Title: Team Phison
Author: Chace Verity
Length: 132 Pages
At a Glance: Charming, clever, and touching, Team Phison was the perfect book to get me to the quick and genuine happy that I crave from contemporary romance.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: For 55-year-old Phil Hutton, finding a new boyfriend is tough, especially since he’s still hurting from his ex leaving him for a younger man. Online dating has been a soul-crushing experience for the restaurant owner. Too many meat-haters interested in microbreweries or something called geocaching. His matches in the multiplayer for his favorite video game have been equally sucky too.
One night, he encounters a newbie who is so helpless, Phil can’t help showing him the ropes. It doesn’t take long for Phil to become interested in his enthusiastic teammate. 28-year-old Tyson Falls from Georgia loves working as a server in a rinky pizza joint and sees the best in everything. As Phil’s online dating matches get worse and his in-game matches with Tyson get better, he finds himself wanting to pursue the easygoing chatterbox with a thick, sexy drawl.
But Phil can’t get past the fear that Tyson could possibly want a fossil like him. If his brain doesn’t stop being so damn insecure, it might be game over for his heart.
Review: Speaking as a grownup of a certain age—let’s just say I have a hell of a lot more in common with Phil Hutton than I do with Tyson Falls—I absolutely adored this little May/December romance just fine, thanks.
Phil is a curmudgeon. There’s really no other word for him. He’s been dumped by his ex for a younger man, and is quickly discovering the unvarnished disappointment of finding that special someone based on a dating site’s profile compatibility. After watching Phil make his way through a couple of those dates, I began to wonder at what point he’d decide that he’d be happiest just sticking to the restaurant he owns, which specializes in pairing its gourmet burgers with the perfect bourbon. Because good food and better liquor doesn’t judge and never disappoints.
Phil is also a gamer, and he’s pretty good at it too, so when someone named ‘BisonFalls’ (the way Tyson arrives at his screen name is so great, and the way he reveals it is so damned honest and refreshing!) joins Phil’s team one night, a someone who’s so obviously a rookie and will be nothing but dead weight, and will probably cause a quick and decisive mission failure, Phil is none too thrilled about it. But, he takes the easy-going southerner along for the ride. And they begin to chat. And they begin to connect. And then, Verity spends the rest of this short novel making readers fall in love with watching Phil and Tyson fall in love with each other.
The double-digit difference in Phil and Tyson’s ages is a sticking point for Phil, and with good reason. Two decades more life experience is, without question, a significant gap, not to mention that Phil has reached a point in his maturity that he’s lost his youthful physique and features, and can’t fathom why someone as young as Tyson would ever be interested in him. What Verity does with such verity (let’s face it, I had to go there eventually) is to allow both Phil and Tyson the luxury (yeah, in romantic fiction, this is a luxury) of being regular guys. They aren’t alpha bohunks whose brains are in their butt muscles. They’re men who…well…can sit down and enjoy a guilt-free burger paired with a good drink, and I loved their relatability. And, I loved their compatibility even more. Where Phil was a cranky arse, Tyson was a cheerful ray of sunshine, and I bought into their budding romance in every way the author intended me to.
Team Phison might be a short novel, but it’s long on good feelings and lovely characterizations. Phil’s family is awesome, even his doucheknob of a brother-in-law—who really isn’t a bad guy, he’s just pretentious—and they all went a long way towards making this story well-rounded and complete. I loved that Tyson was a proud bisexual man, owned it and embraced it, and I so appreciate the author avoiding the stereotypical drama of Phil worrying that Tyson might leave him for a woman. It was never even hinted at, thankfully—Phil was more concerned about his age, in a realistic way.
Chace Verity is a new-to-me author who has left the best of all impressions on me. Charming, clever, and touching, Team Phison was the perfect book to get me to the quick and genuine happy that I crave from contemporary romance.
You can buy Team Phison here: