Title : City Mouse
Series : Country Mouse, Book #2
Publisher : Riptide (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary, Romance
Length : 157 pages (e-book)
Published : March 18, 2013
A magical weekend, a breathless declaration, a happy ever after . . . Right?
When Malcolm Kavanagh took his first step toward emotional maturity by declaring his love to Owen Watson, that was just the first chapter in their story. Anyone who’s ever been in love knows that happy endings take a lot more work than that.
One problem: Malcolm has never been in love. He doesn’t know the rules of a relationship and isn’t confident enough to trust that his is real. He learns the ropes by sharing his life and his flat with Owen, but relationship boot camp proves a challenge. Everything is a struggle, from accepting Owen’s low-status job to putting his boyfriend above his personal trainer.
Luckily, Owen knows a little more about relationships, and labors patiently to survive the first six weeks of their life together. From the art galleries of Cambridge to the tawdry majesty of the Dominion theatre, Owen adapts to England while Malcolm adapts to the whole human race. Maybe, if Owen is patient enough and Malcolm learns to give, the two of them can make it past Relationship Armageddon to a real happy ending.
In Voinov and Lane’s City Mouse, we find ourselves once again with Malcolm and Owen. It’s a few days after the grand train station moment, in Country Mouse, and life is moving on. It does that. Malcolm has to go back to work and Owen has to find a job. Malcolm wants it to be a good one. He doesn’t want Owen in a crap part of town making less than what he’s worth. Owen absolutely doesn’t want a soul killing, all consuming job the likes of which Malcolm has. The sight seeing and the sex are fantastic, but the everyday things like what to eat, where to work, how to launder clothing has them at odds with each other. Malcolm struggles to explain he just wants the best for himself and Owen. Owen struggles to explain he just wants Malcolm.
Owen takes a job that makes him happy. Malcolm accepts it. Sort of. At the same time Owen takes a low paying job in a crap neighborhood that makes him happy, Malcolm’s work life becomes significantly more complicated. He regularly works incredibly long hours and comes home to Owen only for the two of them to go to sleep. Malcolm feels guilty and insecure. How can Owen want to be with someone who’s never home? And how can he possibly take care of himself with that crap job if he leaves Malcolm? Unwisely, Malcolm forces the issue of a “better” job on Owen. The conversation is both public and unpleasant. Both men make regrettable statements they have to work their ways back from to make their happily ever after a reality.
It’s so obvious to the reader, and to Owen, that Malcolm is desperate for love and attention. Yes, he can buy all the material stuff in life, but he really needs to be cared for, not have things taken care of for him. He’s clueless. It’s kind of heart breaking when he struggles and rebels but really beautiful when he finally lets himself be vulnerable. Vulnerable is the absolute last thing Malcolm wants to be. He and Owen both had childhoods rife with adversity and poverty yet emerged from that crucible with entirely differing world views. Their relationship was a fantastic melding of opposites attract and homogamy.
One of the secondary characters was a former co-worker of Malcolm’s. His name is Percy, he takes Malcolm to a private club called Market Garden. This is the part of the book where Aleksander Voinov totally cheated on Amy Lane with LA Witt in Amy Lane’s own book! Dude! Okay, seriously, I’m not sure what to think about this. Typically I like some intermingling of an author’s work. A sighting, some quick dialogue, what have you. This was two scenes. Percy even said the sentence that gave If It Flies it’s title. Sadly, I think it kind of felt a little pushy. I kind of expected to see the phrase “sponsored content” somewhere hidden around the edges of the text. Oh well, nothing is perfect, and it certainly didn’t at all affect my love of the reference to The IT Crowd. I immediately sang, “0118999881999119725…3” to myself. I really did love this book. It made the HEA promised at the end of Country Mouse seem like something that could actually happen. It was absolutely worth every minute of my time.
Rated 4 stars by Faye