Bookstore owner Aubrey Barnes likes his quiet, orderly London life, thank you very much. His shop may be struggling, his only employee is a menace, and his plumbing is one creaky pipe away from disaster, but he can handle it. Maybe. He cannot, however, handle the film company that’s thrown his Soho street into chaos.
And he definitely can’t handle the charismatic American actor Blake Sinclair.
Which is why he’s extremely reluctant to lease out his shop as a set for Blake’s film, but it’s his one opportunity to save his business. Now he can’t get away from the distractingly hot actor.
Then Aubrey finds himself alone with Blake in a trailer, and what happens next turns London’s heat wave into an inferno that leaves him breathless.
Aubrey is not cut out for the high-profile life of dating a celebrity, especially an American actor who’s not even out yet. Good thing their tryst is absolutely not going anywhere.
Of course, when you expect nothing, that’s exactly when it starts to mean everything.
m/m romance, quirky characters, bookstore, great dialogue
I know author, Hayden Stone and I am delighted and proud to be able to provide an unbiased review of his debut queer romance novel. This is the kind of book that fans of the genre are going to love.
I loved bookstore owner Aubrey Barnes from the moment he first appeared in this book.
“There are two kinds of people in the world: people who put things away as they should, and arseholes who shelve books with no respect for the alphabet.”
As someone who spends my days working in a public library – I fell in love with Aubrey the moment I realized how grumpy and hilarious he was going to be. In addition to being beyond particular about where items in his bookstore are shelved, Aubrey is intelligent, funny and quirky. I immediately loved the banter between him and his assistant/ friend Gemma.
A chance encounter in the bookstore, a coffee accident down the road… Aubrey just keeps running into the same handsome man – even though he doesn’t want to. What Aubrey doesn’t know at first, because he’s not the least bit interested in something as trite as Hollywood, is that the handsome young man, he keeps running into is actor, Blake Sinclair.
Blake’s got a supporting role in a new flick that is filming down the street from Aubrey’s bookstore. When the crew discover what a great location the bookstore is, they want to film there! Naturally, adorably grumpy Aubrey isn’t interested… until he is. After all, running a bookstore these days is difficult and Aubrey has never really known much about marketing.
What I really enjoyed about this book was the way that the relationship between Aubrey and Blake progressed. Okay, they were clearly attracted to one another from the moment that they met but I genuinely felt as though I was getting to know them as they got to know one another.
This book isn’t all sunshine and puppies; Hayden Stone touches on some modern issues: being outed by the media, long distance relationships, financial woes, and homophobic family members. The story doesn’t get way from Stone and the plot never gets bogged down in the issues which I appreciate.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book!
Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) mentions of homophobic family member, a wee bit of angst, illness and death of a parent in the past, forced outing by media, internalized homophobia, a possessive ex partner.
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I received an ARC of An Unexpected Kind of Love by Hayden Stone from Entangled Embrace via Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review.