Petit Morts #3 – Moolah and Moonshine


Title: Bittersweet Candy Kisses (All Petit Morts Stories)
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Publisher: JCP Books LLC
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: Novelette (14,100 words)
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

 THE BLURB

Rust. Cabbage. A vague sour odor of spoiled milk. No, that’s not the smell of the dumpster behind Sweets to the Sweet—it’s Emmett Russo’s horrible house. Everyone told him a home was a great investment, but the market went bad, he discovered a bunch of hidden problems, and now he owes more on his mortgage than the old Kansas farmhouse is worth.

If that’s not bad enough, his best friend Rosemary just landed a fabulous new job…in Paris. The Paris. And Emmett doesn’t know if he can face his horrible house without her. Emmett longs to jaunt away with Rosemary, but how can he fly with his albatross of a house dragging him down?

Enter tall, strapping Sam Kowalski, who’s rumored to be “good with his hands.”  Emmett’s not accustomed to airing his stinky secrets to just anybody, but Sam seems determined to help him out…and together they discover there’s far more hidden in Emmett’s horrible house than a bunch of weird smells.

THE REVIEW

This book proved to be the most surprising and I really, really liked it because it was quite different from what I was expecting.

Emmett has a huge problem – his house is falling down around his ears. The house was supposed to be an investment but instead it’s a money pit and there’s no end in sight. He can’t afford to fix it and he’s unable to move because no one in their right mind will buy his horrible nightmare of a house. He’s stuck. Enter Chance and Sam.

Emmett went into Sweets for the Sweet to buy something as a bon voyage present for his friend Rosemary who was leaving soon for a new job in Gay Paree. He was so jealous even though he was happy for her, because he knew that Paris was not in his future for a long time. While waiting for his espresso and Rosemary’s present which turned out to be a box of chocolates, he started chatting with Chance, the owner of the store, and told him his troubles. Chance of course had a wonderful suggestion – his friend Sam was quite handy and might be able to help Emmett. Right about then Sam walked into the candystore and what a wonderful sight he was to Emmett. Chance introduced the guys and they decided that Sam should see the house so that he could give his opinion about whether anything could be done to fix it. 

When they arrived at the house they got to know each other a little better and for Emmett things began to look up when he found out that Sam was, in fact, gay and the best part was he seemed to be attracted to him.  The inspection was what Emmett expected until they went down into the basement which yielded a startling find that led to something Emmett did not anticipate. Were they hallucinating? Was there something in the water?

While reading this book I couldn’t decide which protagonist was worse off  – Emmett who had an albatross of a house around his neck or Sam who had so many debts that bill collectors were hounding him, forcing him to live with his mother who was not happy to have him back home. However, despite his run of bad luck Sam was quite upbeat and I liked the way he seemed to think that things would turn around eventually. Emmett on the other hand was definitely in the dumps and it was beginning to affect his earning potential.

Moolah and Moonshine had many unexpected twists and turns and I loved the reactions of Sam and Emmett as they fed on each other in deciding what to do with their new circumstance. This story is the one with the most opportunity for spoilers so I can’t say too much more except that these guys had a lot of balls and I loved the ending.

This is my last review of books in the Petit Morts series and I think it is one of the best short series I have come across in a long time. Having two authors whose writing styles are so different gives readers a range of plots and characters. Although each story was dissimilar, one character, Chance, was the glue who held the plots together and helped the protagonists see a path they might not have chosen otherwise. I hope we will see Chance again when this series resumes and even though I wish he could have his own story, perhaps it’s better that his character remain enigmatic and mysterious.

If you haven’t read the Petit Morts series what are you waiting for?  You are in for an unexpected treat because the stories are unusual and there’s something for everyone. I think that Jordan Castillo Price and Josh Lanyon did a fantastic job!

