Title: The Arms of Winter
Author: Donya Lynne
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Buy Link: The Arms of Winter
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Length: 123 pages
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Andrea
Review Summary: A good example of why conflict and angst are necessary in a romance. Without them, a good book can be perfectly forgettable.
Blurb: After being brutally beaten for being gay, Army sniper Sam Winter is discharged and sent home. Persecuted by his parents and uncertain about the future, it’s his best friend Cooper who shows him how perfect life can be–with him.
After spending four months recovering from a brutal beating for being gay, Sam Winter is medically discharged from the Army. At his family’s estate in Kentucky, he faces his father’s condemnation and his mother’s denial about his homosexuality. The one thing he is certain about is his feelings for his best friend, Cooper Brown, whom Sam has secretly been attracted to since high school.
For years, Cooper has harbored a secret attraction toward Sam and is finally ready to tell him. During a camping trip to their childhood stomping grounds, they open up and their friendship expands in ways neither thought possible.
However, when an explosive confrontation occurs, Sam’s and Cooper’s fates are decided in one harsh moment of truth.
Sam is returning home from an Army hospital after being nearly beaten to death when it was revealed he is gay. He is returning to a father who believes homosexuality is a sin and barely tolerates Sam. Sam’s mother spends her time crying and praying that Sam is only going through a phase. He goes home to face the condemnation of his family and to try and figure out what he is going to do with the rest of his life. The only people Sam has to depend on are his younger sister and Cooper, his best friend from high school.
Cooper and Sam are both good country boys. I liked them but neither one of them really captured my attention, they were just nice guys. I would have found them more compelling if they weren’t quite so one dimensional. I needed some flaws in them to make them feel like real people. The one thing they had going for them was the chemistry and love between them. It was obvious and it was strong and that’s what kept my interest.
If you’re looking for a sweet, uncomplicated romance with nice, likeable characters then this is the book for you. Unfortunately, that’s not my style and I found it to be perfectly fine but forgettable. I thought it was too romantic and sweet. The virgin hero theme didn’t do it for me either, too big a deal was made of it. I could understand Cooper being so astounded by it if Sam had been pining after him or waiting for love. Sam wasn’t, he just never had the opportunity to have sex. I also didn’t like that everything worked out perfectly for them and they only had very minor conflicts to overcome. I would have appreciated more emotional turmoil, more obstacles to their romance, anything to make it not so perfect.