Title: Midwinter Night’s Dream (Unwrapping Hank #2)
Author: Eli Easton
Publisher: Pinkerton Road
Release Date: November 25th 2015
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 122 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.6 stars out of 5
Micah is the hippest, most chill guy on campus. But when he gets the hottest kiss of his life from a cute guy during a game of ‘spin the bottle’, Micah’s cool turns into a puddle of anxious goo. Sure, Micah’s always been a little bi-curious, but he never thought he’d pursue a guy, much less a guy who doesn’t seem to be interested in getting caught.
Leo is passionate about two things: gay rights activism and acting. He stays focused and in control, and he never, ever, dates straight guys. When a chance spin of a bottle at a party has him locking lips with Micah Springfield, president of the Delts, dread-headed, serial-dating, straight Micah, Leo is determined to forget about it, no matter how incendiary the sparks or how gorgeous Micah may be.
Leo has bigger problems. His senior project is directing Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream just before the Christmas break. When his venue cancels at the last minute, Micah offers the use of his parent’s barn in rural Pennsylvania. Leo’s play may be saved, but what about his heart? Between Micah’s sweet lips, his family’s welcoming arms, and a devious bulldog who is determined to play Puck, Leo may find himself falling under the spell of Christmas magic.
NOTE: This novella can be read as a stand-alone.
Hippie dude Micah Springfield is chill from his waist length dreads to his attitude about life and love. He’s president of his fraternity, finishing up his masters, casually dating (while letting the girls do the heavy lifting), and is genuinely enjoying life. Though, sure, when he watches his little brother Hank with his boyfriend, Sloane, Micah might feel a little tingle in his heart chakra – but that doesn’t really mean anything.
Leo Dayson is a theater major getting ready for his senior project directing Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. He’s focused on his goal of graduating and eventually making it as an “out” bankable star.
I wanted to show that a gay man could be an action hero, just as macho, just as lovable to the public, as a straight one.
During a party game of Spin The Bottle Leo lands on Micah and their resulting kiss is incendiary. For Micah it’s an awakening; he’s known he’s a bit bi-curious for a while now, but for Leo, Micah is straight and therefore strictly off-limits.
Micah is completely drawn to Leo and it’s the first time someone’s really captured his attention. So, with a little encouragement from Sloane, he asks Leo out – only to get shot down. Leo wants to say yes, but he and his best friend, Helen, have a strict “Only Homo” rule after too many times picking each other up after yet another broken heart. So even though his heart is saying yes, he turns Micah down.
But when the venue for Leo’s senior project falls through, Sloane convinces Micah to offer up the use of his family’s farm in order to save the day and get a chance back with Leo. Micah just needs to convince Leo that love is love and straight can absolutely move to bi-curious to full out bisexual with the right motivation.
So. Definitely bisexual. I was stoked about that. It was as if Life had opened Door #3 when I’d thought the game was already over, and what was behind it rocked. I could totally see why Hank and Sloane were all about gay sex.
I loved Micah and Leo. I only wish I’d gotten more time with them.
“Micah’s…Christmas cookies, puppy dogs, and winning an Oscar all rolled into one.”
I also loved getting to see Lilith and Karma, Micah’s parents, and Grinch the bulldog again. I enjoyed knowing Hank and Sloane are still living their happily ever after (and still having sexy barn times!).
Ultimately, my enjoyment in this fluffy feel good short was marred by two things I really disliked. First, there are five different POV in this. What’s worse, Micah and Leo are in first-person and Sloane, Helen and Yasmine are in third-person. It’s bad enough there is multiple POV, which drives me nuts on a good day, but the difference in the delivery of each had me crazy.
Second, I felt cheated over the relationship development between Micah and Leo. The time they spend getting to know each other is relayed, rather than shown, and takes place mostly off page.
I found myself resentful of the other perspectives, especially Yasmine and Helen, who I didn’t care about at all. I wish that focus had been turned more on Micah and Leo.
I just…I waited over a year for Micah’s story, you know? I absolutely LOVED him in Unwrapping Hank and just wanted to see his HEA, and though I did, I feel like it got lost a bit amongst the other characters. I can kind of see how the story has sort of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” kind of feeling for it, but I suppose that was lost on me as that was never my favorite Shakespeare play. I just wanted more time with Micah and Leo, seeing their relationship develop and getting to see them fall in love. Especially after their spectacular scene in the barn. I wanted more of that!