Title: Mr. Frosty Pants
Author: Leta Blake
Series: Home for the Holidays #1
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: 11/7/2018
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance, M/M YA/NA, M/M Coming Out, Holiday Romance
Page Count: 273
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
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 romantically steamy scenes.
Mr. Frosty Pants is an enjoyable holiday romance that features childhood friends who lost touch over the years when one left for college. This friends to lovers story was really well done in terms of capturing that binding connection between friends, even when separated by distance and circumstance.
I enjoyed the plot set-up of Casey returning to his childhood hometown for the holiday season and trying to reconnect with his former best friend. The story and characters were well developed and the romance blossomed naturally. There was good chemistry evident throughout the book- a requisite for any successful friends-to lovers romance- which ensured I never questioned Joel and Casey as a couple. I also liked the secondary characters and the roles they played in propelling the relationship…so much so that I found myself relieved this was the start of a series and hoping we stay with this group of friends in the future. And yet I found this one a little more difficult to settle into. Despite liking Casey and Joel on the surface, neither character really drew me in nor was I as invested in their story as I’d like. I also found the angst in this one a bit exhausting- a little like that tortuous young adult angst that can wear on you. While the aspects of the angst and conflicts that rose as a result made sense given the characters and storyline, it was repetitive and pulled some of the joy from the book and romance. In the end it felt a bit like a roller coaster- some joy, sweetness, and chemistry tempered with suffering and self-doubt.
Overall, Mr. Frosty Pants ended up being both a hit and miss with me. I liked many elements of this standalone novel, but it took a while to really hook me and I never really got many of those sustained holiday fuzzies I look for in this genre. This is definitely best suited for those readers who want some holiday warmth without giving up the angst.