Reviewed by Amber
TITLE: Winter Freeze
SERIES: Rags and Riches #1
AUTHOR: E.M. Leya
PUBLISHER: Self Published
LENGTH: 158 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 6th, 2016
When a severe winter storm brings Andy and Darren together, the cold is the farthest thing from their minds. Being homeless, Darren isn’t used to anyone caring, especially cops. He’s seen the worst in people, and trusting Andy isn’t easy.
To Andy, homeless means addictions, overdoses, and panhandling. It’s a world he doesn’t understand, and isn’t sure he wants to. Yet, when it comes to life and death, he can’t just walk away and let someone die.
Their worlds couldn’t be more different, but the more they get to know each other, they find that, inside, where it matters the most, they really aren’t so opposite. Trust comes hard for both men, but when a murderer starts hunting homeless boys, the two work together, showing them that no matter where you come from, dreams really can come true.
This was equal parts incredibly sad and overwhelmingly hopeful and sweet. This story focuses greatly on what happens to teens when they’re abandoned by their family after coming out. When I say this story is incredibly sad, I mean just that. But what I really appreciated and found comfort in was how these kids were there for each other. On the streets they formed a family who watched out for each other. And while these kids shouldn’t have to go through that they still tried to make the best out of a hopeless situation.
Darren has been on the streets for years after having been kicked out of the house once he came out to his parents. Things are usually ok. He goes to shelters and sticks close to the other homeless youth in the area.
Andy has spent the majority of his life as a public servant. As a cop, he puts himself in harm’s way to help others frequently. So he doesn’t like to see people suffer unnecessarily.
Seeing a homeless young man who is struggling in the cold fuels the Good Samaritan in Andy. He offers Andy sanctuary from the cold and a warm meal.
What starts as altruistic quickly leads to more as Andy and Darren grow increasingly attracted to each other.
Unfortunately, Darren knows they aren’t equals and he wants more than anything to come to Andy with more than just the clothes on his back.
There are some heavy subplots going on as well. There is a serial killer raping and then murdering homeless boys. Huge family drama/homophobia issues as well as a push/pull relationship scenario.
I enjoyed this story. I think it’s an interesting beginning of a series and I look forward to the others, as well. It’ll be interesting to see where the author goes with this series.