Reviewed by Susan65
Title: Mr. Frosty Pants
Author: Leta Blake
Narrator: John Solo
Series: Home for the Holidays #1
Heroes: Casey & Joel
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
Publisher: Leta Blake Books
Release Date: November 11, 2019
Available at: Amazon & Audible
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Frosty former friends get a steamy second chance in this Christmas gay romance!
Can true love warm his frozen heart?
When Casey Stevens went away to college four years ago, he ghosted on his straight best friend, Joel Vreeland. He hoped time and distance would lessen the unrequited affection he felt, but all it did was make him miss Joel more. Home for the holidays, Casey hopes they might find a way to be friends again. But Joel’s frosty reception reminds Casey of just how hard he had to fight to be Joel’s friend in the first place. It’s going to take a Christmas miracle to get past that cool façade again.
Joel isn’t as straight as Casey believes, and his years of pining for Casey have left him hurting and alone, caring for his abusive father and struggling to get by. Unable to trust anyone except his rescue dog – and with no reason to believe Casey is interested in him for more than a holiday fling – Joel’s icy heart might shatter before it can thaw.
Can Casey and Joel’s love overcome mistrust, parental rejection, class differences, and four long years apart? Mr. Frosty Pants is a stand-alone, Christmas gay romance by Leta Blake featuring a virgin hero, childhood friends-to-lovers, second chance romance, and steamy mm first times.
I am not normally the best candidate to read holiday romances as they tend to be too saccharin for my tastes, or become mired in Christmas lore. The blurb for Mr Frosty Pants gave me hope that I had found one that, although it occurred around the holidays and the title is a bit cliche, was going to allow me to get my romantic fix without requiring a visit to my dentist. In addition, this was a great opportunity for me try out John Solo, a new-to-me narrator. Both the story and the performance were just what I needed, and I can now say that I was able to fully enjoy a holiday romance.
John Solo does a spectacular job bringing both Casey and Joel to life. I easily fell into their world, and their trials of being on the right, and wrong, side of the tracks. Casey comes from money, and his family is nouveau-riche, whereas Joel is just dirt poor. To pile it on, Joel is the product of an abusive father who was the epitome of someone who should have been sterilized before he could procreate. That man was just awful, and the narrator’s performance of that man’s hate gave me the chills. Now, Casey is the product of parents who care more for status and the opinions of others of their “class”, and the expectation is that Casey will fall in line and be the good boy who does as he is told and doesn’t bring any negative attention to the family. Being gay isn’t off the cards, if the boyfriend is rich, but being in love with a guy who lives in a trailer park, and sometimes has to fish to catch his dinner, is not acceptable.
One would think that would be enough for two young men to wade through during the holiday season, but let’s make sure that Joel and Casey are estranged best friends who reunite after a few years. Casey left without telling Joel he was gay, and Joel never said a word either. Both were basically dealing with misinformed unrequited love, and a major lack of communication. As in, Casey runs off the NYC to go to school and completely ignores, for years, the fact that his bestie is still in his hometown. And you guessed it, Joel becomes quite the Mr Frosty Pants when he finally returns and it takes a bit for Casey to win him back.
This was a really enjoyable audio and the narration was top notch. John Solo will definitely be on my radar, as well as book two in this series. Highly recommended for those who don’t want their entire Christmas romance coated in sugar, but still wants that elusive happy ending.
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*