Title: Once in a Forest (Nortown #2)
Author: Ofelia Gränd
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Release Date: March 24th 2016
Page Count: 125
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Jason has one rule when it comes to holidays – work his shift behind the bar and then find a willing body to distract himself with. One night is long enough to satisfy his needs and still walk away with his heart intact. It has worked out fine for most of his adult life, but this Easter, he’s trying something new. He’s leaving the city to visit his friend, Aiden, who recently moved in with his boyfriend in the middle of nowhere, but one unfortunate incident leaves Jason without a place to sleep.
Tom doesn’t do relationships, he rarely does hook-ups and never too close to home. Living on his own without attachments is far easier than having the whole town knowing about him. As the holiday approaches, his lonely house grows even quieter than normal – at least until his friend, Tristan, dumps an arrogant bartender in his lap.
As soon as Jason lays eyes on the gruff lumberjack whose home he’ll be sharing, he knows who’ll warm his bed for the weekend and help chase away any pending holiday gloom. Too bad Tom doesn’t want to get with the programme. As much as he wants to let Jason close, he won’t risk outing himself for a weekend fling. Will Jason trust Tom not to break his heart if he stays longer than a couple of days, and will Tom value their relationship higher than the town gossip?
I very much enjoyed Once in a Forest, although I didn’t love it as much as the first book, Once in a Snowstorm.
This is the story of Tom, Tristan’s lumberjack friend, and Jason, Aiden’s friend from the city.
What I liked:
Lumberjacks! More lumberjacks y’all!
What I loved:
~Tom is in the closet and is afraid to come out. The mere thought of it, causes him to feel physically ill. Yes, he has openly gay friends. Yes, the town seems to be more accepting. And yes, he has a support system. But Tom is still afraid and hesitant.
The author did a great job with this. It pisses me off to no end, when people make flippant assumptions about when a person should come out. Having a support system is not all it takes. And who are you to judge about such a personal thing? Apologies for the mini rant.
I loved how the author handled it, and I loved the characters’ reactions regarding this.
~There were more feels in this one. There was humour and flirting too, but there was some angst as well. Not the contrived kind, but the one that tugs at your heartstrings a little bit.
~I love all secondary characters.
~There is this small-town feeling that I completely adore. Strong sense of place and community too.
What I didn’t care for:
~For the most part of the book, the only good thing about Jason is his dog. He comes on too strong, pushes Tom, and he was such an asshole about the bottoming thing at first. Tom was so gracious and kind about it, and Jason acted like a douchebag.
~Things felt a little rushed, considering that everything happens in a matter of days.
~Aiden was a really shitty friend to Jason here. I loved that he was basking in his HEA with Tristan, but dude!
Bottom line: I didn’t love this, but I definately enjoyed it a lot, and I do recommend it. And John will get a story, right? Don’t say no to me.
God, I feel I talked this book to death.