Author ~Julia Talbot
Narrator ~ John Solo
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Release ~ 19th January 2017
Length ~ 5 hours 39 minutes
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
Is he in love with an old hotel—or its new owner?
Professional snowboarder Cullen Patrick is successful and kinda famous. So when he inherits an old Colorado hotel from an unknown relative, he really should leave well enough alone.
Matt Nathanson has been managing the Treeline Estates since college. He loved the elderly former owner, and he stands to inherit the place if no one claims it in the next week. Of course, Cullen shows up, and Matt thinks it’s time to move on. He doesn’t want to like Cullen, no matter how engaging the guy is, or how hunky.
Cullen has grand ideas for the Treeline, but he doesn’t want to implement them without Matt, and he’s not sure he’s ready to give up snowboarding. Can Matt convince Cullen that putting down roots is worth it… and maybe catch his heir at the same time?
What I especially liked about this story was the interaction between Cullen and Matt. There’s only a short time of initial conflict, so it’s not really an enemies-to-lovers story. For much of the story they are 'together' and this makes a change. Stories all too often take ages before the relationship proper starts and I'm left wishing there was more development by the time the story ends. And another plus, there’s no big misunderstanding with one of the characters walking out in a huff.
The hotel manager and the snowboarding superstar are opposite but nice, easy-going characters. Both have a vested interest in the success of the aging hotel. Matt is overworked, but a successful people person. Cullen is not afraid to pitch in and help as they prepare to open for the new season, plus he has an inspired vision for the future and, with Matt’s support, they make a success of this new venture. They work well together and I really enjoyed this part of the story.
The main worry for their relationship is whether Matt will stay to manage the hotel or move on and whether Cullen will continue to travel the world as he competes in various snowboarding competitions.
There’s a main plot line, but there are also many scenes based around the running of the hotel and meal times. The chef is a great character who produces lots of fabulous food for the staff and guests. The poor guy was certainly overworked. I felt sorry for him.
The sex scenes mostly fade to black, but these guys are clearly attracted to each other and are making-out off the page. To stir up trouble there are a couple of awkward guests, issues with the historical society, and Cullen’s ex makes an appearance too.
This is a well-written, sweet, low-angst romance with little drama or on-page explicit scenes. The relationship between Matt and Cullen is heartwarming and the story finishes with a happy and uplifting ending.
I have come to associate Dreamspun Desires with John Solo as he seems to be the main narrator. He has a distinctive and engaging voice, produces superb characterizations, and his timing and portrayal of emotions all make his narration high quality. Although for this story I wasn't sure at first if the main character’s name was Colin or Cullen until I checked the blurb. His performance draws you into the story and keeps your attention.
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