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reviews: The Apothecary’s Garden

My age-difference male-male romance, The Apothecary’s Garden, has received some truly lovely attention! Thank you to everyone who’s giving this one a go. ♥

My Reviews and Ramblings: from Elisa

Excerpt: This was quite a beautiful romance, and strange enough, while the pace was slow, for various reason I will explain, the story wasn’t at all boring, and actually it was captivating, like a blanket wrapping you in winter, letting no desire to go out of your nestle. … I liked how respectful the author was of these two men, and how she didn’t deprive them of the sexual nature of their relationship. Tom is 23 years old and it would be unbelievable if he hadn’t desires; sure their love making is different from that of two twenty something fellows, but nevertheless is satisfying for the both of them.

Bachelors and Bombshells Book Reviews: 5 smooches from Runell

Excerpt: I can only hope that ‘once upon a time’ the story between Hilary and Tom actually took place because this slowly formed friendship that then unfolds into love … It’s just a love, that if it existed, made the world a little better of a place. […] This was my first book by Julie Bozza so I can’t compare this work to any of her others, and I don’t want to compare it to any other author’s work because that’s like comparing apples and oranges (cliché, I know, but it’s true). All I know is that if her other work is anything like ‘The Apothecary’s Garden’, I’ll give it a go.

Bittersweet Reviews: 4 stars from Aurora

Excerpt: Trusting Manifold Press to release quality work, I decided to buy this without reading either the blurb or the extract so I had no idea what The Apothecary’s Garden was about and it proved to be a fabulous surprise because I don’t always like Julie Bozza’s releases. I had almost made my mind up that Bozza’s style just wasn’t for me, but I fell in love with last year’s Butterfly Hunter and everything just sort of clicked into place after that. … Bozza’s prose is beautiful and has a dream like quality similar to Butterfly Hunter which may be why I liked it so much. The book literally starts with the words “Once upon a time” which I will admit made my heart sink a little but once the setting is established, the writing becomes more intimate and I was quickly drawn into Hilary’s world. More importantly, Bozza has set her readers a challenge with this book and that is to open their minds to the idea that love can exist for two people who are generations apart and it shouldn’t really matter.

Reviews by Jessewave: 4 stars from Sirius

Excerpt: Julie Bozza is a writer whose writing I love and whose work I also respect very much if for nothing else than for the fact that she tries to write about so many different things in her stories. … I really loved both guys in this book. Hilary was such a sweetheart and it was really a sweet and gentle read overall. Almost nothing happens in this book besides them meeting, restoring a garden together and slowly, so very slowly, moving towards each other. The conflict is about Hilary worrying over him being so much older than Tom. You really have to like slow moving books if you want to enjoy this one, where the two characters are figuring out their relationship and whether they would have one. Tom was an old soul, who was also smart, resilient and so very determined to get what he wants, or should I say whom he wants. But he was also a bit naïve and sometimes too persistent. … I thought that the guys had chemistry together and while I was reading the book, I even managed to almost forget about their age difference … I still highly recommend the book though if you are okay with a huge age difference between the protagonists.

Boys in Our Books: 2.5 stars from Sue

Conclusion: Obviously The Apothecary’s Garden is not meant to be any of the things I was looking for, so the joke is on me – but I was so bored, I wanted to cry. I can see why everyone adores it because it’s lovely and gentle and very sweet, but yeah not for me.

The Novel Approach: 3.5 stars from Lisa Horan

Conclusion: The Apothecary’s Garden is a book I’d recommend unreservedly if you’re looking for a story that leads you quietly along the path to its happy ending. Don’t read it if you’re expecting loads of angst and conflict, don’t read it if you’re expecting erotica, but do read it if you’re looking for an understated and touching romance.

