Kaje Harper's Reviews > Sleigh Ride

Sleigh Ride by Heidi Cullinan
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really liked it
bookshelves: bdsm, comfort-reread, m-m

This is a sweet holiday-touched story about two man who are very different but in complimentary ways. Arthur is a big bear of a guy, who has been telling himself for years that he's content with having extended family to spend time with and a friendly fuck-buddy relationship at home. But when fuck-buddy Paul moves out to look for something more committed, and Arthur is alone in his home, he finds himself restless and unexpectedly lonely. Although not so lonely that he's willing to let his mother Corinna matchmake for him. He's pretty sure she has no idea what he likes in a guy, and he's more than happy to keep it that way.

Gabriel is a stellar librarian, who chose to move to a small town in the hopes of making a difference to the community. He's shy, a loner, and has never thought he was much good with relationships, or sex for that matter, so he's not looking for another one. He's a bit annoyed when one of the library board members keeps trying to fix him up. And he's definitely not interested in her rough, hairy, uncouth son. Definitely not.

This book is a love letter to librarians and books. For many of us, those golden moments spent inside the covers of a story, perhaps guided there by an understanding librarian, saved our teen souls. Gabriel uses books and storytime for the children to push his message of acceptance, of avoiding stereotyping, trying to widen the world of the children living in a very homogeneous, white-bread, straight and Christian small town. It may be a little heavy and his efforts over-successful at times, (and having had family try to find librarian jobs, I wonder at how hard he's recruited) but the basic message warms the heart.

Then there's the parallel story of Gabriel as a man who has to accept that his own desires and kinks are also okay. It's not just about teaching people that a little boy should be allowed to love a doll. It's also accepting that a good, loving person may want to be held down and called names or may enjoy rough sex and that wanting that is just as okay.

Arthur has the "what you want in bed is okay as long as it's mutual" message firmly in place. He can give Gabriel that. What he doesn't have, and needs, is the realization that emotional connection is what makes smokin' hot, dirty sex, into something more. His falling for Gabriel happens a bit fast, but it's a lot of fun to watch. There are little touches of humor, and a sweet ending. I hope that Paul, the third bear, gets his story eventually too.
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Reading Progress

September 18, 2014 – Shelved
September 18, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
November 13, 2014 – Started Reading
November 22, 2014 – Shelved as: bdsm
November 22, 2014 – Shelved as: comfort-reread
November 22, 2014 – Shelved as: m-m
November 22, 2014 – Finished Reading

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