Sandra @ My Fiction Nook

I like romance and boys loving boys in my books. 

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Lou Harper
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M.J. O'Shea, M.J. O'Shea
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ARC Review: A Fine Mingling by D.W. Marchwell

A Fine Mingling - D.W. Marchwell

Cute, somewhat quiet romance, with humorous banter and snark.


I liked the characters, Ben and Alistair, both of which had personal hang-ups, as well as Jared, the nephew, and Abigail, the sister. The author created a fine cast of characters for this novel, and let the story flow at an easy, gentle pace.


The character of Ben was slightly too perfect, and Alistair made me shake my head a few times, but I loved Jared, and the interactions between him and Ben were super sweet.

Ben is a fireman, and we see some interactions between him and his mentor/friend Frank at the station, as well as confrontations with one of the other fireman who's a big homophobe, and was almost a caricature of the villain every story needs.


There is some background story about Abigail and Alistair's father who built the playground castle that burned down and is being rebuild by the town, which serves as the trigger for Ben and Alistair to meet.


At the root of this book is family. Both Ben and Alistair face their own struggles as far as family is concerned, but from very different spectrums.


Where Alistair serves as the father/protector to Jared, he took things a little far sometimes. Yes, Jared is deaf, which comes with its own set of issues, but Alistair hovered a wee bit too much on occasion for my taste. Then again, I don't have any experience with deaf children, so perhaps my able-bodied perspective is off.


Ben has very little contact with his family, and comes across as not wanting to tell anyone that he comes from money, and that he's well off, fearing that anyone he meets might only be interested in the cash, and not the person. I can see how Ben might have made that determination, and it's a well-loved romance trope. His struggle felt realistic and reasonable to me.


The book focused on building the relationship between Alistair and Ben, and as such, it succeeded in delivering what it promised. Some of the issues raised weren't explored deeply enough for my personal taste. The side plot with Abigail dating the next door neighbor cop, and possibly moving out of state for her lawyer internship was used as a trigger for Alistair's emotional turmoil, but given a satisfactory resolution.


As I said, a quiet, gentle romance that flowed nicely. Something you want to read when sexy bedroom antics are not what you want to be focused on.


** I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **