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REVIEW: “Thunder Snow” by Owen Keehnen



Thunder Snow is a gay love story set in academia during the 1980s. When Jim Franklin goes away to Windsor College, he is hoping to leave his former life, and lifestyle, behind. Jim has had enough of feeling like an outsider. By all practical purposes he is succeeding at Windsor, at least until his third year. Jim has joined a fraternity and is dating a nice sorority girl. Love blindsides him when Jim meets Glenn who has relocated to the town of Windsor from New York City. Glenn has come to town as the kept lover of wealthy Windsor resident Raymond Channing. Bored by the lack of stimulation in small town, Glenn soon enrolls in college at the university and meets Jim in a Romantic Literature class. When Jim asks for assistance with an assignment, Glenn agrees. Sparks soon ignite and passion ensues. Despite their respective situations, both men fall madly in love, but will it be enough to sustain them in the long run.


There is no need to beat around the bush, this book and I did not get along. *cringes* Not at all. This could very well be a ‘me not you’ factor, but I had lots of issues. I hate to be harsh, but I might as well get on with it.

I’ll start with the biggie. I don’t like cheating. I don’t enjoy books with infidelity; regardless of the circumstances it puts a bad taste in my mouth. Both Jim and Glenn are in relationships (which I use the term loosely here) when they hook up.

Jim is living his life in, well, denial. He has shut down his feelings and desires towards men and is trying his damnedest to convince himself that he is not gay. He snags an innocent girlfriend who’s not interested in sex, she’s saving herself for marriage, and he’s golden. He has a solid farce to hide behind. But then he runs into an unexpected glitch. He struggles to grasp the foundations of his Romantic lit class, and he finds himself in dangerous lusty grounds. The heated gaze of his assigned partner burns away all his carefully placed defense mechanisms.

Glenn is confident, smooth and living the good life. When an older (filthy rich) man offered to ‘take care of him’, he pounced on the opportunity. He ditched his boyfriend, his job, and his elbow-grease life and joined Raymond in the land of the wealthy. His arrangement is to service Raymond needs in exchange for all the luxuries he could ask for. He’s happy with his….situation.

So as you can see, I clashed with Jim and Glenn from the get-go.

Then holiday break comes along and Jim and Glenn play house in the mansion of Glenn’s lover. Hiding away from reality, they escape into each other and fall in love. However, it never felt like love to me, it was simply an illusion of their perfect dream world. And when Sugar Daddy Raymond comes home early and catches the boys playing, well, things don’t go well. Another icky scene for me.

If I was already getting cozy with a prickly pear, things take a turn for the worse. I was appalled by the ending and actually felt ill over the course of events that wrapped up the story.

I can’t say the writing was bad, because it wasn’t. But the entire plot was grim in my opinion. I thought the cover was fantastic and thethunder snow was very clever. The college setting was depicted thoroughly and the pressures and fears of self-discovery were quite accurate. If cheating is not a dreadful trigger for you, you may feel differently about this book. But for me? It put the nail in the coffin before things ever had a chance to start.



TS coverTitle: Thunder Snow
Author: Owen Keehnen
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Pages: 15k words
Release Date: November 18, 2014
Purchase Links: WCP, Amazon

2 comments on “REVIEW: “Thunder Snow” by Owen Keehnen

  1. Mercedes
    November 26, 2014

    it sounds interesting to me. I love these kind of messed up situations and imperfect characters. However, I also notice that this is a short story at only 15k words. Is it possible this affects the story as well? Is there enough character development and is the story well fleshed out?


    • Sheri
      November 28, 2014

      You know, I think you could be spot on. It certainly felt short and I suppose the lack of character connection didn’t do me any favors. The bulk of the story takes place over two or three weeks, but then flashes into the future. If you like messed up situations, you’ll love the ending. Hope you enjoy it!


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This entry was posted on November 26, 2014 by in Contemporary, Reviewer: Sheri and tagged , , , .

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