Author: Josephine Myles
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 189 pages
Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Andrea
Review Summary: A seemingly bittersweet romance which turned into a very good Holiday romance that’s both heartwarming and sexy.
’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.
I adore the writings of Josephine Myles. They’re always fun, sexy, and incredibly British, which I love. I’m bordering on an addiction where she is concerned. I’m pretty sure I have read every one of her books at this point. So, it should come as no surprise that I wanted to read Merry Gentlemen the minute I saw it was coming out.
My initial reaction when I started reading was that this book was going to be a little bit different than I anticipated. I was expecting a lighter, Holiday romp, but it was apparent early on that this wasn’t going to be as light and happy as I expected. The overall tone was more melancholy. Even Myles’s signature humor wasn’t striking me as being quite as funny in the beginning. That may come off sounding like criticism, but it’s not.
Riley is the first character you meet, and I didn’t find him immediately likable. He seemed down, not exactly depressed, but not happy either. Once I got to know him a little bit, and understand his sullen demeanor, he became much more likable. I was just getting to the point of appreciating Riley when Stan suddenly appears. By that point, I knew Riley was secretly pining for the guy, but Stan didn’t give any clues as to his feelings. I wanted to know what was going on in his head.
Once Riley and Stan had rekindled their relationship, it was great. That’s where I got the heartwarming romance and steamy sex scenes I longed for. But there was still something niggling in the back of my mind. The initial problem which caused their breakup was still there and neither one of them had changing their mind. I felt as though there was a dark cloud hanging over their rekindled romance. It’s difficult for me to enjoy a sexy fling when I’m worried both guys are going to have their hearts broken again. It made for a bittersweet feeling to the romance.
Of course, Merry Gentlemen is a Holiday romance. It’s against the rules for it to end any way other than happily. 😆 I knew all along it wasn’t really going to end with Riley and Stan being heartbroken, but my trepidation did have an impact on my enjoyment of the story. It’s a very good book, and I urge you to read it, just try not to let your worries about their future bother you as much as I did.