‘Tis the season of Santa and snow and sparkles…and secrets.
With the looming grand opening of Winterworld, the Overton family’s Christmas extravaganza, the last thing groundsman Kem needs is to be partnered with the Overtons’ prodigal son. Kem’s got enough on his plate with a brother increasingly lost to drugs, a spurned boss, herding three adoring but out-of-control wolfhounds, not to mention Lady Overton’s contagious love of all things Christmas, and her never-ending to-do list. He has no time or desire to babysit a clueless young aristocrat.
Fabian’s been travelling the world for the past two years. Or at least, that’s his parents’ version of events. Lying low at the family estate, no home or money or future to call his own, he has no option but to toe their line. And yet, despite his resentment of his every move being orchestrated, he discovers working with Kem has its benefits, including those of the sexy, fun kind.
Winterworld isn’t the only magic Kem and Fabian are creating. Attraction, friendship and trust deepen as they discover they have more in common than either thought possible — including pasts and secrets neither wants to talk about. But their budding relationship doesn’t please everyone, and acts of betrayal threaten to blow them apart for good. Can the magic of Christmas, a secretive, sees-all Santa, and a meddling but well-meaning mother, save the day?
I received some gorgeous gifts for my kindle this year but this might be one of my favorites! It’s not much of a surprise that it’s by Elsborg and even less of a surprise that it squeezed my heart. I cherish my annual holiday book binge and find myself floating through the reads. But I certainly don’t have any complaints that Barb made us work for this one. Kem and Fabian had to work for it, I might as well join them. Which in all honesty, I would love to. Struck with the beauty of Christmas created here, I found myself nearly speechless and tingling with excitement and would eagerly line up for admittance if I could. Winterworld is truly a magical place full of wonders and joy and…two lonely hearts looking for their perfect mate.
Unexpected love hovers near the top of my “love story favorites” list and this was most definitely unexpected. Kem is merely trying to get through the days. He’s a survivor and full of the best qualities. He’s optimistic, dedicated, creative, funny, and well, just plain charming. Losing his mum was a blow he’s still recovering from, especially since the last link in his family isn’t currently living his best life. Kem’s brother’s sole focus is on his next fix and hurting Kem in his drug-induced blindness doesn’t even register to him. Shame Kem has to deal with the aftermath because all he really wants to sell his family home, take his half, and move on. His path was detoured with his mother’s passing but he still has plans and…dreams.
Sadly, not all dreams are happy. Fabian has his own dreams but most of them filled with horror and pain. He’s made many mistakes but trusting the wrong man was by far the biggest. When his boyfriend (add the ex now) abandoned him and left him to shoulder burdens that weren’t his to bear, bitterness and despair became his new companions. His parent’s wealth allowed some of his problems to disappear but it came with a price. And the lies are slowly consuming him. His mom’s latest ‘project’ requires his attention but he can hardly focus on anything besides the gorgeous groundsman, Kem. Kem lights up his dark world and makes him want…want to do better and be better. And isn’t that the greatest?
Winterworld is a place of enchantment and full of hope, cheer, and love. We have Elsborg’s trademark snarky wit (which I love) and steamy sexual tension (which everybody loves) and the bonds of a family made and family found. There’s everything you can possibly imagine perfecting a grand holiday event plus kindness and forgiveness. Loved the guys, loved the busybody mother and I loved the friends. Top it off with the man in the red suit and I was enamored. It was exquisite and the ending couldn’t have been any better!
Family drama…everyone has it and no one wants it. Sometimes life kicks you down and then kicks you while you’re down…what matters is getting up. And a mystical magical celebration that will leave you with a warm heart and a smile on your face. Oh, and a love story you won’t soon forget.
Elsborg fans, unexpected love story fans, and anyone searching for a holiday escape…this is for you.