Former stepbrothers find Christmas romance under the tree.
After years alone, Daniel Diaz is finally ready to shake up his orderly, solitary life. He’s about to leave for a cozy Christmas getaway with his new man when he gets the call from the ER that his former stepbrother has been admitted with a concussion and a broken hand—and Cole put him down as his emergency contact. Why the hell would he do that? Daniel barely knows the guy. After all, their parents’ marriage lasted less than a year and it was a decade ago!
But Cole has no one else to look after him and strict doctor’s orders not to be left alone. So fine, Daniel will bring him along on vacation to make sure he doesn’t starve or fall into a coma. This is supposed to be Daniel’s chance to explore romance again after locking down his feelings for too long—except it turns out his could-be boyfriend is more interested in partying and being an obnoxious jerk. Daniel sends him packing, and now he’s stuck with a virtual stranger in an isolated mountain cabin.
Cole Smith crushed hard on cranky Daniel when they were teenagers. Alone with him in a romantic winter wonderland, those feelings roar back to life. Glimpsing the caring, vulnerable man under Daniel’s frosty shell, he yearns to get closer. Christmas is a time for surprises, and Daniel and Cole discover a scorching connection that just might melt their hearts.
This was such a lovely surprise. I’ll be honest, I was slightly skeptical because I have a few hard limits when it comes to my romance reading preferences and brotherly love is one of them. Incest of any kind sends me racing in the opposite direction. But stepbrothers? Who shared a teeny piece of their childhood together before their parents split and moved onto another marriage and lost touch for a decade before they were reunited *gasp* …well, that is a different story altogether!
You know those stories where one of the MC’s comes across harsh and hardhearted? Well, that’s Daniel Diaz. I won’t sugarcoat it, he’s a bit of a jerk. But here’s the thing….he’s sad. He won’t admit it. Actually, he would stubbornly deny it. But its the truth. His first boyfriend, his supposed soul mate, broke his heart. And he never bothered to put the pieces back together again. It’s been several years but he’s perfected this cold and detached version of himself. He’s decided to try and he’s planned a romantic holiday getaway with a potential new boyfriend. Though fate has other plans for him. He receives a phone call that will forever change his life. Except he doesn’t know that just yet.
Considering this is Keira Andrews, naturally the writing is marvelous. I liked how quickly things kick off. We are still getting to know Daniel when his long-lost former stepbrother crashes back into his life. Cole is endearing and easy to love. He’s had an accident and its his intention to reconnect with his childhood crush, aka his brief older hotter stepbrother, over coffee or lunch, not in the hospital. His dad was married to Daniel’s mom for a short spell when he was a teen. Their marriage didn’t last but the impression Daniel left on Cole did. When Daniel appears at his bedside after his accident he’s tongue-tied all over again. I can’t say I enjoyed all of the characters (you’ll see what I mean) but I enjoyed how Cole and Daniel came back together once again. I also enjoyed the Canadian setting and couldn’t get enough of the cabin they rented. I wanna visit!!
The romance was swoon-worthy, sigh-worthy, and melt-worthy. I absolutely loved how Cole slipped past Daniel’s defenses. He saw him, really…truly…honestly saw him. No one has ever understood Daniel like Cole does. Daniel suffered greatly from his last break-up. He felt as though there was something wrong with him. That he wasn’t fit for relationships. So, he convinced himself that he didn’t need anyone else. When his good friend dragged him along to a self-help seminar he figured he had nothing left to lose and he would heed the advise. He would and could CYC (“Change Your Cadence”) if he just tried hard enough. As it turns out, he only needed Cole. Cole brought him back and when he allowed himself to fall completely, I melted along with him.
Errr, the stepbrother thing may be a…thing for some. But I swear, it was almost as if they were roommates rather than related by marriage for a split second. It’s also important that you hold your judgement of Daniel until the end because I can assure you, he won’t be your favorite guy for a while. There’s also a bit of some sexuality lessons but I think it was handled nicely and not in a preachy manner. And once things heats up, it’s scorching!
If you are willing to dig in your heels and hold out for the thaw, I believe you will be pleasantly surprised with this unexpected ‘dream-come-true‘ romance.
TITLE: In Case of Emergency
AUTHOR: Keira Andrews
PUBLISHER: KA Books
LENGTH: 120 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 30, 2017
BUY LINKS: Amazon