Title: Merry Gentlemen
Author: Josephine Myles
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Length: 157 Pages (Kindle)
Category: Holiday Romance
At a Glance: With her trademark sense of humor firmly in place, Myles delivers a heart-tugging little romance with more than a few chuckles to lighten the mood.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: ’Tis the season of goodwill to all men…even the one who dumped you.
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.
Review: With all of the new holiday romances we have the chance to feast on this time of year, I think it’s always kind of fun to visit Christmases past, and some of the books that made those not so long ago holidays bright. One of my absolute flashback holiday faves is Josephine Myles’ Merry Gentlemen, an opposites attract story about two men who get a second chance at love. And, really, what’s not to love about those two tropes in one book any time of the year?
Riley MacDermott is a city mouse with a load of career ambitions. His relationship with Stanislav Dubinsky went belly up because Stan couldn’t live the city life anymore. He didn’t fall out of love with Riley, nor has Riley ever stopped loving Stan, but Stan needed to escape to the country and to a simpler and slower paced way of life—a place where he could practice his woodworking skills and enjoy the wide open spaces… Pretty much a nightmare sort of existence for Riley, who needs the pubs and his friends and his mobile, not to mention all the cultural offerings of the city. Not that he takes advantage of the theatre, mind you. He just likes to know it’s there.
With her trademark sense of humor firmly in place, Myles delivers a heart-tugging little romance with more than a few chuckles to lighten the mood. A seagull with great aim and loose bowels (not to mention it being a foreboding sort of presence in Riley’s life) brings a lot of comic relief to the tension that arcs between Ri and Stan. The sexual chemistry is there from the start, but there’s also the bittersweet angst of their growing realization that regardless of how much they may still love each other, they will never be able to live together because they need such vastly different things to make them happy. The great thing is that the story leaves you wondering how these two will ever find their way back together again without either of them compromising who they are. Riley’s tarty cheeky playfulness and Stan’s grumpy woodsy lumberjack-ness makes them the best romantic foils, and Myles maintains the conflict to the very end. And then, she resolves it all in a way that doesn’t feel at all forced or manufactured for the sake of a happy ending.
There’s one thing I can say for sure about Merry Gentlemen; I’ve never read a book before it or since in which a pooping seagull plays unwitting matchmaker. The other thing I can say for sure is that it was great to visit with Ri and Stan again this year.
You can buy Merry Gentlemen here: