…we're keeping our name but expanding our offerings!
Minnesota Christmas, Book 2
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 storytime 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.
Warning: Contains a feisty librarian, a boorish bear, small town politics, deer sausage, and a boy who wants a doll.
I have publically declared my love for the words that Heidi Cullinan writes before, and I admit there are times I wonder if I can be objective when I get a new book of hers in my hands. But I figured, who cares if I can be or not, I loved the hell out of this story. And yeah, I read a Christmas story in the triple digit heat wave through the desert in September. Am I crazy? Have you met me? Anyhoo…
I am just going to toss this out there and be done with it, first. I know there are people who can’t stand kids in books, but I love the dynamic they bring to the story. The want and the love they add and goodness, they were needed in this and done so very well. So kids are in this… oh *sigh* they are in this and my heart aches for the moments we get them.
So this, the second story of the three bears we get for Christmas; this beautiful story of our gruff toppy bear, Arthur, with the softest center ever and his lovely librarian Gabriel, who I want to read me stories. Ugh. I honestly have no idea how to say what I loved about this because I loved every single word. I thought Let it Snow was good, and it was, but this was amazing – this love letter to librarians was honest and just wonderful. I adored Gabriel’s dedication to the library as not just a building full of books but as a place for all information and how he wanted it all in the small town of Logan.
Arthur and Paul are splitting up, not really being a couple to begin with, and Paul decides he wants more than playing with Arthur. When the Mill closes temporarily, Arthur is left to find things to occupy his time. It’s a damn good thing his mother Corrine has a list of projects for her son and a list of boys she would like Arthur to try and date. I adored Corrine; she was so much fun to read and her meddling in the love life of her son and the new lonely librarian was perfectly orchestrated. Though I am sure she didn’t imagine just what would bind these boys together, because *ahem* they did bond, if you know what I mean?
Sweet Saint Brigid! This is hot. I mean, I read most of it at work, I had to because I couldn’t stop and holy freaking hell! I knew Arthur had a kinky side, we heard it like Marcus and Frankie did in Let it Snow, but getting it first hand was so freaking sexy. I love my ginger bears… Rawr. That boy, that man… I am getting a bit hot and bothered thinking of his NOT using words to get an answer out of Gabriel on the couch. I mean, fuck me gently with a chainsaw. That. Was. Hot. You know Heidi can bring the kink with the emotions and oh boy does she deliver with the boys. *fans self*
Arthur killed me with his whole “I wanted kids when I was a kid” business while he is playing with Becky’s kids? I mean, Thomas climbing in his lap and wanting to grow up just like his Uncle Arthur? Goodness. The man’s vulnerability while being all toppy with Gabriel about did me in, the dichotomy of Arthur is endearing and so sensual it drew me in so quick I couldn’t stop reading even with my eyes telling me the refused to stay open.
Gabriel. I love his first thoughts on Corrine and how she would try to play matchmaker with him so passive aggressively to the point of pulling the crumpled up numbers out of the trash and fixing them for him. Seeing him try to get out of doing anything with Arthur early on and his views of the burly ginger, I had no idea how they would end up together. Of course, the way they end up together was perfect. Have I used that word in this already? It was perfect. Of course, me being me, I won’t go into spoilers but let me say, fireplaces, couches, hallways and sleighs. Yeah, those are just a few moments where I melted out of my chair with these boys.
I love Christmas stories. It is my favorite time of the year and not because of the presents. It’s because of the magic of the season and all the possibilities it brings. A bit sappy of me to think? Could be, but it’s what I live for and why I seek out these stories as well as all the Hallmark movies on during the Christmas season. The story should have been odd to read when I did, but it wasn’t; I felt the cold of the snow as it fell over the small town of Logan, and yet warmed by the love coming at me from all areas in the story. Sure, there were bumps with the boys as there are in real relationships but that ending? Oh, that end is just one of the things I love about Heidi’s stories.
Sleigh Ride was exactly what I needed, and the best books do that for me. I needed to feel the real emotions that come from a real relationship. That is why this author’s words hit me so hard; they are so real. The emotions, the fears, the wants and the… everything the boys and their families and friends go through are so real, and they hit hard and deep. Oh yeah, I liked this story with our second bear and I cannot wait to read Paul’s story. Oh boy.