Hilary on Goodreads

  • Enny gave it 5 stars and said: For this gem of a book I’ll ignore my resolution not to post reviews here anymore because it deserves all the love it can get. … Things like date of birth becomes completely unimportant when you meet your soul mate. And the author did a wonderful job of showing how they both liked the same things, had the same values and how well they fit together. … both men have a deeply caring nature, putting the other’s need before their own and this is what ultimately convinced me that their relationship might actually work. … Plus the prose in the book is absolutely beautiful. Some sentences absolutely took my breath away which is another reason why this is a 5 star read for me.
  • MandyM gave it 5 stars and said: Wow! This is quite brilliant. The May/December pairing doesn’t usually appeal to me and luckily I didn’t realise that was the theme of this novel because I might have missed out on reading it. … I loved Hilary with his knitted tea cosies, his gentle courtesy and his repressed sexuality. And Tom with his youthful exuberance and idealism. The age difference was explored sweetly and thoughtfully. … But away from the book and its beautiful prose, do I believe that Tom would really have fallen for Hilary? I don’t know. But as a romantic fantasy and a love story it was beyond beautiful.
  • Vio gave it 4.85 stars and said: Yes, I am one of those readers where this theme doesn’t work, usually. … What convinced me to keep reading? The beautiful narrative, the fears about pursing a *forbidden* relationship. The courage and will to change … It never once entered my mind that this was a substitute father relationship, its love, plain and simple. … The author is a gifted writer and a wonderful storyteller, she is a whiz at weaving magical stories. I’m impressed, I fell for it, hook line and sinker. A deeply moving story, Highly recommended.
  • Emma gave it 6 stars (!) and said: Spectacular. Marvellous. Wonderful. The most acutely romantic book I’ve read in years. Cried happy tears all the way through, and bought a Bach album. Best of 2013 for me so far by a mile. I wish I could read it again for the first time all over again.
  • Feliz gave it 5 stars and said: In a word, I loved this book. It can’t hold a candle to my all-time favourite Julie Bozza book, Butterfly Hunter, but it comes close. Everything about it was just so up my alley– the garden, the slow pace, the sheer British-ness of both Hilary and Tom. And yes, even the much-belabored age difference…ok, 40+ years is huge, but considering who these two are, it became almost negligible.

Hilary on Amazon UK and Amazon US:

  • Ulysses Dietz said: If this was the last m/m book I ever read, I would die happy.
  • R Parklane said: Looking forward to many more stories from this exceptional writer in the MM romance genre.

Readers’ Responses

Jenre listed this as her favourite male-male romance book read in 2013 in the Contemporary category, and said: This author is a bit of a find for me this year. I love her intelligent writing and the way she manages to make a very large age gap work effectively as a romance in this book. Both characters were charming and the story has stayed with me long after I finished.

reviews: Butterfly Hunter

What a lucky little vegemite I am! Butterfly Hunter is receiving some very kind attention on Goodreads and Amazon, and has also received some interesting substantial reviews.

French edition:

Mateiva Blog Litteraire: 5/5 from Méla

Conclusion: Bref, une plume envoûtante et poétique, un mélange de force et de fragilité, qui vous transporte dans un voyage d’une douceur extrême, dans une rencontre magique entre deux hommes superbes, une plume qui fait chavirer votre cœur de romantique, qui vous fera sourire par la gaucherie de Nicholas, qui vous fera rougir lors de leurs étreintes, qui vous fera rêver par les images qui se construisent petit à petit dans votre esprit.

Mon Paradis des Livres: 4/5 from Jessy

Conclusion: Une romance exceptionnelle et unique dans son genre. … Je recommande « Chasseur de papillons » de Julie Bozza aux grands rêveurs et à toutes les âmes romantiques.

English edition:

Boy Meets Boy Reviews: 5 hearts from Breann

Excerpt: Sure, I saw all the 4 and 5 star reviews. Sure, I knew that most of my friends loved it. But while I was reading I thought it was a nice enough story. But then, all of a sudden, my heart is breaking. And I realize that I have fallen head over heels for these characters and am smacked in the face with too much emotion.

Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews: 5 stars from Mark

Excerpt: The banter between Nicholas and Davey is fantastic. Humorous, natural and thoroughly entertaining in itself, but also meaningful and with a depth of emotion behind the words. I could have listened to these guys all day. … Beautiful and descriptive, Julie took me on a literary journey through the Australian Outback. To magical and enchanting places, but getting there was an adventure. … This for me was the beauty of the whole story, the most amazing things happen when you’re not looking for them. I loved Charlie, a wise native to Australia who is rooted in Dreamtime folklore, gave the story the magical touch. I adored the way Julie wrote about this character … The writing has a depth of empathy that makes you feel the characters, sharing their bit of paradise in the Australian Outback.

Hearts on Fire Reviews: 4.5 stars from Lucy

Excerpt: How very lovely this softly flowing, sweet story is. It is extremely character driven (with the butterflies in question needing to be considered a character as well), with a setting that is at once beautiful and dangerous. It is written in such a way that it draws you in without you realizing, and I ended up reading the whole thing in one sitting because I wanted to see what happened.

