Author: Xavier Mayne
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Page/Word Count: 246 Pages
At a Glance: This story was sweet, funny and hot, while still bringing up and addressing serious issues.
Reviewed By: Karen
Blurb: A Brandt and Donnelly Caper: Case File Four
Troopers Ethan Brandt and Gabriel Donnelly celebrate the one-year anniversary of their engagement by flying south for a week of calm relaxation at the Villa Hermes, a gay boutique hotel on the beach. But when the rest of the guests turn out to be college guys on spring break (unwittingly booked into a gay hotel by a passive-aggressive travel agent), their week turns out to be anything but calm.
Ted, one of the spring breakers, has harbored a crush on his roommate and best friend, Bark, since they met freshman year. Now, on their fourth and final spring break, Ted knows they must soon say good-bye. A lacrosse star and ladies’ man, Bark has no idea Ted has fallen for him—until a storm forces the entire group underground for twenty-four hours of stress and truth-telling. Bark doesn’t want to say good-bye to Ted at graduation either. He just didn’t know how to put his feelings into words or if he could face the consequences of speaking them. Brandt and Donnelly help the college guys through their crisis by showing them what love between best friends can grow into.
But Ted and Bark aren’t the only spring-breakers with secrets.
Review: Brandt and Donnelly are just as in love and as sweet as we remember them in the previous installments of this series. When “Spring Break” begins, Brandt and Donnelly decide to spend a week on vacation to celebrate the one year anniversary of their engagement. At the beginning you also get a little interaction with some of my favorite characters from the previous books—just a little bit of Bryce, Nestor, Jonah, Casey, and Mal—but just that little bit puts you right back into the lives of these guys.
Once at the Villa Hermes, we meet Winnie and Vic, the owners of the fine establishment, who are unquestionably still head-over-heels in love, but are fun and flirty and have no shame in having all the boys naked at the pool. Then, the college boys check in for spring break….and all the craziness begins.
Although this is a Brandt and Donnelly book, and there is definitely a great story about them throughout this book (some seriously hot and loving scenes), and they are involved and weaved all through the story, to me this is more a story about Ted and Bark. They are like the younger, mini-me versions of Brandt and Donnelly, were they to have met in college. Brandt and Donnelly become, for these guys, not only someone look up to but are the ones to help Ted and Bark figure out what they truly want in their lives; Brandt and Donnelly are their angels.
One of the things I have loved about this series is how Xavier Mayne builds all of the characters, so whether they are the primary characters or secondary, by the end you feel as though you know them all. Story time was amazing, and at parts had me cracking up and laughing out loud. Thor’s story about the floppy, one eyed slug, and looking another man right in the anus, had tears running down my face I laughed so hard.
This story was sweet, funny, and hot, while still bringing up and addressing serious issues such as being honest and true to yourself, and the struggle for equal rights. Looking at the different characters, you can almost follow the changes and steps forward that have been made from generation to generation—from Winnie and Vic, to Brandt and Donnelly, and now Ted and Bark and the other guys who spent their week-long spring break learning about themselves and having their lives change at the Villa Hermes.
You can buy Spring Break at the Villa Hermes here: