Book Reviews

Love & Snowball Fights (A Christmas Valley Story) by J.R. Loveless

Genre Gay / Bisexual / Contemporary / Romance / Holiday
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 19-April-2021

Book Blurb

A fiercely protective firefighter. A lonely, shy drifter. 


Ejected from foster care on his eighteenth birthday, Lane Freeman has spent the past five years hitchhiking from place to place. But a steady six months bussing tables at the same bar, an apartment to call his own, and a three-legged cat have him contemplating setting down roots. Until the bar owner’s brother returns home for the holidays.


Trey Jenkins has seen countless drifters steal from his brother or leave a trail of damage in their wake. He figures Lane is just another in a long line of disasters. But the more he gets to know Lane, the more he realizes Lane isn’t like the others. Catching a glimpse of Lane’s gentle heart, Trey finds himself captivated, but Trey’s life is back in Dallas.


When a blizzard snows them in together, Trey’s resolve to keep his distance crumbles. Will the fragile heat between them ignite or will Lane find himself back on the open road once more?



First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, December 2016.


Book Review

Christmas Valley, Washington, may not be a real place (it’s actually apparently in Oregon), but it’s a great name and setting for this charming story about Lane, a twenty-three-year-old waiter who lost his parents at fifteen, survived the foster care system, and has managed to find a job and some stability working for a man named Tal, owner of Tal’s Bar and Grill.

Lane’s past (five years as a drifter) still haunts him. He does not trust easily even now, and while he is attracted to Tal’s brother, Trey, he is also hesitant to listen to his feelings. What makes things worse is that he is shy and socially awkward, so making friends or finding a partner is not something Lane expects. And he and Trey don’t exactly have an easy start – in fact, Trey almost chases Lane away with his gruff protectiveness for Tal.

Trey is a tough guy, and worries that his brother has too big a heart to protect himself from drifters who will take advantage of him. At first Trey believes Lane is like the others, planning to steal from Tal, but as they get to know each other, Trey’s opinion changes. Of course, getting snowed in at a critical point helps as well…

Following Lane and Trey as they gradually figure out how to relate to each other is quite the adventure! I felt for Lane, who has no idea how to react now that someone other than Tal is treating him nicely – someone interested in more than friendship. Trey’s gruffness can be hot, but it takes a while for Lane to believe it is nothing to be afraid of. All in all, these two men make an adorable couple, and I loved following their exploits.

If you like strong, gruff men taking care of shy, withdrawn guys who can’t believe their luck in finding someone who wants them, if you enjoy watching a young man grow into his own and gain self-confidence almost by the page thanks to the support of a lover, and if you’re looking for a heartwarming, sweet read with lots of delightful happiness and a wonderful holiday season, then you will probably like this novella as much as I do.





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 Novella, 140 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 16-April-2021
Price $3.29 ebook
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