Reviews by Jessewave: 5+ stars by Feliz

Excerpt: This book was enchanting, with finely drawn, adorable characters and a delicate, tender love story that was to die for. … The characters are the backbone to this story. Both Dave and Nicholas were lonely souls (though otherwise fully capable of looking after themselves). The increasingly intense emotions between them never took away from their dignity or their masculinity. … In fact, it is almost as if the land was a character in and of itself, and it lends this book a solid reality as well as a hint of magic with the mystery that is the Dreamtime, interwoven strong and palpable with the storyline in a respectful and unobtrusive way. But the greatest lure of this book lay in the writing itself, which was exquisite.

BitterSweet Reviews: 4 stars by Aurora

Excerpt and summary: Nicholas is one of the most endearing characters I’ve ever met in a male romance novel and he just seems to glow with this inner light that attracts people to him. … Bozza also takes us on a breathtaking journey into the Australian Outback with fabulous descriptions of the harsh and unforgiving landscape which contrast magnificently with the beauty of the wide open skies during the day and night. When the butterfly oasis is discovered, it is described as almost a surreal place of beauty, and it isn’t hard to get caught up in the sheer joy felt by the two men. … The ending does get a little sappy but a story as beautiful as this definitely deserves a happy ending so it is better to just go with the flow and enjoy the warm fuzzies fluttering inside. Very well done.

Obsidian Bookshelf: 3.75 stars from Val Kovalin

Excerpt: The story has a leisurely pace and there isn’t much conflict, but the good writing and amazing setting held my interest. Here, the Australian outback is fascinating in its strangeness and potential for grave danger. I also like our two heroes. Nicholas is kind, goofy, and charismatic. Dave is quietly competent.

(This review no longer appears online. An updated version has now been posted to the ARe CAFE.)

ARe CAFE: Recommended Read by Val

Excerpt: Butterfly Hunter is emotionally restrained but beautiful in its exotic setting and unusual quest. It features two complex, secretive men who interact well as friends. Nicholas is kind and charismatic and Dave is a decent everyman whom I liked immensely in his role as a quietly competent Aussie guide.

Outlaw Reviews: 6/10 stars from Ann Somerville

Excerpt and summary: I did like the way she subverted a cultural stereotype or two in relation to the indigenous character, Charlie :) … The story of Nicholas’s quest for – obsession with – the mysterious blue butterfly, was charming and compelling. Nicholas himself is an utter love, and needs many cuddles :) . Dave is a nice guy, if not particularly interesting to me, and has his own demons to slay. His ex-girlfriend (from childhood even!) Denise is a supportive friend without tipping over into tiresome yenta territory. The book is competently written and edited, and Bozza does make a decent fist at comedic lines. The growing relationship between Nicholas and Dave is very sweet, and if you like sex in your romance, there’s plenty of it and nicely written too.

Butterflies on Goodreads:

Currently 312 ratings, 116 text reviews, and an average of 4.21 stars.

  • Aussie54 gave it 4 stars, and said: I loved the two main characters. Julie has a great writing style, with easily read, descriptive prose. Her Dave and Nicholas are very appealing blokes. I liked seeing how Dave evolved, right to the end. … My only tiny quibble was that the story finished too soon. I would’ve loved to have seen a little more of Dave and Nick – I hadn’t quite had my fill of them by the end of the book.
  • Simsala said: 5.5 stars … Sigh … What a beautiful story!
  • Verena gave it 5 stars, and said: … a beautiful and fascinating story. I enjoyed it very, very much! Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. The story is engaging, the characters very likeable, and I would have loved to read more about David and Nicholas, because they are such a lovely couple.
  • Vio gave it 5 stars, and said: Okay I think I’ve died and gone to butterfly heaven … If you are a true romantic at heart which I am of course, you won’t want to miss reading this exquisitely written story. An amazing and simply beautiful romance. I loved it so very much and now I am eagerly anticipating the next book.
  • Macky gave it 5 stars and said: Who couldn’t love a book that has butterfly porn! LOL. Please read this you won’t be disappointed.

Butterflies on Amazon UK and Amazon US:

Currently 13 reviews with 12 of them 5 stars!

