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The Winter Quarters

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  60 ratings  ·  38 reviews

Snow, steam, and a second chance.

Reluctant socialite Kai has thirty-five days before his family starts shooting the next season of their reality TV show, revealing a life he’d rather keep private—and one that feels increasingly scripted. Desperately needing a break, Kai escapes to his childhood best friend Hiro Asada’s inn in rural Japan. He finds peace in the thousand-yea

Kindle Edition, Dreamspun Desires #92, 268 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
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Average rating 4.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  60 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to destiny ♡⚔♡ by: Laura
This was honestly one of THE sweetest, best romances I've read in a very long time and probably THE best friends-to-lovers I've ever seen. *swoon* I'll review this when I have time to properly put all of my gushing feelings into words. ...more
First off, I'm late with this review. Secondly, I know next to nothing about Japan and its culture, so I cannot speak to the accuracy of the descriptions within this book. However, the pictures the author painted with her words were breath-taking.

Kai Ledging is a reality TV star, participating in a show that stars his mother. He's unhappy with his role, with his fake boyfriend, with his life, but he feels that he owes it to his mother to put on a happy face, for the woman has clawed her way from
Thank you very much to Anna Veriani for providing a review copy of her novel in exchange for an honest review.

The Winter Quarters is the soft, feel-good queer romance I’ve been waiting for! I laughed, I cried, and I smiled like an absolute loon because this story and these characters touched me so deeply.

Kai Ledging is a reality TV star who hates everything about his life: from his fake boyfriend, to the cameras constantly in his face, to paparazzi that stalk him. But he forces himself through i
Serena Yates
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay, read-2019
While not explicitly holiday themed, this story takes place in winter and Christmas does play a role, even if more as a “deadline” for the main characters to decide what to do about their confusing feelings of friendship versus romantic love. The setting is mostly a secluded inn in rural Western Japan, which I found charming as well as interesting. Japanese culture and expectations clash with American ideas, Kai’s public persona is in direct conflict with what he really wants, and Hiro struggles ...more
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite the grim, disillusioned countenance of the young man on the cover, ‘The Winter Quarters’ is a hopeless romantic novel played out over two continents, filled with both wonderful and evil characters, and, of course, with the requisite more than satisfying conclusion.

A highly recommended, must read choice.
Valeen Robertson (Live Thru Books Blog)

Kai hates his life in front of "reality" cameras that follow him and his mom around for their reality show. He's been carrying a torch for his childhood bestie forever, so when he figures out a way to escape the cameras, he heads straight to Japan where Hiro runs a traditional Japanese inn. Hiro's straight, though, and expected by his parents to marry a woman who will help him run the family business. Except is he really straight? Perhaps he and Kai are more alike than Kai had realized.

I loved T
Pixie Mmgoodbookreviews
Reviewed by Prime for MM Good Book Reviews 3 1/2 💖💖💖💖 Hearts

The Winter Quarters is a standalone Holiday novel by Anna Veriani for Dreamspun Desires. Veriani is a new author for me, however, reading the blurb I saw the sweetness that I’ve come to expect from Dreamspun Desires so I was keen to give this a go.

Kai is a reluctant socialite to say the least. His family have a reality TV show that is somewhat comparable to Keeping Up With the Kardashians where his mother is the self-proclaimed matriar
Apr 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
All about Kai trying to escape the horror that is reality TV.
His escape to Japan and Hiro gave me some good excuses to google lots about Japanese life.
The story does take liberties by assuming same sex marriage is allowed, though even then Hiro has trouble convincing his family their in can be run by two men.
Kai’s mum comes good in the end but still lives in that make believe world - one thing that does give us is the madness of how contrived reality tv is (as if we didn’t know!!)
Lone Wolf
I can't stop reading this. I must be on my third re-read by now. I can't believe that there's no more Japanese/other East Asian M/M fiction out there. This author is a gift from God. I wish that there were more stories like this, but until then, I'll just keep swimming re-reading... ...more
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
the whole time i couldn’t stop thinking about that meme of an old lady saying ‘they seem to be very good friends’
song: soldier, poet, king by the oh hellos
Deeply unsatisfied with his life but feeling immense guilt for his dissatisfaction, Kai seeks escape. It's a good thing his best friend is exactly what his soul needs to find peace and rest. But Hiro isn't just his best friend, he's also the love of his life. For one month he can hold his attraction at bay to find solace, right? Well when that solace combines with finding the place your home was always meant to be, all that's left is for his love to be returned. Good thing Hiro has a couple secr ...more
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was lovely and sweet and a feel good romance that I really needed to read.

