A flighty and flirty retail assistant (Mas) needs to find a safe place quickly when he is sacked and nearly caught after a half-hearted shoplifting attempt. He happens upon the cluttered vintage clothing shop of Peregrine Cavendish-Fiennes and his flash personality wins him a job. The two are very attracted to one another despite being worlds apart in personality and upbringing.
I think I skimmed a lot of book 1 in this series. It was so heavy on the mental illness angle. This book (number 2) is much easier to read and has more focus on the couple. On the surface, very appealing characters and a sweet romance. I liked the British accents, the make-over of Perry's shop and Mas's character growth. The story was kept fairly light with lots of allusions about, but no delving into, Perry's past. And Mas's ex-sugar daddy felt more like a useful plot device than a real situation.
Unfortunately the author inserted herself regularly into Mas's character with soap-boxy, politically correct statements about transgender romance, polyamory, open relationships, kink and 'heteronormative assumptions of sexual roles in gay relationships'. It was too much like those ranty m/m author blogposts where they castigate readers for their vanilla reading preferences. I felt like I was being lectured to.
P.S. The cover. The guy at the back... His head is too big for his body. Photoshop FAIL!
A few books that I struggled with for various reasons.
The Next by Rafe Haze. Couldn't stand the writing.
Recovery by Con Riley. Ho hum romance took a back seat to a long examination of a mother's death from cancer.
Dance by Teodora Kostova. Rushed unbelievable relationship. All telling, no showing. Overall amateurish writing.
Les Recidivists. Sequels huh? Two separate couples vie for attention in this disappointing sequel. The M/F couple are poorly matched and the woman in particular is a vulgar psycho. The M/M couple are unrecognizable from the excellent first book.
I reread Chance Assassin before starting this sequel and it was just as great as I remembered. Les Recidivists is a whole other story however. There are four POV's. Vincent and Frank, and Ethan and Bella. Unfortunately the basic digital formatting doesn't provide any breaks between the POV's and I'm halfway into another character's head before I've realised that the narrator has changed. It's confusing and annoying.
Bella was an OK secondary character in book one but for me she doesn't have the appeal to be an MC. She's coarse and one dimensional. At this stage I'm with Ethan's mother in wishing she'd piss off. Her romantic dynamic with Ethan doesn't appeal to me. She is bossy, fickle and irrational and he is effeminate and artistic. He just seems gay to me. It's strange to seem him with a brutish woman who takes every opportunity to display her fanny (vagina) to everyone.
And what the hell happened to my beautiful psychotic teen Vincent?? He's like a boring mature man. There is definitely not enough Vincent/Frank time in this book. So far I'm really struggling with this and household chores are becoming a welcome distraction.