Best friends snowed in together. When the heat rises, will they get cold feet?
Getting snowed in at a remote cottage in Wales with someone he’d fancied for ages isn’t exactly how Sam expected to spend Christmas. His feelings for Ryan are pointless. Ryan’s straight—or so he thought.
Until now, Ryan’s kept his feelings for Sam buried. Why ruin a friendship over what might only be gay experimentation? Playing it cool seems safer, until a cold snap makes sharing body heat vital. In their Welsh safe haven, anything seems possible.
As Ryan’s reserve melts away, Sam wants more than stolen kisses under the mistletoe. But a sudden thaw means making decisions. They could face the New Year together—unless one of them gets cold feet.
To keep up with our age-old tradition I picked favorite author Jay Northcote to answer Five Awkward Questions!
What‰Ûªs your favorite curse word to say out loud?
BOLLOCKS! What can I say? I‰Ûªm a Brit. I like lots of curse words, but that‰Ûªs definitely the best. It‰Ûªs a very satisfying word to yell.
What‰Ûªs your favorite smell and a smell you loathe?
I love the smell of fresh lime. Citrus smells in general are lovely but lime is my absolute favourite. I hate the smell of fish. I like the taste of it fine, but I loathe the smell. I always have to rush past the fish counter at the supermarket.
Where is the weirdest place you‰Ûªve had sex?
In a cave on a beach in Pembrokeshire. It sounds way more romantic in theory than it was in reality. It was April and it was really cold, and stony (I should have gone on top instead of trying missionary clearly!) and over pretty quickly because we were afraid of getting caught! It was still fun though, and it‰Ûªs always good to have an amusing sex location anecdote to share in later life. Eighteen-year-old me had no idea it would come in so useful.
What‰Ûªs a sex word you would never use in one of your books‰Ûª sex scenes?
Member. Because it never fails to make me snort when I read it. I think I read ‰Û÷member‰Ûª a lot some of my early forays into erotica so it still has that teenage giggle factor for me. It‰Ûªs just not a sexy word in my opinion. I like to call a cock a cock (or a dick).
First childhood celebrity crush?
Simon Le Bon from Duran Duran (that shows my age, huh?). I actually liked John Taylor better, but my friend had claimed him as hers and I wasn‰Ûªt allowed to like him too‰ÛÓso Simon was my second choice. We were at boarding school and used to have posters of them plastered all over our cubicle walls. I remember actually kissing his poster goodnight cringes
Well, I certainly made out with a fair few posters when I was a wee lassy. (And teddy bears. And pillows. And my bed. Is that weird?) Me thinks Jay needed better friends at boarding school (oh hello, twenty more inappropriate questions I didn’t ask), because sharing means caring.
Afterwards, Sam denied he‰Ûªd started it.
He‰Ûªd been aiming for the tree behind Ryan, not at Ryan himself, he insisted. But whatever its intended target, Sam‰Ûªs snowball hit Ryan perfectly on the back of his neck, exploding on impact and sending powdery snow down the gap between beanie and jacket.
After that, mayhem ensued. Snowballs flying as they ran and ducked, laughing and trash-talking each other. They were in a small copse with a few trees and bushes for cover, but as soon as one of them ventured out in search of a new patch of snow to make missiles with, the other would take the opportunity to release a fresh barrage of snowballs.
Finally, frustrated by Sam‰Ûªs surprisingly good aim, Ryan reverted to his rugby skills and tackled Sam, knocking him full length into the snow with an ‰ÛÏOomph!‰Û Of course, Ryan went down too. But by then he was too wet and cold to care.
They were on a slope, and the impact caused them to roll together, over and over until Ryan wondered if they were going to turn into a giant snowball like characters in a cartoon. But they finally came to rest, panting and laughing as the slope levelled out.
Sam ended up pinned beneath Ryan, laughing out loud. He‰Ûªd lost his hat at some point in their tumble, and his hair was in his eyes. Snow crystals had caught in it, glinting in the sunlight. His smile was wide and infectious, and Ryan laughed too, dazzled for a moment. Then Sam‰Ûªs gaze drifted over Ryan‰Ûªs shoulder and focused on something above them.
‰ÛÏIs that mistletoe?‰Û he asked.
Ryan pushed himself up and offered a hand to Sam to help him back onto his feet. Then he tilted his head back to squint at the spherical tangle of leaves in the bare branches of the tree above them. ‰ÛÏI think so.‰Û
Ryan met Sam‰Ûªs eyes again, then realised he was still holding his hand. They each had gloves on, and Ryan wished they didn‰Ûªt. He wanted to feel Sam‰Ûªs skin. They stared at each other for a moment, and Sam licked his lips. They were pink, a little chapped from the cold, and Ryan‰Ûªs gaze locked onto them. His heart surged, and panicky heat flooded him.