Release Reviews: Snowblind: Eli Easton

Eli Easton

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Release Date March 1, 2017
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Snow, steam, and secrets.

The latest snowstorm carries something unexpected to the doorstep of Hutch’s secluded Alaskan cabin: a stranger named Jude, the most beautiful man Hutch has ever seen. Jude says he’s in the area for a ski trip and that he fled a domineering lover, thinking he could make it into town. But Hutch is a suspicious SOB and treats his unwanted guest warily. The problem is Jude isn’t just gorgeous, he’s funny and smart and flirtatious.

Two gay men snowed in for three days—things happen. Really good things. By the time the storm clears, Hutch finds himself a little too attached to Jude Devereaux, San Francisco-based male model. But is Jude what he claims to be? Or is he entangled in the secrets Hutch moved to Alaska to escape?

The fact that I have a little experience with both titles in Dreamspinner Press’s Dreamspun Desires series and books written by Eli Easton, I had a pretty good idea in mind for what to expect when I picked up Snowblind: a fluffy, sweet, feel-good romance with a little angst (realistic angst too, because Eli Easton always gives me that). Then, 28% of the way in the story, the surprise happened. It turned the story on its head, turned it into something I was in no way expecting. And it was a good thing.

The story starts with a nearly frozen stranger named Jude appearing at Hutch’s secluded cabin at the onset of a blizzard. Jude claims to be on a ski vacation but needed to escape from his domineering boyfriend, but the past Hutch is running from fills him with distrust, leaving him incapable of believing that someone as interesting and hot as Jude—he is a male model, after all—could be interested in him, despite the fact that Jude’s not being subtle in his flirting. Three days of blizzard where Hutch slowly lets his guard down and lets himself believe that maybe there could be a future with Jude…

And that’s when we get the twist. While I don’t think that knowing the twist beforehand would have kept me from reading the story, I’m still only going to hint at it because it’s just too good a surprise that you should experience it for yourself. What I will say is there is plenty of suspense, danger, secrets, and intrigue. And gunfire, and perhaps a double-cross… but you didn’t hear that from me.

There’s also a great happily-ever-after. But for me, it was a little bittersweet, because as good a pairing as I think this is, I really wanted to feel it more. There’s plenty of kissing and good sex scenes, things I expect when I’m reading an Eli Easton novel, but remember that I said the twist was at 28%? Basically the entire relationship-building portion of the novel happens in that first chunk. After that, it’s like a completely different story involving the guys. I definitely enjoyed both facets of the story, but I would have loved more in the front half to get my feelings up to a good place before the story turned.

That being said, I still recommend Snowblind because it really is a good read. I truly appreciate when authors whose work I’ve grown to love take me for an unexpected ride, and Eli Easton definitely did that for me with this title. And even though there’s plenty of excitement in the novel, it fit well in the Dreamspun Desires series because it was still an easy and fast read. More than the others I’ve read, though, this one kept me turning pages because I couldn’t wait to see how it ended.

The author and/or publisher generously provided me a complimentary copy of Snowblind in exchange for this fair and honest review.
This book was not what I expected at all, but in a good and surprising way. I figured it would be a sexy, romantic, winter love story with a snowy backdrop, but it definitely had some surprises, suspense, and drama. 

Hutch is a broody loner who stays holed up in an isolated Alaska cabin when he is not out working emergency ski patrol. He's an ex Marine, untrusting, and paranoid. His past has taught him to be wary and he takes it seriously.

When Jude lands on is doorstep in the middle of a storm, he reluctantly takes him in. And Jude begins to remove any doubts Hutch may have had about how Jude ended up at his cabin. Jude is smart, witty, flirty, and talkative. He's is a male model from California, so different from the alpha, moody Hutch. They have days to spend getting to know each other, and explore their simmering attraction. They have chemistry and a fun rapport. But there is also an end date looming ahead. 

Their lives are complicated and sometimes choices are taken away. Trust is difficult to gain and maintain. There are circumstances beyond their control and a lot at stake. It is full of tension, passion, suspense, turmoil, and difficult challenges. They will have to take a chance and believe in each other to overcome their situation. And it is not going to be easy to succeed.

This story had some definite twists, turns, and excitement. It is hard to say much without posting spoilers. It really was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it. It was told mostly in Hutch's point of view until about halfway where we begin getting Jude's too. I liked both of the male leads. They were likable, different, and had interesting back stories. I loved them together and how their relationship evolved and fluctuated in intensity.

This was quite and adventure with a lot of layers. It went in directions I did not expect, but that is what I really liked about it. I love it when a book surprises me, and this one definitely took me for an interesting  ride.

I was gifted an arc in exchange for an honest review. 
Eli Easton
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Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a game designer, an organic farmer, an avid hiker, and a profound sleeper, Eli is happily embarking on yet another incarnation as a m/m romance author.

As an addicted reader of such, she is tinkled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, three bulldogs, three cows and six chickens. All of them (except for the husband) are female, hence explaining the naked men that have taken up residence in her latest fiction writing.


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