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.
I think, quite possibly, this is the first Cullinan book I’ve given less than five stars. I’ll tell you why in a minute. First off, for those who read the first two books in the series, Let it Snow and Sleigh Ride, you are familiar with Marcus, Arthur, and Paul. Marcus and Arthur found their HEAs in the other two books, so it was definitely time for Paul to find his. But will his hang ups and his dreadful family allow him to?
This is why it ended with 4 stars. The story doesn’t truly end. It feels like we’re missing at least a chapter of information because it stopped so abruptly. Will Logan become the Christmas Village? Will Paul and Kyle get their HEA? Will anyone find the penis ice statue? So many questions are left unanswered.
And this reader wants to know them all.
I’m hoping Cullinan answers them with another book in the series. Even though our three men have had their stories told, I need to see the continuation of Logan and find out if the community’s Christmas dreams come true. Maybe even Dale can get his own story. And let’s not forget there are some weddings we need to see *hint hint* *nudge nudge*
And someone needs to take Paul’s family and…well, never mind. What I would suggest goes against the theme of the book *winks* Bad me.
4 stars for Winter Wonderland because it just didn’t feel finished. And yet, if you love Minnesota Christmas, (Or Cullinan’s writing) this is a definite read.
With the cupcakes finished and the reason they’d gotten together in the first place punted to Sunday, Paul should offer to drive Kyle to his car and let him go home. Instead, he stared at Kyle again, and once more, he was caught.
Kyle touched the side of his hair self-consciously. “Why do you keep looking at me that way? You make me feel like I’ve grown a unicorn horn.”
Paul fumbled with what excuse to give, which somehow led him to confessing the truth. “You’re different tonight.”
Kyle frowned. “Different than what?”
“Than you usually are. Though, I guess we haven’t spoken much before.”
Except for the mostly one-sided sexting.
Paul cleared his throat. “So, uh. Stencils and snow…stuff. I didn’t realize you were so into art.”
Kyle nodded, relaxing somewhat. “I’ve always been creative. I did more sculpture than painting in school.”
“You’re good. The snow dicks were…lifelike.”
Kyle gave Paul another sideways look, as if to ask, Why are you bringing this up? “I enjoy making snow sculptures. Linda gets one every fresh snowfall. At the rate this winter is going, we’ll have to branch into a field to house them.”
“How did you make them so fast? The ones on my porch?”
“Oh, I’m pretty clever when it comes to cock.”
The quip came with Kyle’s affected voice, except instead of simpering affectation, it was a whip crack. It startled Paul, inspired him to sit a little straighter. Kyle didn’t blush, simply stared Paul down.
Paul tried to regain his ground, but between Kyle’s sharp gaze and the mental image of Kyle being good with cock, it disarmed him. He reached for a familiar wall. “I— Sorry. I didn’t mean to start anything again.”
Kyle’s lips pursed as he stood up. He reached for his coat. “I should be heading back.”
Paul rose too. “Kyle, I didn’t mean it like that.”
Kyle waved a hand at Paul, a gentle flick of a slight wrist. “Enough. Message received. I won’t flirt with you anymore, even for fun.”
Paul hurried after him, eventually cutting him off. “Look. You’re a great guy.”
“But you’re not interested, I know. I was making a damn joke.”
“It’s not that I’m not interested. But you’re too—”
Kyle’s gaze flashed a half-second warning before he whipped out a hand and covered Paul’s mouth. When Paul stumbled away, Kyle came with him, until Paul’s back went flat against the door.
“Don’t say another word.” Kyle stared angrily down at him—down, yes, because he was a little bit taller than Paul, though decidedly less than half his width. It didn’t seem to matter in that moment.
“Don’t say I’m young. Don’t say you’re old. Don’t fucking say a word because I don’t want to hear it. It’s demeaning to us both. I’ve already figured out you’re not interested. I’m a big boy—all grown up—and I’ve moved on. Personally, I think it’s your loss because I have it on several authorities I’m absolutely wicked in bed. Not quite as intense as Arthur, maybe, but then that didn’t exactly work for you, did it?”
When Paul startled, Kyle grinned a grin that made Paul’s guts churn with want.
“Go ahead and think I’m some infant twink wiggling my ass at you, hoping to get plowed by a sweet teddy bear.” The grin faded, leaving only feral heat. Kyle didn’t stroke Paul’s face, but he could swear he tingled simply from the focused gaze of the man before him. “I’m not an infant, I can’t help my body type, and if I got you in the same room as a bed, it wouldn’t be my ass sore in the morning.”
Paul couldn’t speak, his breath coming in erratic staccato bursts. When his shock bled away, it left him still paralyzed, but with want, not fear. That can’t be right, his brain kept telling him, except as he stared at Kyle, really looked at him, he was pretty sure his brain was wrong.
Paul also suspected, with the way Kyle kept leaning closer, a fiery warrior closing in on his prey, he was about to get kissed. To his surprise, he was ready to be kissed. By Kyle Parks. Against the back of the shop door. An angry, I’ll show you kiss that already had Paul melting inside.
At the last second, however, Kyle stopped. He drew away, averted his gaze. Then he zipped up his coat and pulled his hat and mittens from his pockets with shaking hands. “I—I should go.”
Don’t go. That was insane, so Paul swallowed it. “I’ll drive you.”
Kyle jammed the hat over his hair. “It’s fine. I’ll walk.”
No, that was insane. “It’s a mile plus to the café, and it’s ten degrees outside.”
“Sounds perfect.” Kyle wrapped his scarf around his face and saluted Paul with a fat mitten. “Text me about Sunday.”
He pushed Paul aside and opened the door, and Paul watched him trudge through the falling snow into the dark night.
Heidi Cullinan has always enjoyed a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. Proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality, Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. She writes positive-outcome romances for LGBT characters struggling against insurmountable odds because she believes there’s no such thing as too much happy ever after. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, playing with her cats, and watching television with her family. Find out more about Heidi at heidicullinan.com.