Petit Morts #10 – Wishink Well


Title: Bittersweet Candy Kisses (All Petit Morts Stories)
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Publisher: JCP Books LLC
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Paranormal M/M
Length: Novelette 14,300 words, 48 PDF pages
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5, DIK,


Summary review: Eddie had the best send off of anyone in recent memory, and maybe the smile on his face was real.

THE BLURB

Dying with dignity. Passing on one’s own terms. Approaching the end in a caring, nurturing atmosphere. There are plenty of reasons people check in to Hospice House…but Eddie Flynn’s just there for the morphine.

Eddie’s lung capacity is down to 15%, he’s in continual pain, and he’s constantly burning up with fever from the infection he just can’t shake. Given his physical condition, he’s baffled to find himself fawning over the hot guy stocking the vending machines.

Eddie figures it’s futile to even flirt with someone, considering how little time he’s got left. But there’s something about the guy with the name “Chance” embroidered on his coveralls that he just can’t stop thinking about—not only for Chance’s naughty smile and bedroom eyes.

It seems Eddie’s somehow ended up with Chance’s pen.

THE REVIEW

This is, without a doubt, one of Jordan Castillo Price’s most innovative and imaginative stories, maybe the most imaginative, as well as the most moving, poignant and sympathetic. In fact I think the plot and execution are brilliant. As I was reading Wishink Well I was reminded of the title of a book by Dame Agatha Christie which has always resonated with me, and in this case it seemed quite appropriate – Death Comes as the End. I knew how this current book would end, I just didn’t know the circumstances. And what an incredible way to go – up in flames, a frozen daiquiri or brain freeze.

Chance the master manipulator plays a different and much more hands-on and important role in Wishink Well than he has in the other stories. Initially he seemed a bit unsure of his assignment, his chocolate shop had disappeared and in its place was Sweets to the Sweet Vending Company. His job was to stock the vending machines in the hospice, Eddie Flynn’s current and probably last address. Eddie was too young at 30 to be dying from lung disease but Death is no respecter of age and that’s his fate. He was aware that his chances of leaving the hospice on his own two legs were slim and none, and he was resigned to having only a matter of days left to live. He was in the hospice because he was dependent on the morphine to ease his excruciating pain.

This particular day Eddie, who was constantly burning up with a high temperature because the morphine could only do so much, noticed the very attractive vending machine guy as he was trying to get a Pepsi from the machine. Of course it swallowed up his money, and when he asked Chance (he knew his name because it was embroidered on his overalls) to get him another can, Chance gave him his pen and told him to fill in the form and he would get his money back in 4 – 6 weeks. For someone who had only days left this was really funny, so Eddie told Chance that under his current circumstances it would be a better idea to get him a Pepsi from the machine rather than wait for a response in a month to 6 weeks. I suppose Chance could see his point so he gave Eddie his Pepsi but when he left he forgot his pen, and this opened a whole can of worms because Eddie felt he was either losing his mind, the pen had magical powers, or there were a lot of coincidences going around.

Wishink Well reveals to readers of the Petit Morts series something that we have probably always suspected, that Chance is more than just someone who could help out in a pinch in situations where he was able to get potential lovers together, or ensure that a crook got his comeuppance. Eddie was in the last stages of lung disease through no fault of his own and the morphine was barely helping, but he wasn’t despondent – he was attracted to Chance who reminded him of the days when he could probably get any man he wanted. Unfortunately, in his present condition he could only imagine the pleasures that he was no longer able to give or receive, but a guy can dream can’t he?

I think that Jordan’s brain went into overdrive in the characterizations and plotting of this story and I was sucked into Eddie’s imaginary world, or maybe it was his reality that I was living. I don’t know, but it sure seemed real to me. Some readers may not get Wishink Well which would be a pity because it’s so different and incredibly creative, and while it does require the suspension of disbelief,  what a wonderful story this is from that fertile brain of Ms Price. You may think due to the subject matter that this story would be depressing, but on the contrary it’s incredibly uplifting and entertaining and Eddie was very funny. His mind was not always full of death and dying, sometimes it was quite the playground.

I re-read this book today and updated the rating to 5+ stars  DIK because I do think the story is a ‘keeper’. This series is getting better and better. All of the stories have been great so far and I don’t know if the authors can equal or top them when the last 5 books are released. Whether or not they do, I think the enjoyment that I received from the last 10 books is more than worth the investment.  Chance’s character growth is, I think, the key to this series and Jordan’s growth as a writer is also evident in her approach to the story, which could have had a different and more traditional ending. I’m so glad that she had the courage to write a story she believed in rather than what was expected.  Great job on Wishink Well Jordan.