  • M Peart said: Seriously, it’s been a long time since I couldn’t put a book down. I devoured this book in less than nine hours.
  • Want Giraffes said: The writing is poetic and the I really felt like the characters inner thoughts were the focus of the story. I felt the sincerity in their conversations and feelings for each other. I can’t wait to reread this.
  • Sirius said: Settings in this book felt like a living, breathing character, so beautifully and delicately described that I wanted to stop when I was reading and taste some sentences on my tongue.
  • R Parklane said: The ending could not be more satisfying.

Audiobook:

MAN2MANTASTIC: 4.5 stars from The LaSalle Sisters

Excerpt: While the scorch factor is low, you don’t even notice because it is such a beautiful story and you can’t help but love these two. Davy and Nicholas are brilliant together. … It is such a unique story, you can’t help but be captivated by it all.

Prism Book Alliance: 3.75 stars from Christine

Excerpt: The majority of the book revolves around the search for a mythical butterfly and the relationship that grows between Outback guide Dave Taylor and British aristocrat Nicholas Goring. Their scenes ring with humor, philosophical truths, and sexual tension as the parallels between Nicholas’s hunt for the elusive butterfly and Dave’s discovery of his true self develop and move the story forward. I thoroughly enjoyed the vivid details and poetic writing of this new-to-me author, and I only wish that the narration could have done this gorgeous story better justice.

Readers’ Responses

In her Audible.com review, Dianne T said: Sublime.

I read this story when it was first published and I believe I used the word ‘gorgeous’ numerous times… for good reason. I also wished I could rate it 10 stars. It is an all time favorite story of mine. A story of self discovery – intertwined with a spectacluar setting, a dash of mysticism and strong, yet vulnerable characters.

It would seem impossible for this audio version to be able to surpass such praise, but it does. The beautifully written characters of Davey and Nicholas are brought to life in a lovely, softly accented English by narrator Ray Cross. Stunning work. His delivery is stellar: understated, clear, and brimming with emotion, yet never overdone. Davey and Nicholas’ appreciation of the beauty of the land, their reverence for the indigenous legends, their frank conversations, their emerging love – is nakedly evident. Seriously, I could weep for the perfection of this narration. I adored every last word, and will be listening again.

An Amazon Customer said: Superior narration for a favorite story.

I have enjoyed reading and re-reading this story of an Aussie and an Englishman for about a year now, and was delighted to find an audible version available. The narration is superb, it well matches the pace and cadence of the written story, from beginning to end. I highly recommend this audible version.

reviews: Albert J. Sterne: Future Bright, Past Imperfect

Gosh! Albert’s companion volume has received some very flattering attention indeed! Thank you all for welcoming back the dear old curmudgeon.

Top 2 Bottom Reviews: 4 kisses from Jen

Conclusion: All in all, this book was magnificent and you’ll want to read more.

Reviews by Jessewave: 4.5 stars from LadyM

Conclusion: This collection of stories was certainly more emotional than the novel, since it revolves more around characters’ lives than the plot about a serial killer. It has been a while since I’ve enjoyed a writer’s style so much, unobtrusive and yet clearly capable of conveying Albert’s losses, Garrett’s hatred, Fletcher’s love. The stories added the facets of their private lives successfully deepening our overall understanding of their characters. If you read The Definitive Albert J. Sterne, this collection is a must read. If you didn’t, I wholeheartedly recommend both books to you. Both the novel and the stories are great addition to this genre and the complexity of the characters alone recommend them to anyone who enjoys reading.

Albert: FBPI at Goodreads:

Currently 31 ratings, 13 reviews and an average of 4.55 stars.

  • Aussie54 gave it 5 stars, and said: Reading about Fletcher and his family was a joy. … It was hard to put my eReader down! I couldn’t wait to see what happened with Fletcher and Albert (even re-reading the first Albert along with this second book was compelling …).
  • Silver Iris gave it 5 stars, and said: I’m not sure I can describe just how much I love Albert & Ash. These short stories that are snippets into their lives beyond the novel were fantastic. I want to see more into their future.

reviews: The Valley of the Shadow of Death

Note: Quoted reviews are all of the Manifold Press edition. The novel has been revised for publication by LIBRAtiger.

The Romanceaholic: 3 stars from a Romance Addict

Excerpt: This book quite literally sucked me in and wouldn’t let me go. … The angst and tension caused by Carmine’s double crossing his boss/best friend was wonderful, and the courtroom drama a delight. The romance that was developing between Josh and Carmine was intense and angst-ridden due not only to the stress of the undercover operation, but because Josh … was struggling with embarrassment, confusion, shame, anger, lust, guilt, developing emotional feelings and fear for Carmine’s life.