Kai Ledging is a reluctant reality tv star who really dislikes how fake his life is. TV cameras in his face all the time recording everything from his fake joy at being a reality start to his fake apartment to his fake fights to his OH SO FAKE boyfriend - who also happens to be a douche and straight. But the reality show is his mom's baby and he's never been able to say no to her, not when she sacrificed everythi
Nov 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bbj, arc

The Winter Quarters by Anna Veriani is a standalone book. Kai is half of the famous pair Kimi and Kai. Kimi is his mother who rose to popularity, gaining fame, fortune and a reality TV show by designing clothes. While Kimi enjoys the fame, Kai would rather be left alone. One day he hops on a plane and ends up in Japan. What’s in Japan? His best friend and hot springs heir, Hiro Asada. Kai wants peace and quiet away from his adoring fans but he also wants Hiro. Hiro must marry soon to inherit t
Shannon Tolen
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Winter Quarters by Anna Veriani is such an adorable and sweet friends to lovers story! Kai, a reality TV star (all be it reluctantly), is tired of his "fake life" he lives to please his family. Kai ends up ditching his security one day and heading to his best friend's place, The Asada Inn in Japan. Kai and Hiro have been best friends since childhood, and despite their distance, they make sure to spend time together. But over the years, Kai has developed a crush on his best friend, despite th ...more
Sep 18, 2019 added it
The Winter Quarters is quite a vibrant tale of two soul-mates who see no way to be together. The imagery was totally captivating. I’ve never been to Japan, but I really feel like I learned a lot about the culture and the Japanese people after reading this book.

I loved both of the MCS. There is some miscommunication between the two of them, and a little angst, but they also give a window into a different culture and I found the dynamics between Hiro and Kai both interesting and sweet. Hiro is se
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The chemistry between Kai and Hiro was undeniable and pulled me right into the book from page one. I read this in one sitting and couldn’t put it down. The setting was gorgeous and the family fun, but I just had to know how Kai and Hiro’s love would unfold.

I’ll admit - it initially gave me strong Yuri on Ice vibes, but that’s only because of the Japanese inn. So really it’s completely different!

I highly recommend this book. In my opinion, it’s a classic romance. A little angsty, a lot of longin
I was swept away in this charming romance all the way to Japan. It was in a centuries old inn that two friends took my heart on a journey through the customs and culture of Japan. It was also there that these two men finally lost their hearts.

I fell in love with the landscape described, and found myself falling for the Asada family, especially the matriarch, whose family had run this inn for nearly a millennia. The world the author painted was exquisite, even in its simplicity.

