This book was okay. Nothing great but nothing so glaring it earns a bad review. It’s you typical first-time romance. Boy meets boy everything’s happy. Fluffy kind of tale. It’s a bit of a slow burn but it unveils fast enough for me to not be completely annoyed by it. It just didn’t lift from the page. Even the adult scene didn’t scream steam. It felt very niche and the only niche I came into this expecting was the age gap. I’m not sure it hit twenty years either so it wasn’t age-gapy enough. Maybe I’m weird but if you’re still young enough for people not to be surprised you have a younger sibling you’re still not quite old enough to be age gap worthy. I honestly start at eighteen as a minimum so if one person is 20 the other is 38 now that’s significant as far as gaps go. Also, I found it odd for a college-age boy like Carter to say someone is grown and living on his own. Living on his own maybe but Grown? He’s college age. Surely he’s at a maturity level enough to consider himself at least New Adult if not a fully-fledged one.
There’s a whole lot of crying going on in the second two chapters. Almost like there’s no way to be emotionally invested in a situation without tears. There are definitely moments that are tear-worthy in the book but I found the first two or so would’ve been better handled with a much deeper worded/experienced connection that went beyond tears.
What kept this book interesting was the steamy side remarks in the internal dialogues. It was all sorts of fun. Also, I’m a sucker for interracial romance. That coupled with the fact that after they finally give in there’s more book. A lot of these short stories build up to something then walk away like the side characters weren’t invested and it would’ve sucked to wake up after the fact or not even wake up, just end it there after all this buildup and completely skirt over the fact Christmas hasn’t happened yet.
My other gripe is the whole virginal thing. Unless it’s a fantasy novel or part of some sacred ritual the whole untouched thing almost always makes me think there’s some magical thing that makes them better but what does that say about the one pursuing them. Are they less ‘better’ because they aren’t virgins? After all, what goes for one should go for the other right?
Also, I couldn’t really get involved in the bit about what happens after the two weeks. Sigh. Like who cares. If you last, you last and if you don’t, you don’t. Why not attack it like it really did mean something. It’s always the someone this hot couldn’t really be into me angle. That’s nice for a while, or a bit of slow burn. But when it happens after the fact it’s almost like do they have to marry you for you to see it. Just accept they are into you and if you’re wrong, whatever. Life happens it won’t always be perfect. Also, I definitely would’ve been more on board with the snowstorm actually happening. That whole plot device was unnecessary. I rolled my eyes through that whole reveal section. Also, the brother not coming out with the fact he’s dating is almost making me think he’s secretly gay and there’s a part two happening. This happens often enough I’m starting to wonder after reading enough of these books are the parents the only straight people that exist in these worlds.
All of this to say this was definitely a light fun read. If it was absolutely all steam without the subplot bits or they were written a bit less cliche this would’ve been five stars easy. I’m usually fairly annoyed by how the relationships progress in these quick reads but I enjoyed this one. Even if not enough to think it was amazing.
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