MM Good Book Reviews: 3.5 stars from Pixie

Excerpt: This is a well written book that has a very good story-line and plot. Angelo is the guy that I fell in love with in this book. He just seems to live life to the fullest, embracing his love for Josh and just going with it … This book I will recommend to those who love cop/mobster love affairs, court room drama and gentle love.

Reviews by Jessewave: 3 stars from Cryselle

Excerpt: Give it to Cryssy: she’ll read anything. … There is one very interesting take on the sex. When they do arrive at the moment of attempting anal sex, Delaney isn’t thrilled down to his socks and yearns for it to be over, but he wants Trezini to be happy. Not sexy, but unique, and one of the few moments we see the relationship growing. … The ending is as tragic as the title promises, the last line the most moving in the entire work.

Top 2 Bottom Reviews: 3 kisses from Lisa

Excerpt: I really liked the premise for The Valley of the Shadow of Death. I love a good redemption story … There’s plenty of foreshadowing along the way to prepare the reader for the ending to this story, which was entirely plausible. The author didn’t pull out the eleventh hour ‘deus ex machina’ for the sake of a tidy finish, which I was grateful for.

Angelo at Goodreads:

  • Ingrid gave it 5 stars, and said: OMG She has done it again…. speechlesss
  • Sylvia gave it 4 stars, and said: I was about to give 3* until I read the last pages.
  • Kaje Harper said: This one is impossible for me to rate. Once again, I loved Julie Bozza’s writing voice, but it was a slightly awkward fit with this story. This had characters and development that should have been a bit gritty, given the plot. Instead it had a gentle, noir, early-twentieth feel, to the point where I kept getting startled when they pulled out cell phones. Delaney was wonderful, as a youthful, naive, optimistic, crusading cop – the writing style worked very well for him and his intrinsic, slightly simple goodness. For Carmine, the mobster turned informant, it was less effective.

Angelo on Amazon UK and Amazon US:

  • bill m gave it 4 stars, and said: this is a wonderfully written story, but it’s a tough read — astonishingly realistic. There’s a lot of stuff in this genre that’s contrived and artificial; this one isn’t like that. It’s tense, uplifting, gritty and sad. But it would be hard not to recommend it, and I do.
  • CatsAndChardonnay gave it 5 stars, and said: I am a fan, for certain, and this book doesn’t disappoint anyone who is a Julie Bozza fan. She has a way of writing that is very distinct and draws the reader in. Highly recommend.

reviews: Homosapien

Homosapien has received four full reviews now, and some interesting attention at Goodreads.

‘Is it Real?’: 5 stars from A.B. Gayle

Excerpt: If you’re expecting a traditional m/m romance, this isn’t the book for you, but if you’re looking for an amusing, heart-warming, thought-provoking book this is. While Patrick, her narrator, is awed by the romance that blossoms between his dour, idealistic, intelligent boss and his hero, a flamboyant pro-wrestler, he also explores the true nature of pro-wrestling and discovers the potentially deal-breaking fact that the fights and characters are all scripted. Note, I didn’t say “fake” and the difference is very much at the heart of the book.

Elisa’s reviews and ramblings: by Elisa Rolle

Excerpts: … a “classy” novel, probably a step or two above the ordinary production of this time. … Adam and David’s love story starts slowly but goes deep …

Reviews by Jessewave: 4.5 stars from Aunt Lynn

Summary: Though not for everyone, I really liked this unusual tale of pro-wrestling and the unlikely romance between two opposites.

Three Dollar Bill Reviews: 4.5 stars from Book Utopia Mom

Excerpts: The entire thing is highly stylized, radically casual, and completely in character for the narrator. It won’t work for everyone. It completely worked for me. … The book is about identity – identity of self, identity of public personae, the conflict of how you recognize it for yourself and how you respect it in others – and uses the world of wrestling as a backdrop to that. … this thematic exploration is done with such a deft, comedic touch that I got utterly absorbed by the book and couldn’t put it down.

(This review is no longer online, but can be found on Goodreads.)

Homosapien at Goodreads:

Currently 18 ratings, 12 text reviews and an average of 3.61 stars.

  • Simsala gave it 4.5 stars, and said: The unusual writing style made the story come alive and real with many laugh out loud moments.

reviews: The Definitive Albert J Sterne

Albert has received some great reviews, and attracted some interesting attention from the lovely people at Goodreads!

