Title: Love in La Terraza
Author: Ethan Day
Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas
Publisher: Self Published
Buy Link: Amazon.com
Genre: Contemporary M/M romance
Length: Novel (123 PDF pages)
Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
A guest review by Tj
Summary Review: Fasten your seat belts ladies and gentlemen – Ethan Day’s back with a sexy, sweet and of course funny romance.
***Although not available on Amazon yet, Love in La Terraza is available through All Romance E-books here: ARe. If you buy from Resplendence, you get a zip file with several formats usable on various e-readers.
The Blurb: Cain Elliott is a desperate man – on the brink of losing La Terraza, the 1920’s Spanish style courtyard apartment complex his grandmother left him in her will, he’s faced with the option of selling to a real estate developer or losing the building outright, due to the costs of upkeep that have now left him teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. One setback after another has slowly whittled away any hope he’d been harboring to turn the tides. Having time for little else in life, Cain’s guilt over his failure to protect the home of those who reside within the walls of La Terraza has crippled his spirit.
On the partnership fast-track at the flashy architectural firm of Hamilton-Bach, Henry Abrams is new in town, a little lonely and looking for inspiration. Tired of games and longing for something real, Henry discovers the road to happiness could lie in the arms of the sad, uncomplicated Cain Elliott.
Discovering that Hamilton-Bach represents the mysterious entrepreneur attempting to purchase La Terraza, combined with the self-doubt and mistrust over a love that develops too fast, leave both men struggling to decide whether or not they can truly find…Love in La Terraza.
The Review: In Love in La Terraza, Ethan Day has given us a sweet, very sexy (for those who like that kind of thing) and (what many readers feel is Ethan Day’s forte) – quite funny romance. But what I found most interesting was that I felt a distinct maturing in the style of humor in this latest Ethan Day book.
Mr. Day has taken the snarky funny guy to a new level with his main character Cain Elliot. Cain has lots of great one-liners, but he is, at his very core, a kind and compassionate man, and as such his humor is usually aimed at himself, rather than at the expense of others. I found this combination of kindness, compassion and self-deprecating humor made Cain a character that I really cared about. And if I may get a bit of personal, the kind of man that I find very attractive.
As the blurb says, the story is basically about Cain Elliot who had inherited a 1920’s apartment building (La Terraza) from his grandmother, a place which he loves and is struggling to hold on to. On top of that he feels incredibly guilty that if he loses the building, the tenants who have also become friends, will be put out of their homes. After yet another frustrating day of trying to get a loan to do much-needed repairs and hold on to his beloved building, Cain heads to happy hour only to unexpectedly meet Henry, an up and coming architect who recently moved to town.
There are lots of laughs to be had in that initial meeting. Teasing him about Henry’s interest, Cain’s friend Matt says: “Mrs. Madrigal has a gentleman caller”. (In case you don’t know, that’s a character who ran a boarding house in Amistead Maupin’s Tales of the City.) Or when Cain’s friends practically force him on Henry, Cain’s replies: “And I’m just dying to keep you company, sir. In exchange for taking me off their hands my daddies can offer you two goats, a head of cattle and skillet.” Or in one of those “how does Ethan Day think of these things” moments, Cain says in reply to Henry buying another round of drinks: “This is America, land-of-the-free-to-liquor-me-up-and-take-blessedly-sinful-advantage-of-me.” These types of laughs are generously sprinkled throughout the story, and not just Cain gets to utter all of the funny bits.
Cain’s love interest, Henry is a bit of a departure as well, in that he is also a very kind person, and at times quite funny in his own way. Yes, I know that probably sounds like the formula for a too sweet, sappy romance, but that is far from what we get. Henry and Cain are very attracted to each other and quickly get busy between the sheets. There’s lots of hot man-love happening in La Terraza. So much for nice guys being boring!
Ethan Day has also become quite adept at bringing a setting to life with beautifully descriptive prose, that in this case almost turns La Terraza into a character in it’s own right. I could truly feel Henry’s awe when he first sees the beautiful old building. Coincidently, I have lived in a circa 1920’s building, and Mr. Day’s attention to the details of that era rang quite true to me. Many of my visitors were quite impressed with the old girl’s lovely details, even with her age showing through.
Additionally, I loved the secondary characters which consisted of an odd mix of tenants living in La Terraza who were each given enough detail to flesh out, and some interesting quirks that made them seem real without being cartoonish. Also making an appearance was Henry’s Mother via an somewhat embarrassing phone call, and Cain’s family in a scene that would’ve been right at home in a 1940’s slapstick comedy. They were all slightly nuts, but in a very believable way that made you have to love them – like your own wacky family.
Now that’s not to say that I loved all of the secondary characters. Emily, Cain’s BFF was difficult and I didn’t particularly care for her, but Cain does explain their friendship and she does come through in the end. And I must note that she is a minor character with very little on page time.
Lastly, I would like to briefly mention that there is one scene that I thought very original. I won’t spoil the fun for you all, but let me just say that Ethan Day came up with a most unusual way for Henry to confront Cain with his new found knowledge about how dire Cain’s financial situation is. I actually covered my eyes shaking my head trying to picture some guy trying this on me. I’m honestly not sure how I’d react.
I think this line from the dedication in Love in La Terraza sums the story up nicely: “For those who dream of a love that comes along when you need it most.” Wow, if only that were true in real life. I highly recommend this wonderful book.
Note: For those of you who enjoy this book, this time next year Ethan Day is planning to release a companion story about Charlie, Cain’s cousin, and the flower shop that he inherited from their grandmother.