Review: The Boy Who Came in From the Cold — by B.G. Thomas

BoyWhoCameInFromTheCold[The]ORIGOther Reviewers: Goodreads

This is the first time that I have read something by B.G. Thomas, but I can say that I have enjoyed the novel immensely.  I was in the mood for no serious conflict and a lot of over the top sweetness.  This fit the bill exactly!

Basic Plot:

Todd Burton is thrown out of his apartment in the middle of blizzard into Kansas City.  He finds shelter in the lobby of Gabe Richards’ apartment, but he can’t stay as he is mistaken for a prostitute.  Gabe feels badly for this poor soul and shelters him.  Is there anything more than kindness between them?

Todd Burton:

What I liked about Todd is his pure spirit.  He is someone who just wants to be a chef, but circumstances have conspired against him.  He could be bitter and angry, but what we see is rather hopelessness.

Jeez, it’s snowing like a son of a bitch out there.  Todd glanced nervously over his shoulder into the lobby of the apartment building.  No one seemed to be watching him.

What the hell am I going to do? 

I love how we see his come to accept his sexuality, and for the  most part I could believe this story.  This is not a case of “gay for you”, but rather an, “ohhh, now it makes sense!”

Gabe Richards:

Poor Gabe.  He has had a rocky life when it comes to romances which has resulted in his lack of trust.  He is handsome and rich, which on the surface sounds great.

Todd gave the guy a quick look, then a longer one.  The guy was huge.  A good head taller, at least, then Todd’s five foot nine and downright massive: really built.  He obviously worked out.  A lot.  Like the guys in the muscle mags that Todd collected.

But what you come to realize is that while he seems to have everything, he is just waiting for the right one.

Theme Summary:

One of our secondary characters, Peter is our Obi-wan character, he is quite fascinating and knowledgeable.  But as he describes Todd, we can see the theme through this description:

“They live under the harshest conditions, sometimes in areas that drop to as low as minus sixty degrees Celsius.  Can you imagine?  And we thought it got cold here in Kansas City.  It is one of the longest lived of the lepidoptera on this planet.”

Both Gabe and Todd have gone through trauma and conflicts in their relationships, yet they did not give up and came through these conditions, transformed, much like this Arctic Woolly Bear.  So I see the theme as:  we just have to keep pushing forward “through hell” until we get to the other side.

Strong Points:

I loved how the author described the food Todd cooked, the details were vivid and gave me a few ideas for my own!

Gabe nodded and did as he was told.  He paused, then smiled sweetly.

“Is that orange, Todd?”

“Yes,” he answered.  “It’s not too weird?  I squeezed just a little orange into them while I was mashing them.  I thought it might complement the fruit in the chicken.”

“But there is more,” sang Peter.

“Walnut.  You’ve added tiny, infinitesimal bits of walnut, haven’t you?”

Todd nodded.  “I was afraid I might have made the potatoes too sweet.”

I also liked the way that he described the two characters and how they went through conflicts.  I hate when an author gives us angst for angst sake, giving us a false sense of conflict.  Todd and Gabe did a good job of talking to each other (go figure) and when they did have conflicts they discuss and talked about them.  It was nice to see them acting like adults.

What could be better?

Overall, I enjoyed the novel.  However, toward the end of the novel, the external conflicts seemed to be solved in a rushed manner.  Enter the ex-love, the annoying parents, and the annoying assistant in quick succession showing problems and solving them instantly.  Sure, it made for a smoother ending but it did not seem believable.

My other issue is related to the mother’s attitude and speech patterns.  Sure, they are from a rural area, so I understand that the character might lack some sophistication.  However, I don’t believe that for some reason, she has a 1950s “house-wife” mentality.

“He was the man!” she said.  “A woman doesn’t argue with her man.”

I get what the author attempts to portray here, but all I got was a very unbelievable paper-thin character.

Conclusions:

I enjoyed this book and would certainly recommend it.  The reason that it is not a five-star is the rushed final conflict resolutions and the depiction of Todd’s parents.  If you want to just snuggle up on the couch to read a sweet story, then this book is for you.

Bea

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