Love Sucks Until it doesn’t: An Unexpected Party by Henrietta Clarke

 photo ValentinesDayCollectionTourBadgeFeb11-20_zps0f751c09.jpgToday we have the last of four books that I will be reviewing as part of this hop, two today and two yesterday.  Be sure to check out the Bottom Drawer Publishing page to see who and what else is in store on this tour.

In addition – you can enter this Rafflecopter to be entered to win one of several prizes:
2 winners will receive all 4 books featured for this tour, 2 winners will receive 2 of the 4 books featured on the tour, and 5 winners will be chosen to make a choice for one of the books from the collection.   In addition – throughout the length of the tour, you can take an additional 25% off the regular price of the books when you purchase from Bottom Drawer Publications website only and be sure to enter this code at checkout. bdpvdtiaiall01

And now –  for the book

VD An Unexpected Party 200x300
:  An Unexpected Party
Author:  Henrietta Clarke
Bottom Drawer Publications
10K words (approx)
ISBN:  978-0987487001
Buy NowBottom Drawer §  Amazon

Stars: 5

Book Description:  Valentine’s Day sucks! Merry Breton is reminded of this again when he receives a call from his boss to work a last minute job, even though he worked New Year’s as well. And to top it all off he hears from the very man who had ruined this same day last year—Kieran Church. His lover of two years who had stood him up on Valentine’s Day and from whom he’d not heard a word since. He supposes it should be good news that Kieran has finally come out of the closet and is still in love with him, but the news is exactly forty-five days too late.

Forty-five excruciatingly long days have passed since New Year’s Eve—the night Peregrine Harding attended a speed dating function at Sheffield’s premier hotel to appease his terminally ill mother and ended the night in bed with a very cute waiter. Unfortunately, the man who quickly wormed his way into Peregrine’s heart had promptly informed him upon waking that he didn’t date men who couldn’t find their way out of the closet and walked away.

Common sense tells them that they should forget their one night of passion and move on, that neither of them is in the right place for a relationship. But Merry can no sooner forget about Peregrine than Peregrine can forget about him.

Book Review:

I have to say that it was a joy to read a book in the ‘Queen’s English’, it’s not often, living in the states that I have the opportunity to read books with spelling that is most familiar to me, as I learned to read with books from the UK.  That being said – this book was really fun and funny.  Well played Ms. Clarke, the sly Tolkien references added a giggle early on, when Merry wasn’t being teased by his boss or co-worker.

At first, I found Merry a bit of a whinger, and slightly immature, although he is only in his early 20’s. That immaturity was a bit of a ruse, however, as he has obviously overcome several challenges: not the least of which is making the decision that the only relationships for him are ones with fully-out men. That doesn’t discourage his instant reaction to Peregrine, the one extra male, and both are convinced the other is straight.  Through a series of maneuverings by his boss and co-worker, they manage to connect; only to have it all dissemble over bacon and tea the next morning.

Weeks pass, and 2013 is looking like a year of ho-hum for them both.  With a deft hand, Henrietta Clarke has managed to show both potential ‘sides’ of the difficulties encountered by these men, encouraging the reader to see far more options and the emotional turmoil both experience from their individual pasts and situations.   When Peregrine decides that his happiness is really more important than what others may think, the resolution to their difficulties is in sight.  With a little interference from Merry’s boss and a beautifully crafted conversation there is a happy ending in sight, just in time for Valentine ’s Day.   Cleverly crafted characters, real-feeling situations and roadblocks, and sensual scenes that are less erotic than warm-fuzzy afterglow, this is a great addition to your ‘love’ collection.

I was provided an eBook ARC from the publisher for purpose of honest review as part of the Love Sucks Until it Doesn’t blog tour. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About the Author:

Henrietta Clarke is a highly individual Yorkshire lass who grew up with her nose in a book and is therefore lucky to have only fallen down the stairs once in twenty-one years. Ironically, this had nothing to do with reading and resulted in “traumatic golfer’s elbow.” No, she’s never figured that one out either, but it genuinely was the medical diagnosis. Her parents have long accused her of being “away with the fairies,” so perhaps she was always destined to write in the gay romance genre. She’s had enough imaginary friends to fill the Titanic and set her course towards being a published writer at the age of six. Having achieved that dream, her next goal is to get through two years of postgraduate law study with her sanity intact. She thinks she might just be able to do it with a little help from her family, friends, vodka, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and of course her trusty bookshelves.

You can contact Henrietta by emailing She’s currently too techno-illiterate to have a blog, but may start one soon.



One thought on “Love Sucks Until it doesn’t: An Unexpected Party by Henrietta Clarke

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