Rainbow Awards 2011: Runner Up in the Best LGBT Mystery / Thriller category

Judges’ comments: A very gripping thriller. At first I was a bit shocked that it has almost 700 pages but once I started reading I couldn’t stop. The part I enjoyed the most was the love story between the two main protagonists. All the characters have depth and are complex which made them very realistic. I found this book very fascinating and I will definitely read it again.

And: The book was a refreshing change from the usual “m/m-fare” and had a great mix of a real thriller and romance, although with a character like Albert I am not sure if romance is the right word… ;-) One problem I had was that I was missing some explanation for why Albert was the way he was.

My Fiction Nook: 5 stars from Rosa

Excerpts: … That’s what I love about Julie Bozza; each of her books is so different. She’s eclectic and it shows. … I think this is a love it or hate kind of book. It’s a bit dry in the beginning, but once you push though that and kind of go with the flow of the novel, it’s awesome and singularly different from other MM books. … I highly recommend it. I want to hug it. … (If you read and like this book, please read Albert J. Sterne: Future Bright, Past Imperfect, which is also fantastic.)

‘Charm: A Two-Edged Sword’: 5 stars from A.B. Gayle

A.B. Gayle says: This isn’t a romance, but it is a love story. Not romantic love but deeper, more meaningful love. And she also says a whole lot more in a fascinating analysis of what she sees as the main theme here: This book is about charm. The use of it. The abuse of it. The lack of it. The strength of it. Albert Sterne is not a charming man. He is impatient, abrupt, arrogant, irascible … Fletcher Ash, the only person who has managed to penetrate his defensive field, possesses charm in abundance. He gets on with everyone. … He likes people. On the surface, you’d assume that being charming is a good thing, yet one of the hardest hitting sections of the book involves a scene where Fletcher comes to realize that he’s been charmed by someone else.

Julie adds: You might never read the book, but I’m sure you’ll get something out of reading the review!

Reviews by Jessewave: 5 stars from LadyM

Excerpt and summary: Two complex and complicated men in search for a cunning serial killer. Excellent book for patient readers. … a terrific novel, ambitious in both its scope and complexity and it is a wonder that it wasn’t picked up by some mainstream publisher. … if you have patience and enjoy the challenge and complex characters and relationships, you will be rewarded by this gem of a novel. Highly recommended

Elisa’s reviews and ramblings: by Elisa Rolle

Excerpt and summary: … it’s not its length that will ‘disturb’ you, but the ability of the author to give deepness to every character, even the less important ones, like Ricardo, the hustler, or the more unlikely like the villain. … I’m not sure this book by Julie Bozza is good for everyone, the most squirming reader will probably want to avoid it. But if you want a very good psychological thriller, of the old fashioned type, I can fully recommend this one.

Dear Author: A- from Sirius

Conclusion: I recommend this book very highly, especially if you love snarky, complex heroes and if detailed descriptions of murder with torture do not scare you.

Saturday Recs: from Elin Gregory

Conclusion: This FBI based thriller abut the search for a vicious serial killer by an FBI agent assisted by the titular Albert, forensic genius and the most obnoxious man in the Bureau, is probably the most satisfying story I’ve read so far this year. Give it a go and I promise that the charming Fletcher Ash and the appalling Albert will stay in your mind and your heart for a long time.

Albert at goodreads:

Currently 160 ratings and 46 reviews, with an average of 4.15 stars.

  • Simsala gave it 5 stars, and said: Lightyears away from the standard m-m romance.
  • Indigo gave it 5 stars, and said: An unbelievably fascinating book. Clever, well-written, powerful characters, witty and enthralling. A must read.

Readers’ Responses

Jenre featured this as her Overall Book of the Year in her post on favourite male-male romance books read in 2013, and said: This is the second book by this author on my lists this year and well deserved it is too. It’s hard to believe that two years ago I started this book and stopped reading a third of the way through. This year I picked it up again and couldn’t put it down. I loved the characters of Albert and Fletcher and the way their relationship develops in slow increments which mirrors Fletcher’s investigation of a series of murders. The plot moves slowly but that was part of its beauty and by the end I felt like I had taken a worthwhile journey. In fact I was rather bereft when it was all over. Luckily the sequel/companion book was on hand to help with my withdrawal :). If you like mysteries/police procedurals and want to read about characters that aren’t easy to like but with whom you will fall in love, then I highly recommend this book. Don’t be put off by the length, it’s worth investing your time in every page.