Title : Rabbit Wars
Collection : Eostre’s Basket #3
Author : Whitley Gray
Publisher : Loose Id (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary, Holidays
Length : 153 pages (e-book)
Published : March 18, 2014
Rating : ★★★
After two months in Dubai supervising a construction project, architect Jefferson Fontaine returns home to find his boyfriend boffing the dog walker. Reeling, Jeff grabs his dignity and departs. The arrival of a mysterious wicker box and a letter requesting Jeff’s presence for the reading of a local entrepreneur’s will sends Jeff to his hometown of Crooked Creek, Colorado. The last thing he expects is to encounter an old flame who disappeared fifteen years ago.
After high school, Ashton Eiker hoped to start a future with the boy he loved, but his world crashed when Jeff refused to bring Ash along with him to college. Ash ran from the rejection, but returned to Crooked Creek a year ago, bringing his confectionary talents and opening a chocolate shop. When the great uncle of a childhood friend names Ash in his will, he could hardly anticipate getting a helping of his past in the mix.
Jeff and Ash jointly inherit the historic Jeremiah Rabbit House, and are forced to work together to meet the terms of the will or neither will have the mansion. It’s a battle of opinions, shared personal history, and present attraction, but the true prize isn’t the Rabbit legacy. It’s the chance at something better.
Jeff Fontaine returns home after working abroad to find his lover has not only been cheating on him in their personal relationship, but appears to be sabotaging him professionally. At a loss as to what to do with his life Jeff gets an unexpected delivery notifying him of the death of a friend, Mr Rabbit. He’s requested to come back to his hometown in Colorado to hear the terms of the last will and testament. It’s something Jeff has needed to do anyway. He hasn’t been home since his father passed away. Jeff needs to get his father’s home ready for sale and it’s a good time to simply take care of everything. Jeff also receives a shipment of chocolates. They’re in the style of the chocolates produced by the Rabbit family, however the family stopped producing chocolates long ago. Their presence is a mystery. What Jeff didn’t expect was his former best friend and lover, Ashton Eiker, to be the other person listed in the will. They inherit the Rabbit house, which prompted Jeff to become an architect, and they have to complete three tasks within a year. Jeff and Ash don’t really want to work together. They’re both still hurt from their childhood break up. One mystery does get quickly solved. Ash is a chocolatier. He made the chocolates in the style of the Rabbit family, although he didn’t deliver them to Jeff. Despite getting off to a rocky start Jeff and Ash quickly come to the realization they still very much care about each other. They find themselves working together easily on the tasks set to them by Mr. Rabbit’s will. Things start to go bad when Jeff’s now ex-boyfriend starts to become more elaborate in his workplace sabotage of Jeff. Jeff and Ash have to figure out how to stay together and fend off the people attempting to destroy Jeff.
This wasn’t a bad story. I did feel the character had a regular internal dialogue that he would then later repeat in conversations with other people, giving that information to the reader twice. For the most part I just really felt this type of story is just better when it’s written by Josh Lanyon. Hero returns home after boyfriend cheats, check; hero has to deal with deceased parent’s affairs, check; hero and high school boyfriend realize they still love each other after all this time, check; big creepy but beloved house, check; and last but not least, mysterious chocolates, check. Josh Lanyon doesn’t in any way own those scenarios, but he has written them frequently with excellence. Using the same scenarios, and so many of them at the same time, invites comparisons. Be the comparison fair or not, this story did not at all live up to it’s predecessors.
Rated 3 stars by Faye