The main charact
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
I really enjoyed this. God, I felt so bad for Kai, it seems his whole life he has been doing what his mother wanted and has not been happy with his life in a long time. I love how he and Hiro have stayed such great friends over the years even with the distance between them. I hated seeing them struggle with their feeling for each other and how to make their lives work together. Hiro and his family are wonderful and I loved watching all of them together and supporting each other. I guess Kai’s mo ...more
Ilona Ahrens
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
what an amazing book!
Anna Veriani takes us on a journey to rural Japan in the best way possible. You cannot help but feel the warm water of the onsen, see the beautiful interior of the Asada Ryokan and feel Kai´s and Hiro´s struggle and hesitations from a life long friendship to a relationship with the way the author describes all that.
Her storytelling combines contemporary romance with japanese traditions in an absolutely beautiful way.
I was absolutely amazed to find out this was a debut novel
Mim  Crenshaw
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really think was a 4.5stars for me. The difference in the culture was a big plus that kept me intrigued and engrossed in Hiro and Kai's story. The storyline was was beautiful and brilliantly written. I give the author praise for making understand the cultural differences and issues that had been holding these two back and apart. The characters themselves had great depth but also a light playfulness that came across in their interactions. This was a great read, and I cant wait for more from thi ...more
Kathryn Manzella
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Winter Quarters by Anna Veriani is a  contemporary holiday m/m romance that has me feeling all these feels. Two friends who discover a mutual love burns between them, face the obstacles that come when your true love lives such a drastically different life so far from you. Can their lives merge? what sacrifices will they make? Watching them worry, fight, lose faith, grasp hope.... I felt them, felt for them. Kai and Hiro are beautiful together and I needed them to get to a Happily Ever After. ...more
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was so sweet and made me feel so good!
Kai and Hiro have been friends for allof their lives and secretly in love with each others for many years. Their life circumstances seem to conspire against them being together, but true love always wins. There are some moments in the book that are as over the top as you may expect from Kai's reality show.
This was a huge cultural shock for me: I have always been fascinated by Japanese culture, but I don't know much about it, so I had to look up ma
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Winter Quarters by Anna Veriani. I loved this book! So different than most story’s I’ve read. I felt like I was learning about the Japanese culture, the country of Japan and being entertained at the same time while reading this book. The characters are fantastic, I loved them all! The story is wonderful! This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I will be definitely be looking for more from this author.
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Amazing! That's the only word coming to mind. From the very first pages, the tension and all emotions between Kai and Hiro were so close to the surface, it was ming boggling.
The story placed in beautiful surroundings, which author has presented perfectly without overwhelming the book with long descriptions. You get the feel of the land but the main focus is on the MCs. And what a focus it is! Loved the feelings, loved the ups and downs!
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a new author to me, and I absolutely loved this introduction to her work. The characters and settings are wonderful. Kai and Hiro are so obviously meant to be together, but there are so many obstacles in their way I wasn't sure how they could possibly find an HEA. Beautiful, heartfelt story, and I will definitely be on the lookout for more books from this author.

I received a complimentary review copy and voluntarily leave this honest review.
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
What can I say other than, Awww, about these sweet guys, childhood friends to lovers and second chances story.

Hiro and Kai are so cute together looking out for their friendship but both wanting more added tension which slow revealed their hidden feelings over the course of the book. The look at Japanese culture was informative and added another layer to the story.

I really enjoyed this one.
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a lovely friends to lovers read following life long friends Kai & Hiro.
Separated when Hiro moved back home to Japan and Kai stayed in the US, trapped in his role in his mum's reality show. This separation doesn't change the way they secretly feel about each other so when Kai runs from the show to Japan, Hiro offers him the support he desperately needs. This story features lots of traditional Japanese culture, which was a new aspect for me.
Joscelyn Smith
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hiro and Kai were great characters and I enjoyed going along with them as they dealt with the pressures and expectations from their families. It's a great addition to the Dreamspun Desires collection, I can always count on a happy ending with these books.

*I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book*
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this sweet romance. Kai and Hiro have been friends for allof their lives and secretly in love with each others for many years. They face many obstacles before they can be together. Can they overcome these problems and find a way to be together?
I enjoyed their journey to their HEA!
Patricia Nelson
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a fantastic, sweet, fascinating, poignant, engaging, endearing, charming, beautiful, slow burning, totally awesome, fresh, and delightfully different twist on the standard GFY/friends-to-lovers storyline. Set in Japan, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this new-to-me author, and I can't wait to see what happens next. ...more
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Anna Veriani was born with a deep love of queer lit and .99¢ New York pizza slices. After graduating from NYU with a degree in East Asian Studies, she set sail for Ishikawa, Japan. Now she spends her days writing by the river and dreaming of opening an expat pizzeria.

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