Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
Trimming the tree is more fun with three.
Twin Cities developer Dale Davidson has come to Logan, Minnesota, to turn it into Christmas Town, not to give in to Arthur Anderson’s offer to join him and his fiancé, Gabriel Higgins, for a Christmas Eve threesome. Dale is polyamorous, but it’s clear Arthur is offering a night of fun and nothing more. Maybe one night with the couple he admires so much won’t hurt…
Together the three of them light a fire hot enough to boil Lake Superior in January, and one night of fun becomes an extended engagement as Dale puts down some tentative roots in his new hometown. Everyone loves Dale, Logan’s own Santa Claus, and somehow no one knows what wild times are happening right underneath their noses. No one knows, either, the complicated ways they’re falling in love with one another.
But a shadow from Dale’s past emerges, an abuser threatening him with violence and shame. Ronny doesn’t want a happy ever after for Dale, only to draw him back into a consuming darkness. It will take the love of not only Gabriel and Arthur but all of Logan to convince their Santa he has nothing to be ashamed of—and that he will always have a home in their hearts.
I fell in love with Heidi Cullinan’s Minnesota Christmas series from the very first story, Let It Snow (Minnesota Christmas, #1). That featured our first couple Frankie Blackburn and Marcus Gardner. It was heartwarming and introduced us to the town of Logan. Then followed Sleigh Ride (Minnesota Christmas #2) whose tale revolved around librarian Gabriel Higgins and fiery red-headed Dom Arthur Anderson. That book set my heart to blazing. It had kink, hot scenes, a gentle librarian with a love of literature and a need to let his own kink needs free and a Dom to love him. And it had Christmas. If I wasn’t hooked before, I certainly was now.
Cullinan followed Arthur and Gabe’s story with Winter Wonderland (Minnesota Christmas #3), Paul Jansen and Kyle Parks story. This novel, like all the others, had humor (snow penis sculptures), poignancy, heartbreak and so much love it threatened to spill off the page. And it introduced us to a new character, Dale Davidson. The town of Logan needs help and the idea is to turn it into Christmas Town, a year around tourist destination. Towards the end of that story there was some little sparks flying between our engaged kinky couple Arthur and Gabe and Dale. But Winter Wonderland belonged to Paul and Kyle and it remains one of my favorite of the series.
But that spark refused to die and grew into this story (see my interview with Heidi here about the inspiration and future of the series). I have to admit I wondered how I would feel about Arthur and Gabe and a polyamorous relationship. Would it effect their original one and how I felt about them? Could I accept that Gabe would be a part of this couple? Turns out (and yes, this surprised me) the answer is yes to both questions.
Its in the way Cullinan not only came at the idea of polyamory, the details, the reality of it as described and emotionally felt by Dale and Gabe, but how Arthur worked through the impact on his relationship with Gabe and his new one with Dale. We see them connecting with each other, the struggles to understand it themselves, how the loss of the potential relationship was devastating in its impact and the work it took to resolve everyone’s issues. It made Arthur, Gabe and Dale’s loving relationship believable and in the end, something I really connected with myself. I worked it through with them.
This is such a wonderfully adult book. Its there in how these characters look at the issues that must be addressed, at the situations they find themselves in (there’s a story thread about violence with a non-con element here that’s equally well done), and even how to come out as a polyamorous couple to their friends. So many different elements and they all work due to wonderful writing and intelligent handling of the subject matter.
And the romance is never forgotten, not once. Along with some very hot and sexy scenes.
I loved the end of this story. I always hate to leave Logan and all the couples there, including now a polyamorous one. Turns out Heidi Cullinan isn’t done with Logan yet. Be still my heart. There will be a return to Christmas Town and I, for one, can’t wait. Love this series. Be sure to pick up Santa Baby (Minnesota Christmas #4). Its unexpected, hot, heartwarming and everything you’ve come to expect from this series, town and author. I highly recommend it and all the books that make up the Minnesota Christmas series.
Cover art by Kanaxa is just terrific. Just brings out the smiles.