After accidentally being outed as gay, Will's father brutally beats him and throws him out into the the cold winter night. After walking for miles, trying to get back to his college campus, he's exhausted and all he can think about is resting. He stumbles upon a church with open doors and goes inside to get warm.
Coincidentally Will's college roommate, Quinn MacLachlan, is practicing with the choir for a Christmas program and finds Will in bad shape. Since Will is shy and has mostly kept to himself, they weren't the best of friends, but Quinn doesn't hesitate to help anyway. Once they're able to talk, Quinn is surprised to find out that Will is gay, too. In fact, they've both been admiring each other from afar, and this turn of events, while sad, offers them the opportunity to get closer.
Will finds himself floored by the outgoing Quinn's kindness and enthusiastic willingness to help him. Between Quinn and his boisterous family, Will may finally find the acceptance and companionship he's been longing for just in time for Christmas.
Angel Voices is a short, holiday-themed, M/M novelette about two college roommates who barely know each other until one is viciously beaten by his father for being gay and ends up seeking refuge at the church where the other is engaged in choir practice. Neither of them knew the other was gay until this incident spurs them to get to know one another better, which quickly leads to admissions that they've both been admiring each other from afar and a sweet relationship based on kindness and acceptance just in time for the holidays.
Will is a college freshman, majoring in engineering, who is very shy and tends to keep to himself. He was raised in a fundamentalist church environment, so even though he knows he's gay, he'd kept it to himself until one night when he went to a gay nightclub desperately seeking a little companionship. The night ended in a fight that was caught on video and aired on the news, leading to a confrontation with his father who maliciously beat him up and threw him out of the house. Will heads back to campus, walking miles in the freezing cold. Exhausted, he takes refuge in a church where the choir is practicing for a Christmas program. One of the members happens to be his roommate, Quinn, who takes him to the hospital when he passes out and cares for him afterward. Will is a shy, sweet, young man who just wants to be accepted for who he really is, and he receives that acceptance from Quinn and his family. It was totally adorable that Will was not only a virgin, but he'd never even kissed another guy until Quinn. Despite all this, he blossoms very quickly and comes out of his shell with his new boyfriend. Will fears that he might lose his scholarship, because it was sponsored by his church, but Quinn is also there to help find solutions.
Quinn is a music major who has always been accepted by his loving, mixed-race family. When Will shows up at the church, bruised and bloody, he doesn't hesitate to jump into action, taking care of the other young man. He even regrets not having gotten to know Will better before now, thinking if he had, he might have been able to help sooner. He thought Will was hot, but had avoided him, believing that he was probably straight, so when he finds out otherwise, he's eager to introduce Will to some passionate kisses and sex play. He's also proactive about making sure Will has a place to spend the holidays and that he can continue at school. Quinn is as outgoing as Will is bashful, so they make a great couple. He also has a huge heart that expands to make room for Will and offers him all the kindness, acceptance, and companionship that he's been missing.
Angel Voices was my first read by Rowan Speedwell. It's a tender story, albeit a rather quick one, that really tugged on my heartstrings. Having Will and Quinn be roommates who've at least known each other for a few months and have been admiring each other from afar made the rapid progression of their relationship more believable. However, I wouldn't have minded a little longer story about these two. There are no unrealistic declarations of love, making it more of an HFN ending. A little more solid HEA wouldn't have gone amiss either, but even so, I could sense emotions passing between them and felt like they had a lot of potential as a long-term couple. It was just such a sweet story that really hit the spot, starting my holiday reading off on the right foot, that I couldn't help giving it keeper status. It also makes me very much look forward to reading more of this author's work in the future.
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