Title: Bittersweet Candy Kisses (All Petit Morts Stories)
Author: Clare London
Cover Artist: Jordan Castillo Price
Publisher: JCP Books LLC
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Paranormal M/M
Length: Novelette/18.1K Words/60 PDF pages
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5, DIK
Summary Review: A fitting end to a wonderful, exciting series.
Chance wasn’t sure he even had a heart—until he felt it breaking.
Richard Hill should be grading papers, but a dilapidated roadside carnival distracts him from his clipboard full of essays on the function of the human heart. The weather is cold and the carnies are dour, but the cotton candy is good enough to lure him back for more.
It doesn’t hurt that former student Joel Weaver, all grown up, is working there too—and not only is he quirky and cute, he seems to be putting off an “interested” vibe.
Chance is accustomed enough to the love gig by now to get The One situated without breaking a sweat—until he finds the fates of the newfound lovers are more tangled than he’d anticipated.
The only thing left to do is take the situation up with management.
17 stories later, this is the end of the road for the series but is it also The End for Hunter and Chance? I love, love, love Petit Morts and have savoured all of the stories because they were special, but it’s not hard to say why I found this series so fascinating, I fell in love with Chance. Most of the stories were not complicated — they were about ordinary people who were flawed and at times managed to screw up their lives — which is probably the secret to its success.
Before I review Immortal Coil I have to pay homage to Jordan Castillo Price who conceived this idea and executed it brilliantly. She persuaded authors like Josh Lanyon, Sean Kennedy and Clare London (who joined late but brought her own unique slant to the series) to write incredibly moving stories around the shadowy and seemingly almost sinister character of Chance and she penned her own wonderful stories. I have my favourites, sometimes for the strangest reason, just like every other fan has his or hers and I think that’s the appeal of Petit Morts — there’s something here for everyone.
Now on to Immortal Coil.
Does Chance have a heart? You be the judge.
There are two stories in this book and each has a major impact on the other and run parallel.
Chicago teacher Richard Hill used to be a wrestling coach known to his students as “Coach Rick” until he was shot 3 years ago by a crazy teen with an axe to grind against jocks. After he recovered from his injuries Richard had to switch careers as he could no longer coach because the bullet was lodged in his pericardium. Now he is a Health and Fitness teacher and although it’s not as much fun as being a wrestling coach it’s a job and he appreciates being alive, but he still grieves his lost career although he is trying to move on with his life.
One afternoon after driving around looking for a parking spot while waiting for his mother he saw a small roadside carnival which he thought would be an ideal place to pass the time and get a meal. Little did he know that he would meet Destiny there, in a manner of speaking.
Joel Weaver was working part-time at the carnival with Hunter, Chance’s on again off again love. When he was called to the scene of a minor accident he thought he saw someone he recognized from high school, but what would Coach Rick be doing at a carnival? When they eventually met Joel and Richard connected and this could either be their biggest mistake or the beginning of something that could last a lifetime. Richard really liked Joel and even started thinking of hearth and home rather than just getting off. However he seems to have the worst luck as his good deed trying to save a child tempts fate to spit in his eye once more, and this time he might not be as lucky unless Chance and Hunter decide that his life is meaningful and he should be given a another chance and that he’s worthy of a huge sacrifice.
I think Immortal Coil illustrates why this series hooked so many readers. I loved the characters who I regarded as old friends as at last Chance and Hunter are honest with each other about their jobs and their softer feelings. Since Petit Morts started I was intrigued by Chance’s life before he arrived on earth to find his “Ones.” There was an air of mystery about him and I wanted to know what drove him, and why he was given this assignment, and there were many answers provided.
Since this is the last story in the series it’s clearly not a standalone and it would not be satisfactory if you read it before the others, regardless how wonderful the characters and the story are, although Jordan Castillo Price is at the top of her game here and her prose is magical. What I love about this writer is her incredible imagination as she weaves something as commonplace as candy floss into a very important element of her story, just because she can. That takes more than just talent. Her characters have always avoided the usual traps that many writers fall into and she gives readers brilliantly drawn, flawed, nuanced protagonists who light up the page, and Joel and Richard are no exception, but the stars of the series are Chance and Hunter whose intense romance is at times off the scale. In this book the threads of destiny not only weave their magic around Joel and Richard who are both trying to find their way after disappointments in life, but give Chance and Hunter a taste of their own medicine as they are not as in control of their fate. I thought it was smart of the author to bring other immortals into the story such as Destiny, Kismet and Fortune and give them important roles.
All of the human characters of the series had special qualities despite being ordinary and at times extremely flawed, and they found something that most people look for but never seem to find, a sense of self and love.
Along the way I became very fond of Chance, the complex, jaded immortal who ran Sweets to the Sweet and who, despite his seeming contempt and lack of sympathy for human beings and their foibles, was forced against his will to acknowledge the value of those who were mortal.
I’m really sorry to see Petit Morts end as all good things must, but I thought the end was fitting and right and it met and exceeded my expectations. I was happy for Chance and Hunter and my only regret is I wish the story was longer. I won’t tell you which stories are my favourites but if you read my reviews it’s not hard to guess. 🙂
Thanks Jordan, Josh, Sean and Clare for a great ride.