Silver Publishing, 2010
Paul Stanton thought he had it all, a great job, a beautiful condo and a stable relationship with his soul mate. When his lover dumps him for another man, Paul is forced to rethink his life. He visits his childhood home in rural Pennsylvania rather than spend the holidays alone in San Francisco. But only a few days with his family is enough to convince him that you can't go home again.
Paul leaves for the airport in the midst of a snowstorm. Stranded in the woodlands, a chance meeting between him and a hunter is his only option for survival. He knows the type. A backwoods bigot like the men he grew up with. But what choice does he have? A few days with the Mountain Man convinces Paul there's more to Andy Reynolds than meets the eye. But is it enough to bind two men who have nothing in common except their sex?
Genre & Keywords:
M/M, Contemporary, Opposites attract
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 2 out of 3 flames
Why I read it:
I received a review copy from the author
Silent Knights starts promising. Paul Stanton is on his way to the airport after a visit to his family in rural Pennsylvania. We’re following his thoughts and learn about his, not so joyful, relationship with his parents and his recent breakup with his boyfriend Craig. The description of the snowstorm he’s in, is vivid and you know something is going to happen. And yes, a tree nearly crushes him and he has to leave his car.
Then we switch to Andy Reynolds. He’s hunting in the woods until the storm makes it impossible to see tracks in the snow and he decides to return to his cabin. Riding his ATV he suddenly sees a figure on the road – Paul – and avoiding a crash he steers his ATV to the side and before he knows it, he’s heading for a tree and lying face down in the snow. So far we haven’t learned much about Andy’s background, but when Paul comes to his ‘rescue’ we learn all about Andy’s gruff side. He feels an immediate attraction to Paul, but still manages to snap at him.
This nice set-up leads to the two men being condemned to each other's company until the snowstorm passes. And once they’re back at Andy’s cabin we know that Paul feels attracted to Andy as well. Only neither of the two men wants to feel the attraction. So, an odd play of push-and-pull starts, accompanied by phrases in italic silently exclaiming ‘What a dick’ the other man is, or just to ‘Fuck him’. They’re dancing around each other while having an awkward dialogue, of which I’m not sure that it was meant to be that way. It’s obvious that they are from different worlds: Paul being a city guy, Andy the mountain man.
And then this slips into their conversation:
“"I just asked where you buy all this great take-out you mentioned." [Andy]
"I live in San Francisco.” [Paul]
Andy's eyebrows shot skyward. Okay, now the proverbial cat was out of the bag. If Andy hadn't already pegged him as gay, he knew it now for sure. He waited for Andy to make some disparaging remark about faggots.”
And there I had one of the ‘huh?’ moments I started to have progressively. So, there are no straight guys in SF? None at all?
When Andy keeps his mouth shut, it causes Paul to fantasize about him in an erotic way. And then it’s bed time and I experienced another ‘huh?’ moment when we get treated to a detailed erotic dream from Paul. Not about him having sex with Andy. No, about him having sex with his ex-lover Craig! And with detailed, I mean detailed, going on for pages... And to be honest, I can hardly understand why Paul’s thoughts about missing Craig and feeling empty without him, had to follow this dream, on top of this all.
These and other examples didn’t make Paul a great hero for me. And it was hard for me to feel connected with this couple at all. In the beginning it’s kind of a riddle what they see in each other, except for the fact that their c*cks seemed to like what was in front of them. Additionally I thought that the absence of some sort of gay radar and the continuing wondering about the sexuality of the other man was dragged out a bit too long as well. I jumped for joy when they – finally – got to the smexy time together, which started with a hot kiss.
Eventually, after some hot smexing and when the snowstorm is over, Paul returns to San Francisco. And then the story gets another twist, which involves the ex-lover Craig. I liked this extra dimension to the book – which could’ve easily ended before Paul left – because it sort of surprised me and made Paul’s attraction to Andy a little bit more insightful. I’m glad the author didn’t settle for an easy, early ending but continued the story.
Another thing I enjoyed is that Andy knows what he wants and doesn’t unnecessarily complicate things. It’s good when at least one of the heroes is vigorous and ready to take certain steps without having his ex making things clear. It makes the HEA the more convincing in the end.
Overall, I enjoyed Silent Knights as a nice quick read, with which I spent a few hot hours on a cold night, while cuddled up in the corner of the couch with a warm blanket.
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