Title : Merry Gentlemen
Author : Josephine Myles
Publisher : Samhain Publishing (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary, Holidays
Length : 157 pages (e-book)
Published : November 12, 2013
Rating : ★★★★1/2
Riley MacDermott’s ambitions are simple. Managing the annual Bath Christmas Market—which involves long hours in the cold and a whole lot of hassle—will secure the promotion he needs to afford to move out of his noisy, top-floor flat. Where not even his balcony is safe from an aggressive herring gull.
The last stallholder he expects to see is his ex. Riley never recovered from their break up, and five years on the old chemistry still sparkles. So does their habitual head butting.
Stan never wanted to leave the love of his life, but the pull of the woods was too strong—and Riley was firmly planted in the city. Reconnecting is painful, but Stan still jumps at the chance to stay with his old flame during the Market. And damn the consequences.
As the weeks pass, the two grow closer than ever. But despite scorching sex and cozy intimacy, they both know they face a cold and lonely future. Unless one of them can compromise.
Warning: Contains sex in a shed, a seagull with a grudge, glamping, awful Secret Santa underwear, misuse of an Abba song, and as many wood-related puns as the author thought she could get away with.
I was lucky enough to get an arc in exchange for an honest review. And honestly? Go Pre-Order this book NOW! I loved it!! I highly recommend it.
Riley MacDermott loves the city. He dreams of living in the right part of town, in the right flat with the perfect managerial job. He is the life of the party but there is something missing that keeps him from finding that elusive happiness. That would be a someone, not a something and that someone would be Stanislav Dubinsky, his ex. It has been five years since Stan moved out and into the country. Riley has never truly been able to let go of his feelings for Stan but the things they wanted were too different to make it work.
Riley has been assigned the job of Market Manager for the Christmas Market in Bath. This could be a stepping stone in his career path. He and his best friend and co-worker Janine are working together, helping the stallholders with set up and any problems that arise. Janine mentions a new business has taken on a recently vacated spot. During a patrol of the market, Riley stops to meet the new vendor, who unexpectedly turns out to be his ex, Stan. Riley is as shocked as Stan at seeing one another.
Stan has come to the Christmas Market hoping to acquire some commissions and build his business. The two men have a brief discussion and all of the feelings Riley has been trying to bury about Stan come roaring back to the surface. Even so, their personalities clash and old resentments resurface killing the conversation. Riley thought he saw a flicker of interest from Stan for a moment but he can’t be sure, Stan left him, didn’t he?
Later when Riley is at the pub with his co-workers, Stan walks in. One thing leads to another and they leave to talk, which turns into more action than words. Once again they find conflict when they try to discuss their past. As the week continues, they cannot seem to resist this draw they have towards one another and risk their hearts to spend the two weeks of the Christmas Market together.
Merry Gentlemen is a humorous, sexy story with a slightly serious thread running just under the surface. Riley and Stan were in love and living together for several years but it turns out they wanted different things in life and neither could seem to compromise for the other. Riley loves the city, the hustle and bustle of large groups and activity. Riley also needs that sense of security in a high-ranking job. We get an understanding of this when he thinks about his father. Stan relishes the peace and quiet of the country, loves to travel and explore new places. I especially liked Stan’s character; he is a rugged, nature loving, sexy woodsman with a romantic heart, who also cooks. What’s not to love?
The story is told from Riley’s point of view and I could see how much he loved Stan; but Riley was not willing to make any sacrifices or compromises to keep them together. This made it difficult for me to like Riley at first. There is a running theme with in the book about a herring gull that has decided to live on Riley’s balcony. His reaction to the bird, their battles with one another and how this relationship develops, runs in synch with how Riley views his life and the decisions he comes to regarding his feelings for Stan.
I loved the chemistry between Stan and Riley. They were two people who had been together long enough to really know one another and to be able to fall into a comfortable banter (until the issue of compromise came up). They were passionate and there was a joy to their love-making that made me want to say work it out already!. Which, well, you will have to read the book to find out whether they did or not.
This novella length story packs quite a bit into a short story with Ms Myles’ usual quirky, sexy characters in a holiday setting. Great for a quick Christmas read with your favorite cup of holiday cheer.
Rated 4.5 stars by Deb