Monday, July 25, 2016

Counting Fence Posts by Kelly Jensen

There are over two hundred thousand fence posts between Syracuse and Boston. Henry Auttenberg likes numbers—it’s his job—but he isn’t going to count them all, even if the view outside the rental car is less confounding than the driver, his attractive but oh so obnoxious colleague, Marcus Winnamore. It’s Christmas Eve, and Henry would much rather be home with his family. When the blizzard that grounded their flight forces them off the road, however, he’s stuck with Marc until the storm passes—or a plow digs them out.

As the temperature outside plummets, the atmosphere inside the car slowly heats up. Henry learns the true reason for Marc’s chilly distance—he’s not exactly straight… maybe… and he’s been fantasizing about Henry’s mouth, among other things. Confession laid out, Marc is all for sharing body heat… and more. Henry isn’t interested in being an experiment, but as the night and cold deepen, he could be convinced to balance certain risk against uncertain reward.

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Book 1
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Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Counting Fence Posts is part road trip and part holiday story, with a nice dose of sexual discovery. After their flight is diverted and grounded due to weather, Henry finds himself stuck in the car with his senior colleague and the object of his fantasies, Marc, as they try to make their way from Syracuse to Boston on Christmas Eve. When an accident diverts them from the main highway to side roads, Henry tries to distract himself from Marc’s presence by counting fence posts. Despite Marc’s awkward attempts at conversation, Henry attempts to keep his eyes on his side of the car – no lusting after the straight guy. However, Mother Nature has bigger plans for the men and as the blizzard changes direction, Marc is forced to stop on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. A failed, pig-headed attempt to “do something” leads to the men being forced to get closer than Henry ever dreamed they would and his holiday wish might just come true.

I really enjoyed Counting Fence Posts for a number of reasons. Not only are the characters entertaining in their bluntness and their vulnerability, but they felt like real people. In fact, the realism is one of the things that I enjoyed most about the story, specifically when it comes to the realities of intimacy in the middle of a snowstorm. I give the author credit for making Henry such a realist that he actually thinks that it’s too cold for anything to happen. Far too often, romances get caught up in the fantasy and characters are having sex, buck naked in weather conditions that cause frostbite. Not this time, the guys not only bundle up in layers to beat back the cold, but when they do finally engage in some skin-on-skin action, very little skin is exposed and they’re very cognizant of minimizing fluid on their clothing – don’t want to freeze to death in sticky shorts. Despite its short length, Jensen does a nice job of fleshing out the characters through their conversations, infusing the story with humor, understanding, and a touch of holiday cheer, all while laying the foundation for a potential relationship. I would love to read more about these characters, so my Christmas in July wish would be for a sequel.

KELLY JENSEN was born in Australia and raised everywhere else. Currently, she lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and herd of four cats. After disproving the theory that water only spins counterclockwise around drains north of the equator, she turned her attention to more productive pursuits such as reading, writing, writing about reading, and writing stories of her own. She also enjoys volunteering at her local library, playing video games, and holds a brown belt in Kiryoku, a martial art combining Shotokan, Aikido, and Tang Soo Do. Her family is not intimidated by her.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Counting Fence Posts by Kelly Jensen to read and review.

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