Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Book Review: 'The Storm’s Gift' by A.D. Ellis

Rory is looking forward to two quiet weeks over the Christmas holidays in the dorms at his University campus where he’s the RA. Still hurting from the break-up of his long-term boyfriend, Rory is eager for two weeks of solitude, junk food and binge-watching tv shows. He hadn’t planned on being snowed in, and particularly not stranded with James, who had stayed back late to complete his final exam.
This is an interesting short story written in the first person and jumping between Rory’s perspective and James’. I’m not often a fan of the first-person story-telling, but I have to admit the author did a good job here. Switching perspectives chapter by chapter also doesn’t always work for me, but being able to see inside both Rory’s head and James’ let me feel like I had a good grasp on both characters. And for me, once I’m interested and invested in the characters it’s never a hard sell for the rest of the story.
I sympathized with Rory – after his break up and wanting some down time from the craziness of University life – and I was intrigued by James, determined to finish his exams and do his best. I had one short moment of disbelief when the professor supervising James in his last exam left due to the breaking snowstorm (none of my own professors would have ever, under any circumstances, done so) but I could easily let that small slip of reality pass and enjoy the story of two men being snowbound together and I was happy that much of the rest of the story was solidly bound in realistic terms.
I greatly enjoyed how Rory and James didn’t simply realize they were alone and instantly jump into bed (nor instantly fall in love with each other). This helped sell the realism of the story to me. I found the pacing to be really good, too. For a short story I find it’s often too easy to rush ahead and lose me as a reader, or go too slow and feel slightly short-changed in the romance department. I loved the sex scenes between the two men and found it emotionally satisfying and explicitly written.
For a short, happy and easily read quick Christmas story this ticked a lot of happy boxes for me. A “happy for now” style of ending and some deliciously hot sex sealed off a great “snowed in” style of story. A solid and fun read I really enjoyed it.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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