My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is two out of two for Kelly Jensen – both completely different genre types as well, a Sci-Fi To See The Sun and now this contemporary.
I knew I was going to like this one when I was laughing out loud during the first chapter, tearing up at 37%, and when Kelly used one of my most favourite words ever – susurrate during a sex scene 🙂
This book is, pretty much, a feel-good read with only a teeny bit of angsty, lots and lots of love, fun and laughter, humour, and great characters and world-building, and it’s really visual! I could picture perfectly in my mind the setting.
The two protagonists are the kind of blokes I want to be friends with. I loved Simon and I adored Charlie. Their relationship was just lovely to read. The trope of neighbours falling in love is one you don’t see so much these days and it’s done with full justice here.
Simon’s looking for a new start, Charlie’s just living day by day, mostly happy but living with buried feelings of guilt and still mourning the loss of his wife.
There is a scene, which I mentioned in my Updates, which had me tearing up completely and it just summed up the whole book for me really – Simon was the perfect guy to pick up the baton so people could move on.
“I’m aware most of Bethlehem believes my associates are ghosts,” Arthur continued. “There was only one, though. Jeremy Klein. He was my partner in all things until he passed.” He wore the expression of a man reminiscing over deep loss and old grief. “It’s difficult to move forward from that. Especially in a small community. So I honored his memory—each facet of it—by making Jeremy into a host of associates. My partner, my friend.” A quiet breath. “My lover.”
Gaping wasn’t polite, but how else to react?
“I hope I have not misjudged you,” Arthur went on. “That my . . . personal history isn’t something you—”
“No. You haven’t. I appreciate the confidence.”
“It’s considered rude to imagine one knows another without question, and this world is so obsessed with labels. But I recognized you when you first came to visit me, Simon. That’s not why I was eager for the partnership, you understand. But I felt nonetheless that we could make beautiful things together. That in you, I had found someone to pass my associates on to.”
#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review