Publish Date: Out now
How I got this book: Publisher
’Tis the season of goodwill to all men…even the one who dumped you.
Riley MacDermott’s ambitions are simple. 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 herring gull.
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. So does their habitual head butting.
Stan never wanted to leave the love of his life, but the pull of the woods was too strong—and Riley was firmly planted in 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 one of them can compromise.
Warning: Contains sex in a shed, a seagull with a grudge, glamping, awful Secret Santa underwear, misuse of an Abba song, and as many wood-related puns as the author thought she could get away with.
*blurb taken from Goodreads*
Merry Gentleman is a very funny and sexy novella. I loved the narrator’s voice, even though it sometimes felt tiring in the sense he NEVER had a quiet moment. Eva :D. The novellas starts off with never a truer statement about seagulls from Riley. Seagulls are an effing menace!
Riley is the manager for the Christmas market. Once again, he’s trying not to think about the “one” that got away, and he needs to get up and dressed for his first day working on the market. If he does a good job, hopefully it will get him the promotion he wanted for years in the council. The author did a wonderful job in describing the scents of a Christmas market. I loved the set-up and the descriptions of the stall-holders. I loved Riley’s narration of it all. He was witty, funny and he had me in stitches with some of his quips such as “toppy gits.”
During his walkabout rounds, Riley comes face to face with his ex, Stan, the one that he’s never been able to get over. Stan and Riley were in a five year relationship but they broke up when it became apparent they both wanted different things in life. Stan was tired of city life, and Riley couldn’t live without the city life and he wanted to rise to the top in his career. The months leading up to Stan and Riley’s breakup were full of anger and tension, and they split on bad terms. It was a shock for Riley to see Stan again. The two of them exchange ‘words’ and over time, it leads to them arguing and a hilarious scene where Riley stimilutes a blow job on a sausage to get Stan riled up which leads to hot and angry sex between them. The language used by the author is raw and basic. There’s some lovely romantic thoughts and moments but the sex is very rawr and there’s no pretty words to describe some of the smexy scenes.
Riley used his wits and humour as a guard against the pain and heartbreak he felt when Stan left, and he used them again when he and Stan decide to have a sexual relationship during the time Stan is there for the Christmas market. There’s things left unsaid between them, and there’s tension because there’s hurt on both sides. The novella is in first person but the author did a great job with Stan because we learned through his and Riley’s interactions that he loved Riley but understood that the two of them wanted different things in life and he would have been miserable staying with Riley. I was worried how the author would make Stan and Riley work because they were still the same people with the same desires in what they wanted in life.
The author totally made it work with a wonderful word: COMPROMISE. The author had Riley and Stan have their HEA by compromise. I believed in Riley’s decision about his career and though it was a little convenient, I believed that Riley and Stan would have a HEA. Right up to the very end of the novel, Riley never loses his wicked sense of humour. I loved how he thought of Stan as his lumberjack.
The few issues I had with the book was the scare in the market where it went over-the-top for my personal liking, and sometimes I felt tired being inside Riley’s head. All in all though, this was a fun and sexy read.
I give it a B.