Well,this is in the first place a locked room mystery and to be frank, it is not a bad one but...there are some inconsistencies,the story feels as if it is written in the fifties(manor house, crust free sandwiches, butler, gardener, maids...)but apart from the family the manor is also inhabited by a dozen or so robots (androids).And the there is the author's ideas about women,they are either drop dead gorgeous (and very sexy)or the ravages of time are clearly visible (and mentioned ).Great!
Furthermore, as this is supposed to be a comedy (I suppose, not really quite sure what it is)the brilliant, witty humour completely bypassed me (and I mean completely !)
2 stars for the murder mystery....
If Courtney Milan published her grocery list, I'd probably read it. She's at the tippity-top of my auto-buy list. She's smart, funny, and unabashedly feminist: totally my catnip.
Her Every Wish is a novella about Daisy, who was introduced in Milan's last novel, Once Upon a Marquess. One thing I loved about this novella is that it isn't set in the glittering ballrooms of the ton at all, but rather in the seedy, working-class neighborhood where Daisy shares a room with her aging mother. This gives us a view into a part of London that the historical romance genre rarely visits, and it's refreshing.
Daisy works in a flower shop and dreams of opening her own mercantile, but no one takes her ambitions seriously because she's a woman. Some time ago, Daisy had a liaison with Crash, but it ended badly in a way that isn't revealed until well into this novella. Crash is initially portrayed as a flirt and a cad, but as his character is revealed, it's clear he's not that simple. Crash is descended "from a long line of sailors and dock whores" and doesn't even know what race he belongs to, which is also a refreshing contrast to the typical aristocratic lords so much more common as romantic heroes.
However, this story frustrated me because it revolves around a Big Misunderstanding trope. Daisy and Crash went to bed together, then one said something the other misunderstood, and suddenly their great love was over before it began. Big Mis stories generally don't work for me because they require the main characters to be poor communicators, and when you have characters as smart as those drawn by Ms. Milan, it's frankly hard to believe they could be so thickheaded.
Her Every Wish also fell a little flat because of its structure. Crash and Daisy went to bed together and had a falling out, but the reader never gets to see the buildup of their relationship -- how they met, what attracted each to the other, how Daisy put aside her maidenly modesty and decided Crash was worth her virginity, what made Crash fall in love. Without that backstory, it's hard to feel invested in the rekindling of their relationship during the novella.
Finally (and this is a very minor quibble), I am not a stickler for historical accuracy by any means, but lately Milan's witty dialogue sometimes strikes me as so anachronistic that it yanks me out of the story in a way I find jarring. For example, there was a variation on the phrase, "Come to the dark side. We have cookies," that made me roll my eyes. If this sort of thing makes you crazy, this may not be the book for you.
Generally, m/m, sports romances, and new adult are not not my cuppa. However, I picked this up because 1) I really enjoy (Windsor County, VT's own) Sarina Bowen, and 2) it's free on Kindle Unlimited right now. I am so glad I did, because I really enjoyed this book, and particularly, I loved how Jamie's revelations about his bisexuality were handled.
PLOT SUMMARY: As teenagers, Wes and Jamie were best friends and roommates at a summer camp for elite hockey players. Their last summer as campers, though, Wes challenged Jamie to a shootout. The stakes? A blowjob. Wes, just coming to terms with his own sexuality, lost on purpose, but settling the bet made him writhe with guilt at manipulating -- and molesting (as Wes sees it)-- his best friend, so he never spoke to Jamie again. Fast forward four years, and Jamie and Wes have both graduated from college and are on the cusp of joining NHL teams, when they meet up again for one summer as coaches at the camp where they met.
One of the reasons I don't read much m/m is that so many authors would have written Jamie's role as gay-for-you instead of acknowledging the concept of bisexuality. As a bisexual woman, it's all too easy to feel invisible: we just aren't represented very often in books or movies or TV, and often what rare representations of bisexuality exist don't ring true to my own experience. Jamie's attraction to Wes, their initial sexual encounters, and his eventual evolution into mature, committed love, was very authentic and actually mirrored my own coming out process. At one point Jamie narrates:
Wes heads to the bathroom to brush his teeth, and I watch him go. I even catch myself admiring his ass. Lately I find myself sneaking looks at him, trying to raise some kind of holy shit reaction to the idea that I'm involved with a guy.
I highlighted this passage because it was so reminiscent of my own experience, when I fell in love with my childhood best female friend my senior year in college. I kept thinking to myself: This is weird. This should be weird. Shouldn't this feel more weird? But it didn't. It wasn't. It felt right , and my internal anxiety was more about how it should have felt more strange and alarming than it actually did. (That friend and I have now been married for fourteen years, and we're raising two sons together.)
There were a couple of scenes where Jamie and Wes could have moved past conflict more quickly with more honest communication, but those difficult, adult conversations always happened; they were sometimes just delayed more than I'd have liked. On the whole, I found both characters very relatable and insightful, and the evolution of their romance was extremely emotionally satisfying.
A well written angsty fic told from omega Jensen's pov, starting at aged twelve when Jensen suffers rape, pregnancy and a subsequent miscarriage. Then jumps twenty years to his marriage to alpha Jared and his longing for a child.