Title : Cricket
Author : Anna Martin
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY IT HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 280 pages (e-book)
Published : July 1, 2013
Rating : ★★★★
New York native Henry Richardson needs a change. His boyfriend just dumped him, and his business has fallen victim to the economy. But is jumping on a plane after a surprise phone call taking things too far?
The promise of a new opportunity drags Henry away from the city to a tiny village in the English countryside and an enormous manor house his great-grandmother wants to bequeath him. As an experienced wedding planner, he sees the potential in renovating the dilapidated building and using it for events. All he needs is to find some local businesses to provide the essentials.
That’s how Henry meets Ryan Burgess, the shy but hardworking owner of an organic farm. The spark between them sizzles slowly while work on the house continues, but Ryan is deeply in the closet and unwilling to take the last step. They finally find something that clicks in cricket, something that Henry, a former amateur baseball player, is surprisingly good at. For him, cricket helps bridge the gap between England and New York—but unless Ryan can find something to span the divide between his sexuality and his fear, their relationship doesn’t stand a chance.
What an utterly charming book! It was a book that kinda snuck up on me – half way through I was enjoying it okay, but at the end I thought “Dammit! that was good!” A truly lovely, heartwarming read…. and cricket! I love cricket!!
As the blurb states Henry has been having a tough run of late. His boyfriend has traded him in for a new not-so-close-to-thirty model, he has been forced to sell his failing business and “something” happens to him – which I am not telling you 😛 . All of this combines to make his choice to upsticks and go to the UK (at the behest of his Great Grandmother Nell, whom he has never met) a very easy decision indeed.
Once there he meets the lawyer handling Nells affairs, Shenal, and what a wonderful character she is – an Indian girl, whose colourful saris are equally matched with her colourful language. She was a lot of fun to read! As was Nell, this feisty little lady who was facing her imminent death with grace and a steely determination to ensure that her family home, Streeten House, would be looked after once she was gone. Restored not renovated and split up into flats. Her reason for picking Henry, a Great Grandson she had never met before, is just so sweet .
Henry agrees to take it on and decides to restore the Mansion to a level such that it can be registered with the National Trust and be open to the viewing public, as well as hosting events such as weddings – it is in negotiations to source a good local food supply that we meet Ryan. Ryan is an organic farmer. Ryan is also cute. Obviously. Henry and Ryan soon become good friends and it is after one too many bitters down at the local pub that Henry plants a kiss on the unsuspecting but not unwelcoming Ryan. He has no clue how Henry knew he was gay – not when Ryan isn’t even sure himself.
I absolutely adored Ryan! Often a closeted character leads to an angst filled read, but that was not the case in this book. The author managed to capture his confusion and vulnerability quite beautifully. Henry is the exact opposite – he knows who he is. He knows what he is. And he makes no apologies. He does, however, have some rules – rules he abides by to save his heart from being broken again – one of these applies directly to Ryan – Henry doesn’t date guys in the closet. So as you can see … something has to give.
I thought the slow development of their relationship from friends to lovers was written really well. As is the case with a lot of British authors – the story is filled with very long and descriptive passages, a writing style I am not that fond of, to be honest. I tend to skim over huge blocks of text. But for some reason it seemed to work in this book – maybe the gentle rolling story suited the feel of the quiet little village. I’m not sure. All I do know is that I liked it! A lot! So go. Buy the Book!
Rated 4 stars by Barb