Author

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

33 comments

  • I finally got my hands on new Petit Morts and, oh, boy… While I liked the first five stories just fine, for some reason, I enjoyed these five much, much more. It seemed to me that both Jordan and Josh had sort of relaxed and let the stories just go where they want – with exceptional results. And Sean Kennedy was also the great addition to the team. His story really made me smile.^^

    Among them all, this story stands out – it’s fabulous. I’m not ashamed to say – I cried through half of it. It warmed me to know that Eddie did the right thing, but also that he didn’t lost his spark in the last, painful days. And, Chance, oh, dear… There were moments during the series when his coolness (and not the literary one) irritated me as much as the characters of the stories. It was nice to know he was not made of ice. I’m looking forward to the next part of the series and the guy who will melt him completely. There has to be a guy. Right? RIGHT?! XD

    Ah, the waiting… I’m starting to count the days. ^^

    Reply
    • Hi Lady M
      Like you, I loved the last 5 books in the series. They were all exceptional. However, I take my hat off to Jordan with Wishink Well. That story moved me on a number of levels, and while this was Eddie’s story I loved, loved Chance and the way he made Eddie’s dream come true.

      I’m hoping that in the last book there’s a man for Chance somewhere who will be the answer to his wish and dreams.

      Reply
    • Thanks, LadyM! Sean’s story added a lot to the pacing of the series, I think, but I also loved the setting being non-US, which added to Chance’s story, showing that he could end up anywhere.

      I’m glad to hear what you saw in Wishink Well despite it being a weeper. Personally, sometimes I just like to cry. It’s cathartic. There’s this video of a kid raising a baby hummingbird someone emailed me that does it every time for me 😉

      Reply
  • Jordan

    I can’t comment on Chance

    What do you mean you can’t comment? LOL I can’t wait for another year to find out how this all comes together. I deliberately didn’t say how I felt about Chance’s story and the story arc because I didn’t want to include potential spoilers in my review – I should be rewarded. 🙂

    Reply
  • Two things struck me as I read the story. First, Eddie, who may have been something of a player in his life, did a totally honorable thing by not using the pen to change the outcome of his life. He recognized a “loose” application of Newton’s theory in that every action has an opposite, but equal reaction. Eddie was not willing to take the chance that someone else might loose his or her life because Eddie had wished for his own. How cool is that?

    Secondly, I keep seeing all of these stories as stepping stones to what will eventually be Chance’s redemption. Chance has no heart to warm his blood, for a reason. The Fates place him where they will for a specific purpose even though we, as readers, don’t understand why. Chance himself says that he has come a long way; all of the stories and their lessons(for Chance) involve matters of the heart. Presumably that is where Chance messed up in his mortal life.

    I want to know how Jordan will write Chance’s story as just a novelette. I suppose more of his back story will unfold in subsequent shorts, but wow! Chance must have some story to tell! I can’t wait. 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Patty,
      I love your analysis of Eddie’s character arc. That’s exactly the way I saw it, and the extent of his growth and redemption is really what makes me feel like this is a positive story, rather than one where a bunch of lousy uncontrollable tragedies happen to someone, they suffer, and that’s it.

      I can’t comment on Chance 😉

      Reply
  • Thanks for the kind words, everyone. I agree it’s not a story for everyone and I tried to word the blurb to convey as much. I do see the ending as uplifting rather than a downer or a senseless tragedy.

    Don’t worry, Wave, I won’t get a big head over it. I just get performance anxiety 😉

    Reply
    • Hi Jordan
      As I mentioned to Stella, the blurb was a big red flag that this story would not end well, in the sense of a traditional romance ending. But then these stories are not supposed to be romances – they are slices of life, and as I indicated to Josh, they remind me of The Twilight Zone. 🙂

      Performance anxiety? I thought it was mostly stage performers and guys who can’t get their equipment to work that get performance anxiety. LOL

      Reply
  • I’m soooo glad this didn’t have a wishy-washy predictable romance ending. It would have totally ruined the story.

    Reply
    • Hi Stella
      I agree with you 100%. There is no doubt that a few readers will not like this story because it’s too realistic, but reading the blurb should give anyone the sense that this would not end well. 🙁

      Reply

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