Title: Cold Feet
Author: Jay Northcote
Narrator: Matthew Lloyd Davies
Length: 3 hrs + 7 mins
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release: 13th October 2015
Genre: M/M (Christmas)
Best friends snowed in together. When the heat rises, will they get cold feet?
Getting snowed in at a remote cottage in Wales with someone he'd fancied for ages isn't exactly how Sam expected to spend Christmas. His feelings for Ryan are pointless. Ryan's straight - or so he thought.
Until now, Ryan's kept his feelings for Sam buried. Why ruin a friendship over what might only be gay experimentation? Playing it cool seems safer, until a cold snap makes sharing body heat vital. In their Welsh safe haven, anything seems possible.
As Ryan's reserve melts away, Sam wants more than stolen kisses under the mistletoe. But a sudden thaw means making decisions. They could face the New Year together - unless one of them gets cold feet.
What do you do when you’re snowed and can go nowhere? Yes, you snuggle up under a warm blanket with someone close and then maybe a few more things could happen if you’re lucky. Sam’s luck is in with Ryan and keeping warm is just the nudge that Ryan needs to get his libido in gear and eventually admit to himself and Sam that what he is feeling goes beyond being close friends.
OK, when this story first started I was a little apprehensive as this whole “gay for you” thing never really sits well with me. Why? Well, I’m not going into details here but just let’s say that it never really convinces me that these kind of things can have a happy ending. In my experience they normally all end in tears. Anyway, enough said about that. Ryan thinks he’s straight or at least he is most definitely questioning his sexuality, thinking he is most probably gay but hasn’t yet felt he could open up to anyone or had the opportunity to try out his thesis. He is your typical straight acting, manly, rugby player type, uni guy and of course in the circles he keeps being gay could cause a bit of a stumbling block socially. However, I must admit as the story progressed I felt Jay did a good job in brining across Ryan’s internal, emotional turmoil and to be honest could totally relate to what Ryan was going through.
Ryan and his out, gay best friend are due to spend a few days in a cottage in Wales with friends as a kind of getaway retreat. Sam, although openly gay, has a secret crush on Ryan but would never admit this to Ryan for fear of losing the friendship he so values with him. However, the best laid plans never seem to go according to plan and their friends don’t make it due to their car breaking down and now they are in this very cold house with few modern conveniences, including no central heating, alone and together. Gawd, I got goose bumps due to the chills just thinking about this house in the depths of winter. Combine this with the fact that due to a blizzard they are now well and truly snowed in and not going anywhere. So even with their best attempts to get things warmed up in the night the place is freezing. So what do you do? Yes, you dive under a duvet with your best friend to keep warm. However, in Sam’s and Ryan’s case the heat level goes a little beyond just keeping each other warm. We now start a merry dance of uncertainty which was a delight to read. Ryan thinking that Sam would not want his advances and Sam thinking that the last thing Ryan wants is him in a sexual way although he would welcome it if it happened. I loved the way that both wake with raging erections – lol! Sam thinking that it’s just the usual morning wood in Ryan’s case and he himself not wanting to seem too interested in Ryan in a way that could freak him Sam jumps of bed and trying not to let Ryan see his interest so to speak. I could just imagine and put myself into that whole situation totally – lol!
This whole merry dance was realistic and having experienced crushes on straight best friends myself when I was younger (feels like it was in another life now –lol!) Ryan’s “straightness” wasn’t so much GFY anymore but someone who is questioning his sexuality and thinking his friendship and attraction with Sam just might be something a little more than platonic. Eventually opportunity tied in with innuendo means that Ryan opens a door and lets Sam in. After all if you are going to have your first gay experience then what better way then with someone you know and trust implicitly. Sam can’t quite believe his luck but goes with what’s being offered and his heart soars. When these guys get down to doing the dirty then oh my Ryan can’t believe it has taken him so long to realise that yes he is gay. The book was full of tender moments and hot ones too but there is still one big elephant standing in the room and that is where do they go from here. Is this only for the duration they are in the cottage? Is Ryan going to come out and become Sam’s boyfriend? Does Sam want to risk losing the friendship? These are all things that need to be sorted but as usual a lack of communication means they end up misreading the signals on both sides and we have to get some air cleared before we get to our final happy ending.
There is also a couple of nice little background plots as they both make friends and spend Christmas with an elderly woman in the village. Also the fact that they come from totally different family backgrounds also plays a role. this I liked as if you really want to get to know the characters and where they are coming from then you always need some background.
This is a nice Christmas novella that I can recommend and maybe you should cuddle up with someone under a blanket while reading as you never know just might what happen.
Matthew does a great job in narrating this book. First I have to say that a British author getting a British narrator is always good but not always the best fit. Even though I’m British sometimes the narration from a Brit can sound a little too BBC or received pronunciation which makes the dialogues too “posh” to be effective, has the danger of seeming cold and distant. However, Matthew “poshes” the accent down and lends the voice of Sam and Ryan a natural sounding English which gives both characters a lovely warmth and depth in bringing across their story. Also his Welsh accent when narrating the old lady in the village and the local shopkeeper were great, at least for my ears not being a native of Wales. I enjoyed the narration a lot and would definitely listen to other books narrated by Matthew.
Meet Jay Northcote
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her amazing, occasionally ridiculous husband, two noisy-but-awesome children, and two cats.
Jay comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.
Jay writes contemporary gay romance, usually set in or near her home town of Bristol. She enjoys the challenge of bringing the men in her head to life through her words
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