Petit Morts #1 – Hue, Tint and Shade

Title: Bittersweet Candy Kisses (All Petit Morts Stories)
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Publisher: JCP Books LLC
Buy link: (Second Edition)
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: short story (13K words)
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5


Asking for help can be a challenge for even the best of us, and so it’s doubly intimidating for quiet, introverted Tommy Roth. An online exchange leads to a meeting with a psychic who assures Tommy that his naturally subdued aura is to blame for his timidity. Blue and violet tones are out, and shades of yellow and red are in!

Of course it’s a bunch of baloney, and to make it worse, the intimidating shop clerk overheard the whole conversation.

Just when it seems like Tommy’s life can’t get any more dreary, a colorful character drops out of the sky. Nathan’s so vivid, he seems to good to be true. Is he?


Tommy was desperate. He was a contradiction because he was the top salesman in the car dealership where he worked, an environment where he was comfortable, but he was inept in social situations .He had no social skills and consequently no friends. His solution? Ask Sister Norma, a charlatan if ever there was one, to help him improve his social life. He met Sister Norma in a nearby candy store,  Sweets to the Sweet, and after the usual gobbledegook about his aura and colours, she left with $30 of his money and the potential for more in the future if Tommy was even more of a fool than he appeared to be.

Chance, the owner of the candy store who had looked on at the transaction, took pity on Tommy and recommended a professional who might be a bit more qualified to help him. When Tommy left, Chance noticed that Nathan, the flamboyant window washer outside who had been trying to set up a date with him since he first moved into the neighbourhood, was trying to get his attention by flirting. Even though Chance wasn’t showing any interest, Nathan put on a show to see if maybe this time he would get lucky. He didn’t!

Tommy had his doubts that a professional would be able to help him but he made an appointment to see the doctor Chance recommended. While he was sitting in the doctor’s office he noticed a window washer hanging by his safety harness from the 37th floor of the building. The window washer, the same one who had been trying to put the moves earlier on Chance, was writing his phone number on the window and motioning for Tommy to call him later. When Tommy left the doctor’s office he decided to make a washroom break before his long drive home, and in the middle of relieving himself Nathan burst into the bathroom to make sure he got the phone number and was going to call. They arranged to meet at a local film festival and the date was one for the ages as they hooked up in the theatre and in the middle of having sex the fire alarm went off. I guess you could say that they and the fire alarm went off at the same time. 🙂

Nathan was bold and audacious and gave Tommy the impetus he needed to become a confident man who would execute daring challenges he never would have contemplated before. Nathan’s joie de vivre was contagious and his effect on Tommy was transforming – the man I met in the beginning did not resemble the character in the end  of the book. Nathan’s character remained constant and it was as if his aura enveloped Tommy who became a tiger. I loved Nathan’s sense of humour – at one point when Tommy was giving him oral sex he expressed concern -:D

“Take it easy baby, I don’t expect you to be a sword swallower.”

Jordan’s books always veer into the weird and wonderful which is why I love her writing. Sister Norma was so real I could see her in my mind’s eye, and the scene when Tommy was in the doctor’s office listening to him drone on and on while he was trying to read Nathan’s phone number that he was writing backward while swinging in the air was priceless.

And what of Chance? Has he moved on?

I really liked this book and definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for an unusual story.

One last comment about this series. Whoever designed the book covers did an outstanding job. Not only are the covers beautiful but they are also unusual.



  • Well I don’t want to blow it for Chance by revealing too much too soon 😉
    Thanks again for all the comments and encouragement. It can be scary trying to do something new. There’s always the possibility of the reaction “WTF?” rather than “Yay, something different.”

  • Merith
    I can’t get over Nathan – he’s something else, especially in guy liner. 🙂 this is one of my faves in the series. I have one more to go.

    • I am looking forward to reading your take on Moolah and Moonshine. …and now I’ll stop trying to give my opinion on that book and wait for the review of it. 🙂


      I’m finding myself just TOO chatty these days on this site.

  • I liked this one very, very much. I liked how Tommy gained confidence around Nathan. I still want to know more about Chance though. I hope they’ll let give us that in the future. ^^

    • Hi Lady M
      Like you, I really thought this was a great idea for Tommy to gain confidence from Nathan, wonderful flirt that he is. I put in a word for Chance’s story with Jordan for you. 🙂

  • Thanks so much Wave, Merith, Val — all of you! — for all the kind words you’ve said here and on Amazon.

    I almost got cold feet about using my own illustration for the cover, but luckily Josh talked me into keeping it.
    We’re talking about getting another batch ready for late summer if our schedules allow. I’m considering revisiting Tommy and Nathan again; Nathan really captured my imagination. I think I have three more Petit Morts ideas already–one of which I found in a really weird spot on my computer yesterday, an idea I generated months ago and didn’t flesh out yet. Getting the ideas is the easy part. Writing and polishing them is the hard part.

    • Oh good deal! I really love these little stories and they do pack a good deal into so few words. A lot of times a short story is so much better than a mammoth epic.


      And, not that you ever would, but I know I’ve said I love knowing/reading more about Chance, but I like those little glimpses of Chance. Like a glimmer of what he could be. Reading about him in small hints and touches is rather like a slow seduction. One day we might get fully naked and under the covers, but for now, those sideways looks and barely there touches are more than enough. 🙂

    • Hi Jordan
      I’m really pleased that you and Josh will be creating a few more Petit Morts. I and many other readers would like Chance’s story because we are fascinated by him. I would also like more face time with Walt. These are really fascinating characters that you and Josh have given us and I can’t wait for the next edition. This is such a change from the usual run of the mill stuff that I read most of the time and I really appreciate these little books. Also the covers are superb!

  • I do believe that this is my favorite of the series; there was just something about this one that was missing from the others. Though, the others had more of a mysterious/spooky appeal, this one had more Chance and gave us all a slight taste of just what Chance was or can do.


    I also loved the characters, both Tommy and Nathan. Nathan just cracked me up with his edgy, seductress style – so terribly cocky but with the balls to back it. And Tommy, yeah, I’d buy a car from him, and probably send him Christmas cards every year, even after I’d gotten rid of the car.

  • Hi Val
    I think you’re right about the British Carnaby Street look in the mid 60s. I really love the series and I was happy to learn that they plan more books in the future together. Hue, Tint and Shade was one of my absolute favourites. Jordan did a great job.

  • Great review, Wave! I think that this one or #5 might have been my favorites in the series. Jordan is the one who designed the covers. I agree with you that they’re stunning! To me, they have a British “Mod” Carnaby Street mid-1960s look!


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