Winter Hearts by Fyn Alexander

Fyn Alexander is back with a new release titled Winter Hearts. I became familiar with this author a few years back when I stumbled upon the series, The Angel and the Assassin. A series that I absolutely love and have read more than once. I immediately started looking for more books by this author because the writing style, the emotion the characters portray, the hot sex (of course) and the storylines were all something that I connect with and feel pulled towards when reading.
A lot of her characters also have a tendency to lean towards one being the more alpha male while the other takes on more submissive qualities.Another facet that I like in my stories. Winter Hearts has all of the things that I have mentioned plus much more that had me reading from start to finish without stopping.
The story and setting take place in 1881 in the Dakota Territory. Winter has set in hard, which meant very few people left the area or came into it either. Most of the town’s folk rented rooms and stayed close to town. Trains had come to a complete stop, due to the weather, therefore leaving most people close to starving. Having claims to land on the outskirts mean very little if they can’t make it until spring to take ownership.
Luke Chandler is trying to get by with as little as possible. Keeping to himself most days is getting harder to do. To avoid suspicion and not give away his sexuality, he spends a lot of time alone. That all changes one evening with banging on his door. Who could possibly be out in weather that was halting everything in its tracks?
Unbeknownst to Luke, his world is about to change, and in a big way. Sam Smith also has a claim of land but it won’t do him any good if he dies before he gets to build anything on it. Being caught in horrendous snowdrifts and winds that make visibility impossible, Sam bangs on the first door he finds. His hope is to maybe spend a day or two with Luke, wait out the storm, and then head onto his land.What he didn’t foresee even when is vision was clear was how attracted and turned on by Mr. Luke Chandler Sam would be.
If there are miracles out there than Sam is praying this is his because he doesn’t plan to ever leave. Trying to convince Luke they are meant for each other, even in Dakota Territory, will take every bit of strength, good fortune, maybe a white lie or two, and if he has to keep some secrets that, if Luke knew, would surely go against him, well…what’s a boy to do? With perseverance, a really cute smile, home cooking, and cuddling against Luke in the cold of night may just get him the man of his dreams.
I was completely glued from start to finish with this story. The author’s characterizations including, but not limited to, gestures, speech, and actions were spot on for the time period. The attributes that each character possesses make them someone you only want to succeed and be happy. I found the portrayal of the land, their small community and small town beliefs to be believable and aid in a nice visual of their surroundings.
On the surface, Luke and Sam are living their dream. They quickly create a domestic home life, each doing their respective chores, coming together at the end of the day, enjoying discussion and laughter over the dinner table. They both have become laid back with the interactions throughout the daytime. It has become common practice to share small touches, kisses on the cheek, hugs, and what have you only allowing themselves to break completely free from those restraints behind lock doors and pulled curtains. Throughout all of this, I felt their joy, I laughed at their banter. I was smiling more often than not with their carefree behaviour.
But…you just know in your gut something is going to happen. I was on the edge of my seat/waiting/hoping I was wrong. When Luke’s biggest fear becomes his reality, what will happen? When those lies in the first few pages that seemed not so important, in the context of all they were dealing with, now seem to have multiplied, will forgiveness be a false hope? One lie becomes two to cover the first lie and so on. I think we all know how quickly that can snowball and become your biggest regret. These two men had it all. They laughed, they loved, and they fell IN love. Will they lose everything including each other?
Fyn Alexander writes a beautiful story showing that love, regardless of your pedigree, can happen between two men. Her characters begin to believe, as did I, that even with the backward ways of their time, they can have it all. She didn’t pull any punches or mislead you with the secondary characters disliking their situation. The resistance that Luke and Sam were up against and the hateful vitriol of the community was appropriate even though it was hard to read at times.
Overall impression: I loved this story. I loved the time period, I loved how Luke was all alpha badass and sweet, lovable Sam loved to cook and clean and even make curtains and Luke was not turned off by it. I loved that Sam made Luke talk even when he would rather not. And most of all, I loved that they loved each other. Whether their love is enough, I strongly recommend you read this amazing story and see.