Author

I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball

18 comments

  • Thanks for tweaking that review, Val. It hadn’t even occurred to me that there was a spoiler in it or I would have mentioned it to you myself! I had edited all five stories in such a short amount of time that everything was blending together and I had no distance.
    .
    I think when I read things multiple times that experience of something unfolding for the first time can be forgotten as I focus on other writing aspects.
    .
    In this story, I had a lot of trouble with the beginning and the end. The beginning was rewritten once and the end twice. (And the plot twist is in the middle!)

    Reply
    • Jordan
      On reflection, I’m glad I read this story last because it resonated with me more and still does. It’s not that it’s better than the others it’s just different and the plot twist was so unexpected. I would like to live in your brain for just one day (maybe that might not be such a good idea or my brain could end up being fried) 🙂
      *
      I hope that JCP Books continues to grow so that we can enjoy even more unusual adventures!

      Reply
      • It’s really gratifying why this story struck a chord in you, Wave, because initial feedback was leaning toward most people saying they liked this story the least. Of course I’d love to never care what anyone thinks of my writing, but let’s face it, I live in the real world where I care what people think. So it means a lot to me that you like it because it’s experimental (for me.) That gives me confidence to keep trying new things.
        .
        I think I easily have enough partially-done projects to keep JCP Books busy through the end of the year. I had to start turning down outside work last fall to make room for my own projects 😀 — a good feeling.

        Reply
        • Jordan
          One of the reasons I love your books is because some of the time you come up with unexpected twists to your stories.
          *
          I read because I want to expand my mind and explore worlds that I will never see in RL and exploring books is one way to do so, especially since I can’t afford to travel to all the places I would love to. Keep on with what you’re doing – this is one reader who hopes that JCP grows exponentially so that you can give up your EDJ and concentrate on writing and signing new authors.
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          Did you notice that some of the readers are chatting about this series on the Neoboard? You and the Petit Morts books have a world wide audience if I can believe the numbers I see every day. 🙂

          Reply
      • You read them out of order!!!! *Gasp* I can’t do that. Even though I know in this case it wasn’t essential I just can’t go against the grain that way. LOL Call me a sheep. 🙂

        Reply
        • Yes Missy. I did read them out of order. I do that sometimes just to shake you and make sure you’re awake. 🙂 I asked Jordan and she assured me that there was no need to read them in order – maybe you didn’t get the memo. 🙂

          Reply
  • I can comment now since I’ve read them. 🙂
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    I found myself laughing out loud a few times with this one. I thought Emmett was hilarious. It definitely ended differently than I expected which can be a pleasant surprise.
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    Velcro. Ha!

    Reply
  • It is hard to talk about this story without giving the big twist away, not and be able to relay the impact this story has. It had me thinking about it for hours after. Even now I still give it time and ponder what ifs.

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    I love Sam and his exuberance (once he gets into Emmett’s house).

    Reply
    • Merith
      The less said about the plot the better because an unwary word could give it away and that would not be a good thing. As you can tell, I really enjoyed Moolah and Moonshine and I can’t wait for the next round. 🙂

      Reply
      • I enjoyed the whole series very much, and am eager for more. Summer can’t come too soon (and not just to get rid of the snow!)

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        It rather pissed me off that a certain reviewer on Amazon.com spoiled the whole thing. grrr

        Reply
        • Merith
          I think reviewers need to understand that it’s not about them but other readers. If they spoil a book for someone else who would want to read their reviews ever again? This is one of the reasons I’ve stopped reading reviews on amazon and I hardly ever post there any more.

          Reply
          • You know, I should have had a little more class and let you know in an off-line manner about the spoiler. It was hard to write what is so appealing about this story without giving away the twist. Part of the thrill of the story for me is walking that adventure with Sam and Emmett as they went through it.

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            I should also add, I’ve enjoyed reading your reviews on other stories.

            Reply
          • Hi, Merith, no problem, really! I’m very glad that I saw what you wrote. Sometimes I can be slow to recognize what is a spoiler because I don’t tend to mind them myself, but I would really like to get better about that. I consider what you said as much-needed feedback. 🙂

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            You said, “I should also add, I’ve enjoyed reading your reviews on other stories.” Thanks so much! That’s always good to hear.

            Reply

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