Alfie Bell is . . . fine. He’s got a six-figure salary, a penthouse in Canary Wharf, the car he swore he’d buy when he was eighteen, and a bunch of fancy London friends.
It’s rough, though, going back to South Shields now that they all know he’s a fully paid-up pansy. It’s the last place he’s expecting to pull. But Fen’s gorgeous, with his pink-tipped hair and hipster glasses, full of the sort of courage Alfie’s never had. It should be a one-night thing, but Alfie’s never met anyone like Fen before.
Except he has. At school, when Alfie was everything he was supposed to be, and Fen was the stubborn little gay boy who wouldn’t keep his head down. And now it’s a proper mess: Fen might have slept with Alfie, but he’ll probably never forgive him, and Fen’s got all this other stuff going on anyway, with his mam and her flower shop and the life he left down south.
Alfie just wants to make it right. But how can he, when all they’ve got in common is the nowhere town they both ran away from.
405 e-book pages
Ratings are 1 to 5 stars and based mostly on GoodReads standards.
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Who hasn’t read Pansies yet?
Did you know it’s up for a RITA* award? Did you know Alexis Hall won the RITA in 2016 in the Erotic Romance category with For Real? True facts, y’all. Alexis Hall is amazing!
If I had to count my favorite authors on one hand, well, I’d have to beg for more fingers. But, gotta say Alexis is easily one of the first five I’d name. And Pansies was gorgeous. It’s worth all the stars and the awards.
This is hot-shot coming home and finding what home truly means. It’s the guy who never really left but probably should have. It’s facing mistakes of the past and setting things to rights. It’s making amends, forgiveness, and acceptance. And, it’s finding something amazing in the unexpected.
Pansies is incredibly character driven with not a single elegant word wasted. These characters are flawed and deeply scarred with lots of internal struggles from past mistakes. They have perceptions that need adjusting, and some priorities realigned.
There’s some miscommunication and a few missteps along the way to them finding happy, but both are willing to dig just that much deeper within themselves and with each other. It’s so spot-on human nature that I can’t seem to find a complaint in me.
Some of the dialect might’ve been a little tough to navigate in the beginning, but it’s one of those things that comes easier as the story progresses. And as much as I frequently disdain seeing Southern American dialect in print, I can’t help but delight in English vernacular.
Alfie and Fen are very much opposites and make for quite a mismatched pair. That just happens to be one of my favorite sorts of pairings — especially when it takes some work to figure out how they’re gonna fit in each other’s lives. And boy, oh boy, do they have some kinks to untangle from their pasts before they can pave the road ahead.
Lordy, this took my breath away. It’s simply magic on the page. Recommended to everyone everywhere.
Note: 2017 Rita award winners will be announced July 27th. Pansies is a finalist in the Contemporary Romance: Long category.
About the Author:
Alexis Hall was born in the early 1980s and still thinks the 21st century is the future. To this day, he feels cheated that he lived through a fin de siècle but inexplicably failed to drink a single glass of absinthe, dance with a single courtesan, or stay in a single garret. He did the Oxbridge thing sometime in the 2000s and failed to learn anything of substance. He has had many jobs, including ice cream maker, fortune teller, lab technician, and professional gambler. He was fired from most of them.
He can neither cook nor sing, but he can handle a 17th-century smallsword, punts from the proper end, and knows how to hotwire a car.
He lives in southeast England, with no cats and no children, and fully intends to keep it that way.