Reviewed by Carissa
SERIES: Bristol Collection #2
AUTHOR: Josephine Myles
PUBLISHER: Samhain Publishing
LENGTH: 374 pages
When Mr. Glad Rags meets Mr. Riches, the result is flaming fun.
Tobias “Mas” Maslin doesn’t need much. A place of his own, weekends of clubbing, a rich boyfriend for love and support. Too bad his latest sugar daddy candidate turns out to be married with kids. Mas wants to be special, not someone’s dirty little secret.
When he loses his job and his flat on the same day, his worlds starts unraveling…until he stumbles across a vintage clothing shop. Now to convince the reclusive, eccentric owner he’s in dire need of a salesman.
Perry Cavendish-Fiennes set up Cabbages and Kinks solely to annoy his controlling father. Truth be told, he’d rather spend every spare moment on his true passion, art. When Mas comes flaming into his life talking nineteen to the dozen, he finds himself offering him a job and a place to live.
He should have listened to his instincts. The shop is already financially on the brink, and Mas’s flirting makes him feel things he’s never felt for a man. Yet Mas seems convinced they can make a go of it—in the shop, and together.
Warning: Contains an eccentric, bumbling Englishman, a gobby drama queen, fantastic retro clothing, scary fairies, exes springing out of the woodwork, and a well-aimed glass of bubbly. Written in brilliantly British English.
Perry peered down at it with a disapproving frown. “I should get a cloth.”
Mas watched him stalk over to the kitchenette, grab a cloth from the sink and then head back. Perry was still moving like clockwork. There was something stiff about him—and not in the good kind of way. He looked like a man who needed his joints oiling.
He also looked like someone who needed a good laugh, but it looked like he was too tightly wound to do that in front of anyone he wasn’t close to. And was he close to anyone at all? It didn’t sound that way, if Mas was the first person to come up here.
Okay, so project one. Get Perry to laugh. Anything that came after that would be a bonus.
Tobias Maslin–or as he prefers it, Mas–loses his job, botches an attempt at shoplifting, and then loses his home, all in one day. It is actually quite an accomplishment. Well, it would be if you were aiming for homeless and broke. But one good thing does come out of all this, because when Mas ducks into a store to avoid the security guard from his old job, Mas finds himself in vintage clothes heaven. Ok, more like vintage clothes purgatory, but still pretty cool (if cluttered).
Perry Cavendish-Fiennes (oh he of the ridiculously long name) runs the vintage clothes shop, Cabbages and Kinks. Well, not so much runs, as puts up with the occasional (very occasional) customer interrupting him while he is working on his artwork upstairs. It may not be very lucrative–and he may have had his gas shut off because he owes so much in back-payments that it really isn’t worth counting–but it pisses off his father, so Perry figures it isn’t all bad. Having Mas burst into his shop and into his life was unexpected and sorta unwelcome. At least at first. Turns out that there is something addictive about the man–even if he cannot stop flirting to save his life. Still, how he finds himself employing and then rooming with Mas…he will never quite figure out. Except that Mas is as unique as Perry’s creations, and just as beautiful. Not that Perry is gay, or anything.
Dear lordy, I loved this book. Probably
even more than I loved Junk. And I am pretty sure that I would happily pay money to work in Perry’s shop. I absolutely adore all things old–well vintage anyways–and while I don’t have a body that lends itself to actually wearing all these awesome clothes, it doesn’t stop me from falling love. And you really don’t want to get me started on how much I would love one of Perry’s odd steampunk-esk creations. Because I would. I would love it with every cog in my mechanical heart.
There is something so very nice about the whole romance that is built up between Mas and Perry. Part of it is the fact I love books where our very-nice straight boy turns out to be not so very straight, but there’s more to it. Maybe it was the way that Mas is just so wonderfully flirty–the way he seems to befuddle and bewitch Perry. Maybe it is Perry’s cluelessness (I think I have said before how much I adore this). Or perhaps it is the fact that for all their faults, and minor flare-ups, they don’t let the drama rule their lives. They actually try and figure things out, and not just let something petty ruin what is a wonderful love story.
It doesn’t hurt that they spend a majority of the book in those awesome vintage clothes that make me want to lick them from top to bottom.
The story itself was pretty much angst free, though there were certainly moments of tension. And you just know that all those little white lies are going to come back to bite them in their delicious tushies…but they handle it so well that I didn’t mind. I actually enjoyed it. For all that this book was over 350 pages, it seemed like a quick read because I just had so much fun while reading it.
And the secondary characters were great. I loved the brief looks into Jasper and Lewis’ lives, and as odd as it may seem, Cherise, the hooker that Perry was seeing before Mas flew into his life, was a great addition to the story. She becomes a really good friend to Perry, and helps him with all that emotional/relationship/Mas stuff that seems to just fly right over the man’s head.
Even if you haven’t read Junk I would recommend that you read this (though Junk was a great book, so you should probably read it anyways). There are a few things that tie this book back into the first in the series, but I do think it can be fully enjoyed even if you haven’t done your time with Jasper and Lewis. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I really hope that there is another book coming…though who Myles will throw at us next, I have no clue.
(And if anyone wants to show their love and send me a steampunk gecko to put on my wall…well I certainly wouldn’t say no. :P)