We used to be best friends. Now we’re snowed in together.
There are probably worse things than being stuck in a remote cabin with the rugged-yet-grumpy forest ranger who saved my life in a blizzard. Bear maulings, for example, though I might prefer that to eating breakfast with Gideon Bell, the guy who nearly ruined my life when we were kids.
It was twenty years ago. We haven’t spoken since. Our families still hate each other, and our lives are completely different. I’m not sure we’ve got anything in common besides childhood memories.
But when it’s just the two of us for a couple of weeks, none of that really matters.
What matters is the way Gideon grumbles, but makes my tea exactly the way I like it. What matters is how he always gives me the spot on the couch closest to the fireplace. What matters is how he looks at me when he thinks I’m not paying attention.
And those childhood memories? He’s in all my favorites.
Up here, in the cabin, it’s easy to look past all that because it feels so good to kiss him. It’s easy to spend a wild night in front of the fireplace and wake up still wrapped together. But back in the real world, where everything that drove us apart is still alive and kicking? It’s a lot harder.
Can Gideon and I fix what broke twenty years ago, or does what happens in the cabin have to stay in the cabin?
Andi and Gideon were the best of friends as children. They were inseparable and did everything together, complementing one another perfectly. She was the daredevil always leading him on another adventure while he was the responsible one who always made sure they found their way home in one piece. Despite growing up without a mom, since she died when Andi was a baby, her childhood was happy and carefree with her beloved dad and Uncle Rick. Gideon’s life wasn’t as rosy. His religious extremist parents are controlling, abusive and really warped their children in a lot of ways. As the oldest, Gideon was forced to care for her seemingly endless line of younger siblings before he was even old enough to properly care for himself. He knew his family wasn’t like everyone else, but he didn’t realize just how different they were until his parents’ hateful beliefs blew up his young life.
He made a mistake as a kid and two decades later, he still can’t forgive himself. He’s come a long way, resisting his parents’ religion now that he can see it for what it is and is conscious of all the damage they’ve done. Ever the peacekeeper, he expends a significant amount of energy trying to steady the ship whenever anyone or anything rocks the boat. That means he regularly interacts with his awful parents and the unfortunate siblings who subscribe to the same life as well as other siblings who are now estranged from the others.
Their friendship ended abruptly when Andi’s family moved away, and it was tough for both of them. The move turned her world upside down and broke his heart in more than one way but over the years, they’ve thought of one another often. Fate pushes them together on a cold winter’s night and when they’re trapped in a remote cabin during a huge snowstorm, the former friends eventually face their past. Once the most awkward parts are out of the way, they pretty much pick up where they left off as BFFs and it soon leads to more.
I really liked the characters and all the complexities of their history. Gideon’s family and upbringing have fundamentally shaped the man he is today, and he has a lot of baggage to deal with, but he wants to change. Andi is just realizing how bad her friend had it back then and wants to be there for him now the way she wasn’t then. They’re sweet together and so perfect for each other so this was a fun ride. I enjoyed watching them find a balance together again after being separated for so long. They’re sweet and steamy with plenty of angst but there’s plenty of humor to balance it well. Gideon is a sweetheart and Andi’s a tornado in his calm, carefully curated life, but she’s exactly what he needs. I’d like to thank the author for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.