“The Boy Who Came In From the Cold” by MM Good Book Reviews
Author: B.G. Thomas
Length: Novel Plus (284pgs)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (29th May 2013)
Heat Level: Low – Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 ½ – 4 Hearts
Blurb: Todd Burton has had enough of small-town Buckman. His abusive stepfather calls him a fag; his friend Austin makes him realize he may be gay, but Todd doesn’t want to admit his stepfather is right; and he dreams of being a chef. Three good reasons to flee his hometown and pursue greener pastures. But when Todd reaches the big city, his luck runs dry. Soon he can’t pay his rent and gets evicted. In the middle of a snowstorm.
Gabe Richards is a wealthy businessman with enough wounds of his own to make him afraid of ever being intimate again. But when he sees Todd outside his building, freezing to death, he takes pity on him and takes him in from the cold.
To their mutual surprise, Todd and Gabe find themselves drawn to each other. “One night” turns into a week. Maybe letting a man in from the cold can melt the ice around Gabe’s heart—and maybe getting evicted will turn Todd’s luck around.
Review: Todd finds himself out on the streets in the middle of a snowstorm with nowhere to go. It is the rubbish end to a rubbish year, but maybe his luck is about to change because of small kindness from a stranger. Gabe takes pity on the young man trying to find shelter from the snow, letting him into the lobby of his building. Later when the young man finds his way to his door Gabe takes a chance and offers Todd the couch for the night. As they grow close over the following week, they both have to put their pasts in perspective and decide what they want from the future.
Todd is twenty and until he met Gabe he never questioned his sexuality. But, getting to know Gabe and trying to come to terms with his attraction has him rethinking his actions in the past. Gabe accepting Todd into his home has him wondering if he is making a mistake again. The last time he took a young man in, it ended in disaster and Gabe holding his heart close. Todd and Gabe are great characters who both lay their pasts to bare. Who both have wounds that still need healing and who both need friendship and love.
There are some great secondary characters who add something special to this story. We meet Peter, who is an eccentric older gentleman. We meet Tracy, who is a fierce protective lady and we meet Cody, who is a brief but understanding confidant. The story is well written and we get pulled into the lives of Todd and Gabe, as Todd finds his feet and begins to discover his dream. And Gabe finds his confidence in his own judgment again and opens his heart to love. The storyline is good, with Gabe wanting nothing but to pass on what was once offered to him, a helping hand. We have Todd finding what he wants and not what his step-father wanted, and we have them both settling their pasts with Todd’s being a surprising twist. The story flows quite well making it easy to read and follow. There isn’t any real strong emotional pull just the easy acceptance of watching a character come into his own.
This is a brilliant finding yourself/coming out story that has a slight touch of ‘Pretty Woman/CinderFella’ feel to it. It gives us a wonderful insight to a young man discovering his sexuality after he pushed away and ignored his strange urges. it shows us a hint of what he grew up with by the insidious memory voice of his step-father. It brings you the wonderment of discovery as Todd realizes that being gay isn’t nasty or evil and you don’t have to be limp wristed or feminine to be gay. and it gives you the pure joy of discovering love for the first time. With Gabe we see him struggle not to make the same mistake again. Of trusting that his feelings and instinct are right and that he isn’t projecting his wants and needs onto someone else.
I recommend this to those who love great coming out/finding yourself stories, finding love and discovering your dreams and getting your happily ever after.