Mystic Man (CrabbyPatty’s Review)

Title: Mystic Man (States of Love series)
Author: E.J. Russell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 22, 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 100
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

When a series of personal crises prompt risk-averse research librarian Aaron Templeton to apply for a job on the other side of the country, nobody is more surprised than he is. He nearly runs home before the final interview except for one little problem: he has no home anymore. He put his condo on the market before he left California and it’s already sold. Only an encounter with free-spirited Connecticut native Cody Brown at the Mystic Seaport Museum staves off Aaron’s incipient panic attack.

Cody loves nothing better than introducing newcomers to the great features of his beloved home state, and when the newbie in question is a rumpled professorial type with the saddest blue eyes on the planet? Score! The attraction between the two men deepens as they explore Cody’s favorite spots, but when difficulties arise and Aaron’s insecurities threaten to overwhelm him, will Cody’s love be enough to keep him in Mystic?

Cody is a Mystic Seaport native and volunteers throughout the year …. when he isn’t sailing around the world or solo backpacking in Peru. Cody has a great family, but he’s always traveling in search of something:

… it made him want, as if his family, his beloved home, his life, was somehow missing a piece—although he had no idea what that piece might be. That’s why he took off on some kind of adventure every winter.

Aaron, on the other hand, grew up in an extremely unstable home and stability and routine is everything to him:

Your family life is very different from mine.”
“I think that’s true for everybody. I mean what two families are the same?”
“Yes, but I’m talking about the atmosphere, the support, the security. As a kid, were you ever afraid that when you got home from school, you wouldn’t have a home anymore?”

When these two dissimilar men meet, only because Aaron has very uncharacteristically uprooted his entire life in California and headed to Connecticut, there’s a recognition that perhaps they are exactly what each other needs. The romance is slow and sweet, filled with picnics lunches, sightseeing, swimming in the Sound, and a sizzling sexual chemistry (although not explicitly detailed on the page). Also, the Mystic Seaport area is richly detailed in the course of the book, while I especially enjoy when reading the “State of Love” series.

My rating is 4 strong stars for “Mystic Man.” It’s a great, fun read with interesting characters, a great setting and a sweet romance.

This. Him. Cody tightened his arms around Aaron, blood heating as the kiss deepened. He’s my safe harbor.

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Galley copy of Mystic Man provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend. My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh ... not in my wheelhouse, but I'm a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre. Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more. A few "badges" from NetGalley: 100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader
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