Thursday, December 18, 2014

Winter’s Fire by Donya Lynne ~ Release Day Review


Title ~ Winter’s Fire

Author ~ Donya Lynne

Publisher ~ Phoenix Press

Published ~ 18th December 2014

Genre ~ M/M Contemporary Romance



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Ex-Army sniper Sam Winter is home from the war. But it wasn’t an act of heroism that got him medically discharged. After his team found out he was gay, they beat him so severely he could no longer perform his duties. Now, at his family’s horse farm in Kentucky, Sam faces not only an uncertain future, but his father’s condemnation and prejudice, as well. The one thing he is certain about is his feelings for his best friend, Cooper Brown, who Sam has secretly been attracted to since high school. For years, Cooper has harbored his own secret attraction toward Sam, and now that Sam is home for good, he’s ready to tell him. When they finally reveal their secrets to one another, the bonds of friendship expand in ways neither thought possible, and Sam feels his future is finally falling into place. But an infernal stable fire changes everything, forcing shocking, long-hidden truths to the surface, changing Sam’s life forever.

Author’s Note: This novel is a complete rewrite of a previously published novella titled The Arms of Winter (included in this novel), which was published by Silver Publishing in 2012. Upon the return of my rights, I overhauled the story and added 40,000 words to the manuscript, altering much of the plot, as well as the ending.

Included in this limited-time-only version:
Snowed In, a m/m erotic short story - this story will only be available in the e-book until December 31, 2014. After that date, you'll only be able to get this short story in the print version, to come out summer 2015.


Lisa’s Review


Winter’s Fire by Donna Lynne is a previously published novella entitled The Arms of Winter she has reworked and turned into a full length novel. This is a heartwarming story about two men who find the courage to finally open up and admit who they are – to the world and to each other.

Sam Winter is an ex-army sniper who has been medically discharged due a brutal beating he suffered at the hands of his fellow comrades who discovered that Sam is gay. He has now returned home to Richmond, Kentucky to his family’s horse farm. Sam may be facing an uncertain period in his life where he has to decide what he wants to do outside of his army career; however, laying in the hospital recovering from his injuries has put life into perspective and he is no longer willing to hide who he is. Not from anyone, including his prejudicial father. The one thing Sam is looking forward to is seeing his best friend. Sam is no longer the same young eighteen-year old boy he was when he left for the army. He is now a man who is certain about his sexuality and he is ready to admit that his feelings for his best friend far surpass those of a simple friendship.

“I’m sick of fantasy, Sam. I want the real thing. I want to learn the real you, not the one who’s been in my head the last six years.”

Cooper Brown has been best friends with Sam for eight years, ever since his family moved to Richmond in his sophomore year of high school. Despite Sam being away in the army for the last six years, the pair have managed to stay in touch particularly since Coop works for Sam’s father and trains his horses. Like Sam, Coop was also an uncertain eighteen year old in high school not really fully understanding his attraction to the opposite sex. For six years Coop has harbored significant feelings for his best friend and now that Sam is back he is ready to reveal just how deeply he feels no matter what the consequences are.

Once Sam and Cooper reveal how they truly feel about one another the progression of their relationship is natural and sweet. They both no longer want to waste any more time and want to explore what they share between them. Sam is so inexperienced and I simply loved how supportive Cooper is. For Sam his return home means a period of rediscovery. He has known nothing but army life for six years. Sam now has to find out what he wants to do with his life. The only thing he is certain about is the fact that he wants Cooper to be a big part of his present and his future. Cooper knows exactly what he wants out of life, both professionally and personally. He loves Sam and wants nothing more than to spend the rest of his life with him. The pair have a few obstacles to overcome and have a bit to work out and their happy forever is not going to come super easy; however, they both know real when they see it and what they share is worth the fight.

All in all, Winter’s Fire is a touching novel about embracing who you are and facing the obstacles that may stand in your way head on. After all, sometimes it is in confronting the scorching fires of life that we can emerge into something so sweet and pure it takes our breath away.




Buy it Here



Meet the Donya Lynne

Donya Lynne is the author of the award winning All the King's Men Series and a member of Romance Writers of America. Making her home in a wooded suburb north of Indianapolis with her husband, Donya has lived in Indiana most of her life and knew at a young age that she was destined to be a writer. She started writing poetry in grade school and won her first short story contest in fourth grade. In junior high, she began writing romantic stories for her friends, and by her sophomore year, they had dubbed her Most Likely to Become a Romance Novelist. In 2012, she made that dream come true by publishing her first two novels and two novellas. Her work has earned her two IPPYs, one gold and one silver, as well as two eLit Awards, also one gold and one silver. Donya has many more novels and novellas planned for years to come.



Friends to lovers


  1. I love friends to lovers stories! Thanks.

  2. They're nice when I'm in the mood for sweet and sexy. :)

  3. They're great and often dreamy too ... my kind of stories as I just can't believe in insta-love stories ;-)

  4. Some of my favourite stories have been friends to lovers, the slow journey of realisation and where often one knew it before the other but was to afraid to do anything about or both were in different relationships so were not free at the same time,so as you can see plenty of potential in this sub-genre. Quite often they are afraid of taking that next step, as their friendship means so much to them and it could be lost if their relationship fails...

  5. If it's well written, yes, definitely. What better story than two men who've known each other for years and are the closest of friends to then fall in love with each other?
    taina1959 at

  6. I like all sort of stories and friends to lovers are usually very nice.

  7. I love friends to lovers stories, one of my favorite tropes!

  8. Love them, especially if one wasn't "gay" till he realized his feelings for his friend.

  9. really enjoy friends to lovers stories

  10. love them..they seem more real to me

  11. I love those kinds of stories when done correctly.

  12. I love those stories! They feel real.

  13. LOVE them!! They are typically fairly realistic and easy to see how they'd fit so well together when they're already friends. I think the established friendship just helps the love part that much more.

  14. Love them. Totally makes sense how that could turn out. When GFY is thrown in there as well then it becomes a tougher sell so the author has to write it well.

  15. I love reading friend to lover stories I especially love the ones that give us a glimpse of the two main characters growing up together or meeting each other in childhood.

  16. I really like them, but my favourite stories are enemies to lovers. I really like that sexual tension rising...

  17. I love friends to lovers stories!

  18. I LOVE Friends To Lovers stories.