The Boy Who Came In From The Cold
Author: B.G. Thomas
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press June 2013
Blurb: Todd Burton has had enough of small-town Buckman. His abusive stepfather calls him a fag; his friend Austin makes him realize he may be gay, but Todd doesn’t want to admit his stepfather is right; and he dreams of being a chef. Three good reasons to flee his hometown and pursue greener pastures. But when Todd reaches the big city, his luck runs dry. Soon he can’t pay his rent and gets evicted. In the middle of a snowstorm.
Gabe Richards is a wealthy businessman with enough wounds of his own to make him afraid of ever being intimate again. But when he sees Todd outside his building, freezing to death, he takes pity on him and takes him in from the cold.
To their mutual surprise, Todd and Gabe find themselves drawn to each other. “One night” turns into a week. Maybe letting a man in from the cold can melt the ice around Gabe’s heart—and maybe getting evicted will turn Todd’s luck around.
Review: This book was not the story I thought it would be from the blurb and this trope. I was expecting a huddled, feeble man-child found half hidden in a snow drift and rescued by a rough, emotionally damaged, stoic barbarian. If that is what you are expecting too, let me be the first to say, wrong book.
And thank goodness.
Todd Burton is young and freezing, but his pride and closet keep him warm enough that he almost doesn’t get to be a part of this story. Until he realizes the one person who has shown him kindness, an openly gay man, is his only hope.
Todd is not comfortable with himself. He fears the desires he feels building inside, to touch and be touched, by men. He has dreams that he sees shatter into bits. His pride burns. He is desperate for a chance to make it on his own in Kansas City, but nothing seems to be working for him. He lacks the street smarts to go with his ambition and he knows it. And now he’s stuck. Does he dare ask for help from someone that confuses him, scares him, sees him? Can he allow himself to get close to a man who openly expresses the feelings and desires that he tries so hard to ignore?
Gabe is perfect. An out and proud man, he sees a younger version of himself in this scared and desperate man and knows he can help. Just for a night, maybe two. Or at least until he gets on his feet. I adored Gabe. His compassion for Todd, despite a past that would put anyone on edge, made me cheer that all would go well.
One of my favorite parts is near the beginning of the story, and shows these two men well. Gabe has to go to work the morning after bringing in Todd from the cold and he leaves a frozen chicken ready to be stuck in the crock-pot to cook. First, Gabe left Todd, knowing only what Todd had told him, alone in his apartment. He showed him great trust. Todd recognized that and wanting to prove to Gabe that he is worthy of the trust, he prepares a nice chicken dinner, much better than what Gabe had expected. Todd wanted to earn that trust and Gabe gave it without strings. It might sound funny, the beginnings of love over a chicken dinner, but I saw two men who were trying.
Although Todd may start all alone that quickly changes as he is welcomed into Gabe’s life. Gabe’s friends are amazing. Tracy, the sceptic and cornerstone of this little family of friends. She is wary of Todd, but her loyalty and love for Gabe make her an ally in their lives. Peter is Gabe’s boss and mentor, but he is also his closest friend. Peter hears about Todd and pushes himself into Todd’s life. He sees a beautiful, broken yet determined man and knows that Gabe and Todd can be healing for each other. I love how they all build each other up. Peter is a joy. I loved his influence on both of these men, showing them another example of what love looks like. His approval and help move these men in the right direction.
I enjoyed the pace of this book. I loved the strength and pride these men had. And I loved the sweetness and joy that would pop up throughout the story. There was also pain and growth and wounds that had to heal. All were written seamlessly. Well done, Mr. Thomas, for giving us a great story. I enjoyed it greatly.
Reviewed by Beans
Posted on June 19, 2013, in Beans and tagged B List, Beans, Career, Coming Out, coming-of-age, Contemporary, Cooking, DSP, First Love, Friends to Lovers, Homeless, Kansas City, M/M, Older Man, Rescue, romance, Small Town. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.