A Pennymaker Tale
Wendell “Wen” Darling lives in a world of shoulds and musts. Left to care for his brother and sister by his dull drudge of a father and wacko irresponsible mother, he suppresses his creativity, slaving in an ad agency seventy hours a week, letting his no-talent supervisor take the credit.
Then his bosses blow the campaign for their biggest client and Wen gets a chance to shine—but only if he can find the artist who painted a wild, glorious wall of graffiti in the subway. Hiding behind a pillar at 2:00 a.m., Wen comes face-to-face with the scarlet-haired, elven-faced embodiment of his divergent opposite—Peter Panachek, the flighty, live-for-today painter, singer, and leader of the rock group the Lost Boys. Everything Wen takes seriously, Peter laughs off, but opposites attract, even if their kisses always lead to battles. Peter’s devil-may-care persona hides a world of secrets, self-protection, and hidden fears, until the day a drug dealer, Vadon Hooker, threatens everything Wen holds dear. Guided by the mysterious Mr. Pennymaker, Peter has to choose between facing responsibility or burrowing even deeper into Neverland.
(Book reviewed here previously by Mary)
I so very much enjoy Tara Lain’s reimagined fairy tale series with Mr Pennymaker, the fairy godfather, appearing in each one. I think this take on Peter Pan is my favourite so far. I loved Peter’s vibrancy. He is carefree, an artist and the lead singer of the Lost Boys. Peter lives for the moment. Wendell on the other hand was thrust into responsibility at a young age caring for his sister and young brother. He has to keep his job. Tara Lain does an excellent job of bringing you into their lives and caring about them all. I could feel how tired and stressed Wen is and how spirited and alive Peter is. Together they provided a balance for each other. The only problem being their past. Both of them let past experiences cloud the chance of happiness. This is one of the best opposites attract stories I have read. They want each other but are convinced it’ll never work until a certain Mr Pennymaker helps them see the error in their thinking. The character for Hook is extremely clever and so appropriate for today. All the other characters are included, Tink, the lost boys (each with their own personalities and part to play in the story) smee and a small reference to the crocodile. Such an enjoyable book and one of the best reimagined fairytales I’ve read. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
5 stars out of 5
Review by Morgan
I definitely admire the way Tara Lain is able to make these old fairy tales over into m/m romances! What an imagination! Some of the tales are more transmutable than others and this one – while ridiculously clever – didn’t resonate with me as well as some of the others.
I found the names and the people cute but I didn’t feel the spark between Wen and Peter as well as I have in some of her other tales.
If you’re a fan of the author and the series – I think you’ll love this as much as you did the others – but if you’re new to either the series or Tara Lain in particular this wouldn’t be where I’d start.
3 of 5 stars
Kale Williams did a fantastic job with this! He gave everyone unique voices, made the humor ring loud and clear and managed to carry it all off with a good amount of panache. Recommended in this format as the best way to experience this story.
5 of 5 stars
Overall 4 of 5 stars
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review