely build to a relationship built on love. Grey always gives us such wonderful characters and that continues here. I have to admit however that Horace Anderson holds a special place in my heart. Raised by his father in the “middle of nowhere”, he had little interaction with the people who lived in the town around them, as he and his father kept to themselves. His father had strict notions about sexuality, including severely chastising a teenage boy caught masterbating. When his father died, he was left alone, and made a living being a town “fixer”. A lonely life that has left him a bit of a man child, so vulnerable and appealing that it is easy to see why Chris falls for him. But for all that Horace is also supremely well qualified to deal with the power outage and shows Chris just how lovely it can be to live life unplugged.
Chris Fellows just cracked me up. But even as I laughed at how unprepared that Arizona man was for winter emergencies and the cold, Chris made me adore him as Chris has more layers to him personality wise than the coats and blankets piled up around him. True, he panicked and his calls to Martin were quite funny but he also hunkered down and started to make the best of things. And Chris’ gentle acceptance of Horace, his appreciation of the skills Horace accumulated and the way Horace has lived made me love Chris even more. I think Andrew Grey was very smart to make Chris second guess his feelings about Horace and the time they spent together. That is exactly the reaction anyone would have and being that realistic just adds to the pleasure and joy of the ending.
Snowbound to Nowhere is a sweet, joyful story of love found where you least expect it. Perfect holiday reading. It made my day as well as one of my holiday favorites this season.
Cover: Paul Richmond does a terrific job of conveying a snowbound cabin welcoming two lovers home. Just heartwarming.