My first piece of advice? Ignore the cover. While the house on Hancock hill started this whole debacle and technically ended it all, it hardly contributed to the overall story line of this novel. This is a years old romance of unrequited love between one really stressed baker and a very patient vet.
As with every story, there was good and there was bad. There was also issues and places that I hoped could be elaborated upon. This small town is not like most I read about, especially with their accepting nature. As such, I would have hoped that the majority of this story would have taken place in this town. We traveled a lot, but at the end of the day, I just wanted to come home to the UP :)
A vast amount of emphasis was placed on the scenery, appearance and food elements within this story. We were given detailed and precise descriptions from the beaches to the cheesecakes. I am actually surprised, that Ms. Vaughn isn't a part time pastry chef, with the amount of details placed into the pastry side of this novel. Also, I must commend the fact that it was done without boring me to death!
My favourite character is Jay. He was funny, witty, honest and had issues a mile long! I, however, love a confident gay dude and he was just that. While I don't think I have a specific type, I know that I love the ones who remain manly, but with a touch of sass. I am not particularly a fan of those who are an eyeliner away from being a female. Then again, I loved 'Plan B' by SJD Peterson, so I digress.
Jason narrated this story well and while the sex scenes were nothing to write home about, I was comfortable, engaged and ready for his next adventure. I also like the reality of the small town life before and after his departure. What I would have liked, is some more depth into the Taylor situation. I got the nod, to the end of the novel, but it was also handled a little too nonchalant in my opinion.
I don't know Henry like we could have and I certainly know more about Jay than I do him, but I loved his character nonetheless. Truthfully, you can't not. I also like his views on M/M vs M/F relationships and sex. It was truthful, for me at least, and reflected what most of us think and accept.
This story ended with a few loose ends and on the cusp of the beginning of some long overdue issues and resolutions. I can't however, call this book bad nor magnificent. It was in between. It's not a bad book, it's another 'comfort read' and while it never left me excited, it left me content. Maybe it's reading about all that snow, sweets and sleeping o.O
As for heat factor? It was almost as cold as the winters in the UP. While I was aware, interested and following the story, the sex scenes were pretty basic and didn't pack much steam or a punch. The major conflict wasn't even that. It was just a big misunderstanding and miscommunication on Henry's part.
I love the revolving door of gay men and the comfort with which they all traversed this novel. There was nothing obvious to single out their sexuality. They had the caring job, the wall street office and the looking unnecessary degree. There wasn't even gay clubbing! I believe that stories with openly gay men make for better fiction than the ones on the DL. It takes away the cliche main problem and give us it's own unique stamp of a story. That's what I got.
The whole cast of this story is crazy, confused and interesting. This can be a one sitting read that focuses more on the past, present and future than it did the times spent between the sheets. At times, I even forgot that I was reading a M/M romance. This is a good book with a steady cast of characters and possibilities. Take a look, you are bound to at least leave with a recipe tweak or two.