Books, Coffee, Holiday/Seasonal, m/m, Reviews, Romance

[Book Review] Winter Wonderland By Heidi Cullinan & CoffeeAM Kozy Fire Flavored Coffee

Winter Wonderland By Heidi CullinanTitle: Winter Wonderland
Series/Universe: Minnesota Christmas, Book 3
Author: Heidi Cullinan
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publication date: November 10th 2015
Page Count: 205 pages
Age Rating: Adult (language and explicit sexual scenes)
How I got my hot little hands on it: Received a copy to review
Publisher’s page: Winter Wonderland

Finding Mr. Right can be a snow lot of fun.

Paul Jansen was the only one of his friends who wanted a relationship. Naturally, he’s the last single man standing. No gay man within a fifty-mile radius wants more than casual sex.

No one, that is, except too-young, too-twinky Kyle Parks, who sends him suggestive texts and leaves X-rated snow sculptures on his front porch.

Kyle is tired of being the town’s resident Peter Pan. He’s twenty-five, not ten, and despite his effeminate appearance, he’s nothing but the boss in bed. He’s loved Paul since forever, and this Christmas, since they’re both working on the Winter Wonderland festival, he might finally get his chance for a holiday romance.

But Paul comes with baggage. His ultra-conservative family wants him paired up with a woman, not a man with Logan’s rainbow connection. When their anti-LGBT crusade spills beyond managing Paul’s love life and threatens the holiday festival, Kyle and Paul must fight for everyone’s happily ever after, including their own.

Warning: Contains erotic snow art, toppy twinks, and super-sweet holiday moments. Best savored with a mug of hot chocolate with a dash of spice.

My Review

Paul Jansen is a romantic. He loves cozy Christmas romances and wants more than anything in the world to be loved by someone who will hold him close and never let him go – and when you meet his homophobic, controlling, judgmental family it’s easy to see why he needs someone like that in his life. Having watched the past two years as both of his best friends got their “Mr. Right” for Christmas, he hardly dares to hope that this year might be his turn.

Kyle Parks is a man with a big heart. He loves his town, his family (he’s especially close to his twin sister who has Down syndrome), and his job as an LPN at the Logan Manor care center. Kyle’s had a crush on Paul for the last decade and he’s decided that this holiday season is when he finally proves that despite his slim physique and youthful face, and a 13 year age difference, he’s exactly the kind of man who can give the big, bearded sweetheart what he needs. He knows that if Paul could just get over his preconceived notions and fixation on stereotype, he’d see how perfect the two are for each other.

All though it’s dealt with early on, one of the big issues standing between the couple is that burly Paul wants a lover who can take control and dominate him in the bedroom with a loving hand and he doesn’t think sweet little Kyle is up for the task (Kyle is more than happy to show Paul just how wrong he is and there are some very spicy love scenes in this book, FYI). However, the main obstacle the couple has to overcome to get their HEA is Paul himself; his family’s treatment of him left Paul with a list of issues a mile long and plenty of emotional baggage when it comes to reconciling wanting to be loved and actually feeling deserving of love.

From the fantastically vulnerable and so-relatable characters, to the cute little snowy mountain town setting, I absolutely loved this book. Winter Wonderland was a great holiday romance with a bit of angst, a lot of love, and a much deserved sweet Christmas happily every after. It’s the third book in the Minnesota Christmas series, but absolutely works as a standalone – however, after reading this one and meeting the couples from the other two books, who play pretty big parts in the story, I can’t wait to get my hands on the others.  I will definitely be seeking out more works by this author.

Paul Jansen is a man after my own heart with his love of cozy Christmas movies. There is nothing I love better over the holiday season than spending my evenings basking in the glow of my Christmas tree’s twinkling lights, curled up on the couch with a luxuriously plush throw blanket, watching hours upon hours of cozy Christmas movies on The Hallmark Channel (I was particularly enamored of “Snow Bride” this past holiday season). To complete this cozy setting, I recommend CoffeeAM Kozy Fire Flavored Coffee – a warm, comforting blend flavored with a pinch of cinnamon spice, a splash of warm rum, and a dash of nuts roasting over an open fire – perfect for Paul to enjoy during his bouts of “Christmas romance bingeing”.

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