Title: Counting Fence Posts
Author: Kelly Jensen
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 61 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Holiday Romance
At a Glance: I really enjoyed this short story of mutual discovery for both Henry and Marcus.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: 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.
Review: Henry and Marcus have decided to try to beat the weather home to Boston for Christmas Eve after their flight has been cancelled due to the impending storm. Unfortunately, they then end up on state roads rather than the interstate after Marcus gets frustrated with the traffic. Might I suggest Waze for your next trip boys?? 😉 The snow starts in earnest, and what was already a bit of a tense drive becomes a potential disaster when Marcus drives them off the road and into a snowbank that they can’t get out of.
Luckily they have extra clothes from their business trip, so they try to conserve heat and fuel by layering up and intermittently running the engine for some much needed additional warmth. While initially their conversation is mostly around work, they discover that they both harbor some misconceptions about the other. When things move into the personal, the doors are sort of blown open, so to speak. Henry is out, but he doesn’t really share his personal life at work. Marcus has only dated girls up to this point. But, he’s definitely noticed Henry—and not as a coworker. And he’s honest with Henry about it, but Henry is really pretty skeptical. He’s not sure that he trusts Marcus, and he’s been burned in the past as someone’s bi-curious fling—which he has no interest in repeating. So, what will happen between them, if anything? And where would or could it lead? You’ll have to read to find out. 🙂
I really enjoyed this short story of mutual discovery for both Henry and Marcus. They were all about assumptions, many of which were pretty much unfounded or the result of miscommunication or misinterpretation. Once they decided to go forward, on the level with each other, things got better. Are there still risks? Sure. Nothing in life is guaranteed, but they have a pretty good shot if they keep things open and honest. I’d enjoy reading more of their story someday. This is the first book I’ve read by this author, but I like her style and will definitely look for more!
Side Note: If ever there were characters/scenarios I could relate to, it was these guys in this story! Perhaps this was some sort of karma since I was reading this story as I sat at the Cincinnati airport for four hours last Thursday night, and when my flight was finally cancelled tried to decide if I should just rent a car and drive to Chicago to get to my car to get home. This happens all the time when you fly on business every week—hopefully not at Christmas—although come to think of it, it did happen to me a couple of years ago, but I was in Florida and I got to finish my Christmas shopping in 80 degree temps, so it turned out OK. 🙂
You can buy Counting Fences here: