Title: Merry Gentlemen
Author: Josephine Myles
Publisher: Self Published
Re-release Date: November 2, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary; Christmas
Page Count: 157
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
’Tis the season of goodwill to all men… even the one who dumped you.
Riley MacDermott is going places. 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 seagull.
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. Shame they can’t seem to manage a simple chat without arguing.
Stan never wanted to leave the love of his life, but the pull of the woods was too strong—and Riley wouldn’t hear of leaving 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 they can figure out a compromise.
First edition published November 12, 2013
Blurb sums up the book very well and quite adequately, so I won’t rehash.
Bottom line, this is a Josephine Myles book – it’s going to be delightful and fun. She is one of my go-to authors for feel-good reads and I haven’t been disappointed yet. I love the British colloquialisms, the humor and dry wit, and how her characters interact.
That being said, this isn’t a favorite. I had a hard time connecting to Riley. I found him to be a bit of an arrogant, self-centered git and honestly wondered how Stan even put up with him. I thought Riley treated everyone – Janine, Stan, his boss Rita – with something less than respect, like the world revolved around Riley and only Riley.
And perhaps that was the point in this Christmas novella? That Riley needs to be less of a “Scrooge” type character and understand that to have a relationship he needs to set his needs, wants, desires aside and meet Stan partway?
I dunno. All I know is I didn’t much care for Riley.
Now Stan, Stan was one hunk-o-manliness. Taciturn, solid, knows who he is and what he wants, and he wants Riley. The reader gets glimpses of Stan’s unhappiness, will know how much Riley is hurting him, and – at least for myself – wonders what he sees in Riley beyond a good screw between the sheets. I really wanted to give Stan a big hug and say, go find someone better.
But…this being a Holiday novella, we all basically know how it ends and we are content with the ending and resolution because it can’t happen any other way.
Except I never did find out what was up with the seagull… I rather liked the seagull with an attitude.
Go forth, oh ye Gentle Readers and enjoy!