Gumption & Gumshoes by Alex Kidwell (5 Stars)

Love doesn’t always wait for us to be ready for it.

August Mendez just inherited enough money to quit the job he hates and live his dream as a detective. He’s struggling, and mostly taking pictures of cheating spouses, but he’s much happier now. Sam Ewing is his grumpy but sexy office landlord. He’s bitter after his divorce, and basically living his life as a lonely bachelor. August gets his first big case, and Sam ends up helping him out with it, leading to the beginning of their friendship and romance.

I am putting these two characters into my favorite couples list. They both had their own issues, whether it be low self-esteem or self-imposed loneliness, but when they looked at each other, they only saw perfection. Their love and adoration for each other was so romantic and sweet. I tear up just thinking about how perfect they were for each other. The fact that August was a chinchilla shifter didn’t even faze Sam. I was a bit afraid that a chinchilla shifter story wouldn’t work for me, but I actually found it adorable. The way it was weaved into both the case and the romance was perfect.

I’m not a fan of a character who is divorced because it’s too much of a reminder that a happily-ever-after isn’t always forever. However, I liked how the author treated the divorce and the prior relationship by using it to convince me that Sam had really changed. I actually believed that any issues he might have had in his prior marriage were resolved and wouldn’t negatively affect his future with August. The length of the story allowed us to see the two of them together quite a bit with plenty of great dialogue and steamy sex scenes.

This book is perfectly titled. It was the real life example of somebody who had some gumption. Even with his low self-image, which Sam tried so hard to correct, August still had enough spunk to go after what he really wanted in life. I just adored this humorous, sexy love story, and I highly recommend it.


Originally reviewed for The Romance Reviews. Complimentary copy provided by author/publisher for an honest review.


August Adahy Mendez would rather be buried in the world of his detective novels or a good film noir movie than in real life. He’s overweight, undermotivated, and stuck in a dead-end job. As a Chincha, he’s part of a long line of chinchilla shifters, but the greatest accomplishment in his life so far has been moving an hour away from his close-knit herd. That all changes when August’s grandfather leaves him enough cash to pursue his dream: becoming a detective himself.

Sam Ewing is a bitter divorcé who enjoys watching football and being alone. It’s easier when his only interaction with people is when he collects rent from his office building tenants. Then August rents space from him to set up his new detective agency, and Sam is drawn to him despite his misgivings.

Sam soon finds himself involved with one of August’s cases, and the men join forces to catch their criminal. The greater challenges they face, however, are how August makes Sam want to give love a second try and how Sam makes August believe that real life might be even better than fiction.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s