Merry Gentlemen by Josephine Myles (3 Stars)

Riley was a fun character with a quick wit, and the story is basically focused around him figuring out what he really wants out of life. I really didn’t get to know Stan at all, and I didn’t understand their relationship. There was very little dialogue between them, and we really didn’t see them spend any time together. We were just told about moments of time in their past, but it still didn’t paint a picture of a relationship.  The bulk of this story wasn’t very happy, but instead was a little sad with too much angst for my tastes.

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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.

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