Book Reviews

Winter's Fire by Donya Lynne at Phoenix Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Military/Former Military / Romance / Drama
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 18-November-2019

Book Blurb

Ex-Army sniper Sam Winter is home from the war. But it wasn’t an act of heroism that got him medically discharged. After his team found out he was gay, they beat him so severely he was forced to retire. Now, at his family’s horse farm in Kentucky, Sam faces not only an uncertain future, but his father’s condemnation and prejudice, as well. The one thing he is certain about are his feelings for his best friend, Cooper Brown, who Sam has secretly been attracted to since high school.

For years, Cooper has harbored his own secret attraction for Sam. But when Sam left to join the Army, Coop never got the chance to tell Sam how he felt. Now that Sam is home, Coop doesn’t intend to make the same mistake twice.

When Coop and Sam finally reveal their secrets to one another, the bonds of friendship expand in ways neither thought possible. As his relationship with Coop grows stronger, Sam feels he is finally on course, especially when he rediscovers a new career path in photography. But when an infernal stable fire threatens the family business, shocking, long-hidden truths will be forced into the light, changing Sam’s life forever.

Author’s Note: This novel is a complete rewrite of a previously published novella titled The Arms of Winter (included in this novel), which was published by Silver Publishing in 2012. Upon the return of my rights, I overhauled the story and added 40,000 words to the manuscript, altering much of the plot, as well as the ending.

Book Review

A sweet story about a romance between two guys who have been best friends forever and have shared pretty much everything except their feelings for each other. Written with a good understanding of the realities of life, this tale also contains a lot of romance and some very tender moments between Sam and Cooper – once they figure out their attraction is mutual!

Sam is, or rather was, a military man. He is used to taking orders, and thinks he is safe from the "accusation" of being gay his father kept throwing at him. Unfortunately, he discovers that his so-called Army buddies are mean bigots who treat him like dirt the moment they find out he is gay. Barely healed he makes it home only to face more of the same prejudice – this time from his parents. It takes him a while to figure out what's next, and he is very happy his best friend Cooper is there to help.

Cooper is a great guy. A silent, strong cowboy who supports Sam all the way, he finally sees his chance to find out if his deeper feelings for Sam are reciprocated. He may be hesitant at first, but he has a great friendship to lose, or so he thinks. Once he opens up though – the exploration of a totally different type of relationship is unstoppable.  

While the plot is fairly straightforward, the characters carried the story really well. As is so often true, Sam needed a major wake-up call to realize that what he was doing with his life didn't make him happy. Cooper is there to catch and support him. If you like friends-to-lover stories, and if newly discovered mutual feelings make you smile, then you will probably like this book.


DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the publisher for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 167 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 18-December-2014
Price $2.99 ebook
Buy Link