Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: Sleigh Ride
Author: Heidi Cullinan
Series: Minnesota Christmas #2
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 71,464 words
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Release Date: November 11, 2014
Available at: Samhain Publishing, Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: The way to a man’s heart is on a sleigh.
At thirty-nine, Arthur knows what he wants and doesn’t want and he sure as hell doesn’t want a boyfriend or partner. So, maybe he’s a bit lonely without his best buds around but that doesn’t mean he’s going to start dating no matter how much his mother or everyone else pressures him to. But when his mother lures him into fixing up a sleigh and being Santa for a fundraiser he’s just about had enough. Especially when the very man supposedly playing the Elf beside him is the town’s stuffy librarian, Gabriel. Gabriel wants nothing to do with the town whore or being an Elf but when Arthur can’t seem to take no for an answer, he soon finds himself on not just a date with the man but letting down his guards and discovering things about himself he never wanted to let out. With the issues and aversions these two both have, can they come to terms with what they’re relationship is turning into and just how right they are together?
When I read Let It Snow and saw the sequel was about Arthur, I was a bit nervous. Not because Arthur is pretty kinky and totally into the dub-con/non-con fantasy but because he was with Paul… or well, they were fuck buddies during Let It Snow so I was afraid they’d continue that relationship in this book. THANKFULLY, that wasn’t the case because when Arthur can’t give Paul what he really wants (a partner, a commitment), Paul ends things with Arthur. I was saddened but happy about this because I LOVE Paul and really want him to be happy and not be sad BUT I also didn’t want to read about them doing it together LOL.
In the previous book, Arthur intrigued me. It wasn’t just because he’s a ginger or burly or anything like that but because he was a bit… contrasting. He’s a sweet, gentle man but then he’s has some wickedly dark desires in bed. He plays at being dumb but he’s actually pretty smart. He says he doesn’t want romance or love yet he’s very in-tuned to not just dating but also in knowing when to go after the other person and when not to. I loved that about him because he thinks he’s nothing special but really, he’s a great catch.
At the same time, Gabriel is his perfect partner. Completely opposite of Arthur in that while he’s sociable when it comes to his job, he’s very distant and not very approachable outside of the library. He loves kids but he can be awkward around adults and has spent eighteen months in Logan without making any friends. He comes off as prissy and cold but really he’s scared and alone. Then comes Arthur swooping in and completely turning Gabriel’s life upside down by giving Gabe a taste of something he never let himself have.
The story is about their clashing together and finding kindred spirits emotionally and sexually. I absolutely loved the connection between them and the fact that when it came to sex, things didn’t really need to be said to know what was wanted or needed. But I also loved that they were both very caring and supportive. I ADORED the story and my only issue with this one is that there was too much sex for my tastes. While I thought the sex was SMOKIN’ HOT, there was just too much for someone like me.
All in all, this was a fantastic sequel. I loved getting Arthur’s story and seeing the mighty man fall! The transition between him being adamant he didn’t need anyone to not being able to be without Gabriel was a fun ride to be on and I loved every minute of it. Gabe and Arthur together are definitely a match made in heaven and that ENDING. OMG, talk about giving me a goofy smile! Now, I’m eager to get Paul’s story because he desperately needs an HEA himself!
Overall Impression: I loved it!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*