Charlie Renfrew is too busy and too broke for a love life. There’s no room in a schedule crammed with university, a full-time job, music, and his very committed relationship with overthinking. Hence the dating ban. Which is exactly when Ben Campbell shows up with his piercings, quirky knits, and indie rock fame. But maybe it’s time for Charlie to trade caffeine for something hotter, blonder, and completely out of his comfort zone.
Gorgeous, funny men don’t happen to Charlie. Not like this. Even if it’s ill-timed and too bloody complicated. But maybe a quick shag won’t hurt…
Sex might be easy, but being vulnerable isn’t. Not for Charlie, his anxiety, or his precarious stack of responsibilities. It would be so easy to fall into Ben’s world of cozy, snowy London where there’s love and sex and possibilities. But Charlie already knows what happens when he goes off course. Not to mention the consequences. And when the snow melts, he’ll have to put his heart back into a deep freeze…
[I received a digital arc for an honest review]
When London Snow Falls by Hayden Stone is the second book in the When Snow Falls series. Charlie Renfrew makes it through each day by focusing on school, his job, his band and his daughter. He struggles but his routines keep him on track for the most part. It isn’t until Ben Campbell walks up and he manages to stick his foot in his mouth that all that Charlie’s carefully laid routine is thrown out the window. Ben’s band is rising fast in popularity through the UK and Charlie finds himself surprised at the lead singer’s interest in him. Charlie tries to keep things casual with Ben but struggles to add another person to his already chaotic life. Charlie finds himself trying to decide if he can handle another responsibility or if a relationship on top of everything may lead to his downfall.
Charlie Renfrew has been outrunning his past for the last few years. Because he was a partier and struggled with addiction, he feels he needs to prove himself to his family. Ben Campbell is someone that Charlie struggles to accept into his life. Ben shows time and time again that he is interested in knowing the real Charlie and that he’s willing to accept whatever time he has free. But with the ups and downs of Charlie’s mental health and the responsibilities he has to put first, he hurts Ben by failing to be honest in their communication. Although you only get Charlie’s POV, you find your heart hurting for Ben who has his own past he struggles with and the moments when Charlie forgets to talk to him like a partner and not just another obligation. These were two very emotional MCs and I appreciated that there was no toxic masculinity preventing them from truly feeling and showing their overwhelming emotions. At first the two MCs find it easier to communicate through quick physical moments together but as the build trust in each other they venture into other sexual avenues.
Sex is easy. Being vulnerable isn’t.
This story follows two musicians on completely different paths. Charlie’s music is a way to escape the world for a while and feel the natural high of performing. Ben’s band is already making waves and he plans to ride their success to fame. The men find comfort in their shared love of music. Where music may take them plays an important role throughout the story because Charlie constantly questions Ben’s interest in him because he’s “just a barista” while Ben’s band is working its way to becoming a household name. Ben finds comfort in Charlie because he believes he found someone who doesn’t just see as someone who could be famous and instead wants to care and support him day to day. I loved Ben’s appreciation for knitting and how that was a way he found a support system when he moved from Scotland to London. Through the ups and downs of their relationship I never found myself not cheering for Ben and Charlie to get their HEA.
4.5 stars for Ben and Charlie finding warmth in each other when London snow falls.