Title: Home Sweet Home
Author: Clare London
Publisher: Jocular Press
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: short story (7K words)
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
The attraction between Chaz and Ryan is as strong as ever, but they’ve taken a relationship break, frustrated by each other’s lifestyle. Chaz is a drifter, casual to the point of carelessness. Ryan is a control freak, preferring order and organization. It just wasn’t working between them.
When Chaz moves apartments yet again, the project is fraught with chaos and plenty of breakages. Despite Chaz’s determination to be independent, Ryan comes to help out. Chaz admits he’s grateful for the friendly support. Or at least, that’s how it starts.
He realizes just how much he’s missed Ryan, just how much the other man’s care added to his life. Maybe it’s not too late to make some changes. Maybe there can be a middle ground for two such different men—because the reward is worth it.
This book is about opposites attracting, and the danger of trying to change the object of one’s affection – don’t we all know about that! because we are attracted to the same qualities that annoy us.
Ryan and Chaz are very different, which is the reason they are no longer together. Ryan is well off, handsome, responsible, organized and his life couldn’t be better. Enter Chaz who drifts from job to job, is unemployed, disorganized, moves frequently and has never settled in one place long enough for it to feel like home. In fact he seems to revel in being Ryan’s opposite in every way. Despite their major differences in lifestyle and attitude they can’t seem to stay away because the attraction between them is so powerful, but when they’re together they annoy the hell out of each other.
Chaz kept his latest apartment move a secret from Ryan because he knew what his attitude would be – he would be upset and then he would offer to help, and his ‘help’ was not something that Chaz felt he needed or wanted because the last time he did it was a disaster. When he found out, Ryan’s reaction was predictable and of course Chaz refused his assistance, but he should have known that wouldn’t keep his ex away. When Ryan showed up at his new place the day of the move the place was in such turmoil that Chaz changed his mind about accepting his help because the move had been a disaster from start to finish and he was wiped out; he needed Ryan and his organizational skills and he missed the way Ryan looked out for him even though he was loath to let him know. Maybe he had been too hasty in agreeing to a separation.
Would they screw up again or could there be a truce and a shift in their relationship for the better?
I did have a bit of difficulty with Chaz’s character which seemed totally irresponsible for someone who had been in the work force for a while and had bills to pay. He never had any money and his jobs didn’t seem to last very long so I understood why Ryan was upset with his approach to life. Ryan, on the other hand, needed to learn how to let loose because being uptight, constantly right and in control must be wearing on anyone although he was quite likable despite his advantages. Chaz also needed a strong push because his life was a mess, although seeing Ryan again made him realize how much he had lost when they separated.
The protagonists could not live with or without each other, and being apart was definitely not what they wanted despite their personalities being like oil and water – whenever Ryan proposed something Chaz usually took the other side. However, there was one place where they were totally in sync and that was in bed and they proved it once again on the day of the move when they made love rather than have sex.
This book will amuse you especially when you experience Chaz’s move, and Clare London managed to insert quite a bit of fun into Home Sweet Home even though it was such a short book. The new apartment was pretty bad, not only because it lacked basic amenities such as a bed and other furniture, but I don’t believe there was any heat even though it was winter (Chaz forgot to make the appropriate arrangements) . 🙂 Despite of all their differences, Chaz and Ryan seemed to have something going for them and I was left with the impression that their HFN ending might lead to something more long term. I enjoyed Home Sweet Home and I think you will too.