Title: The Boy Who Came In From The Cold
Author: B.G. Thomas
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Buy Link: The Boy Who Came in from the Cold, Dreamspinner
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Rating: 5 stars
A Guest Review by Sammy
Review Summary: A novel that travels beyond the idea of a “good samaritan” and revels in the idea that to “pay it forward” is much more than a quaint cliche.
Blurb: Todd Burton has had enough of small-town Buckman. His abusive stepfather calls him a fag; his friend Austin makes him realize he may be gay, but Todd doesn’t want to admit his stepfather is right; and he dreams of being a chef. Three good reasons to flee his hometown and pursue greener pastures. But when Todd reaches the big city, his luck runs dry. Soon he can’t pay his rent and gets evicted. In the middle of a snowstorm.
Gabe Richards is a wealthy businessman with enough wounds of his own to make him afraid of ever being intimate again. But when he sees Todd outside his building, freezing to death, he takes pity on him and takes him in from the cold.
To their mutual surprise, Todd and Gabe find themselves drawn to each other. “One night” turns into a week. Maybe letting a man in from the cold can melt the ice around Gabe’s heart—and maybe getting evicted will turn Todd’s luck around.
Review: “But please remember this also, if nothing else. Remember the words of Albert Einstein: ‘There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.’”
I will admit that I did not set out thinking this novel was going to be a five star read. I was worried, you see, worried that it might be a story based on some old tired cliche. You know, we’ve all read them: abused small town boy comes to the city with big dreams only to have them dashed…homeless, he finds a truer than life good samaritan and they fall hopelessly in love.
So, you see, I was totally unprepared for this novel, The Boy Who Came In From The Cold by B.G. Thomas. It was far from tired, and certainly no fulfilled cliche. Instead, it was poetry. A lyrical dance that carried me far beyond the story into the heart and mind of its heroes.
Yes, this novel was, at its heart, a lesson in how when a person decides to give back–to “pay forward” some of the charity that had been shown to them in their past, they will actually reap more. And, yes, at its core, it held the hint of a good samaritan parable; one man reaching out to help a stranger, to lighten his load and care for him in his need. But, you see, this story was so much more than that.
B. G. Thomas takes us on a journey. He goes inside the mind of a young man who has denied who he is for most of his life. Fighting back years of abusive behavior from his stepfather and the heartbreak of a weak and uncaring mother, Todd Burton has more, much more to fight than the cold and his poverty. He has to fight the man within who cannot allow himself to be what he is…a man who is attracted to other men…a boy who has repeatedly fought off the the idea that he could be gay.
However, that is not what made this story uniquely different. Please, I do not mean for this to sound unkind or cast aspersions on other stories that may have a similar themes, but what sets this author’s novel apart is how very intelligently it is written. B.G. Thomas takes what is an admittedly tried and oft told story line and infuses it with provocative language and characters that push against the stereotype.
Todd and Gabe don’t “fall in love”. Instead, they fight against it with almost every breath. One because he must deny who he truly is and the other because he has made the mistake of “saving” someone before and painfully lost his heart in the process. The author keeps us on the edge of our seat waiting for Todd to run away again, for Gabe to place yet another brick in the wall he has built around himself. Along the way, he tosses in quotes from notable sources juxtaposed against his own clever prose to remind us of our own frail humanity.
The Boy Who Came In From The Cold does not just encourage us to keep an eye out for the one who is in need, it reminds us that we all will at one time or another be that man in need. This story makes the bold move to believe there is hope in a jaded world of where men and women fight for basic rights; that there is within us the ability to be a “good samaritan”, if we only take the risk.
I highly recommend The Boy Who Came In From The Cold by B.G. Thomas. It is a five star read!