Winter’s Gift by Sean Michael

Winter’s Gift by Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (82 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Fern

Badly disfigured, Geoff lives alone in the woods with only his wolf as companion. It’s a solitary life, but one he is comfortable with. When he discovers a fairy with an injured wing at the beginning of winter, his whole ordered world is turned upside down. But will Mauve be horrified by his rescuer’s visage? Or can the fairy look beyond the scars and see into Geoff’s heart?

Geoff is out hunting game, needing to stock up on supplies as winter is coming. When Geoff’s wolf finds a wounded woodland spirit Geoff knows he has to rescue the damaged man. The spirit’s wings are deceptively thin and one of them is broken. Knowing he couldn’t leave any creature in need to the harsh elements of the woods, Geoff carries the fairy-man home. After doing what he could to mend his new guest, Geoff sets about to warming his log-house and cooking some stew. Mauve woke up in pain and disoriented; confused, as he’d been taught not to trust humans. But with his damaged wing and winter steadily bearing in, Mauve realizes he needs Geoff’s hospitality. And Geoff figures the woods brought him this fairy for a reason, and he has all winter to figure it out.

This is a lovely story, rather like tales my grandmother used to tell me, full of wild woods, animals that act like familiars and all sorts of magical creatures. Of course, it’s rather sexier than anything I recall from my childhood – but that just added to my enjoyment! I really enjoyed how the timing and place of this story could be almost anywhere, anytime. While not contemporary, whether this is historical, an alternate earth or just a fable is left vague, and I have found myself numerous times after finishing my first read through of it pondering this. I have to assume the author has left that open for interpretation on purpose, and I find that a masterful stroke. This is a story about a man and a fairy, thrown together by circumstances and Father Winter. Geoff and Mauve come together and learn about themselves and each other.

I loved watching Mauve and Geoff bond and build their relationship. They learn about not only each other but the pleasure they could share. The pacing of the whole story was something I found particularly perfect. Geoff and Mauve learned about each other physically and sexually, but I really enjoyed their talks about the differences in their lives, their cultures. They connected on many levels and this made the sex even sweeter – and hotter – for me. Toward the end I was terrified the ending wouldn’t be all I hoped, but I was completely proven wrong – it was even better than I imagined it. I can’t believe even the most die-hard of romance readers being disappointed. This is a sweet, hot, lovely old-style tale and I can’t wait to reread it.

A wonderful, magical read.

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