Categories
2.5 stars adult - 18+ Dreamspinner Gay Gay m/m Mild level angst Mild/low level heat Morgan New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Standalone

Recent Release: Shoulder Season (World of Love) by Jackie North

Blurb

Two young men from two different countries find a common language as they recover from broken hearts and broken bones. Can they rebuild their lives together?

Ben’s boyfriend has not only dumped him, he’s also cancelled their mutual travel plans. Since Ben has the time off and the money saved up, he decides to travel anyway, and based on a last-minute, very inexpensive red-eye airline fare, ends up in Reykjavik, Iceland.

He’s ill-prepared for the weather and knows nothing about the country, so he considers flying home the next day. Except his new neighbor, Solvin, a local Icelander who is currently on leave from work due to a car accident, shows up with a cane and shoulder sling and literally falls into Ben’s apartment. It’s the beginning of an adventure that might show Ben how good life can be… and that coming home sometimes means traveling halfway around the world.

 

Review by Georgiana

It felt… yes, it felt nice.
Ben had taken the first red-eye flight after Alan his ex-boyfriend dumps him.
“he said, the thought of going anywhere with Ben where he’d have to explain him, yet again, to his friends, was a burden he could live without.”
Having saved money for a trip they planned to take to Germany for Oktoberfest, he figured Iceland would be the last place Alan would go.
Other than the negative memories of Alan, we don’t get to know much about Ben before the two had dated. Even after meeting his new temporary neighbor Solvin there isn’t much told of either’s past.
“In front of him was the gentleman formerly known as the Icelandic god, currently known as Solvin”
Sweet, gentle and nurturing are all the actions both Ben and Solvin show each other. Ben seemed older then mid-twenties. Everything moved smoothly and even through the slight nervousness of opening up they handled it with grace.
The descriptions of Reykjavik and the places they visited sound so beautiful, making me want to visit even more. Something I found refreshing is that neither men had to take on a more dormant or submissive side, which is sometime hard to find in MM Romance now days.
What is “shoulder season”? A travel period between peak and off-peak seasons. I thought it had to do with the rain, and I guess for Iceland that’s true.
I was hoping for a little more at the end. My last thought was, “U-Haul Gays” and a big smile plastered on my face.

I voluntarily and honestly reviewed this book without bias or persuasion from the author.

4 of 5 stars

 

Copy Provided for Review

 

Review by Tru

What a sweet, kind and considerate story this is. I loved this little short one.

Ben booked a ticket to Iceland after he broke up with his abusive boyfriend… coming all the way from Colorado.
Here in Iceland he rents a little apartment. When he sees his neighbor he think he is watching a blond Icelandic god. One arm in a sling and walking a cane he’s struggling to get in next door.
After a while he hears a bang at his neighbor’s house and he runs to him.
Solvin need some help and Ben is delighted to give help.

Here starts a lovely friendship with mutual attraction. Both men are recovering, one from a broken heart and one from broken bones.

Against a beautiful Iceland backdrop their connection gets stronger and stronger.
Ben doesn’t want to leave Iceland anymore and Solvin doesn’t want to let him go.

Two very kind men finally finding equal minded spirits, love and friendship.
A very appealing written story, with a beautiful landscape and two engaging men.
The story is enough developed and it did something with my heart, I smiled more than once because of all those ‘nice’ sentences with ‘nice’ humor and sweet personalities.

4 of 5 stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copy Provided for Review

Review by Karen

Sweet story, but a bit too mellow for my taste.

There was no conflict or tension of any kind between the MC’s, not even the littlest misunderstanding or some angst or yearning to pull in the reader. Without any of that, how can we really appreciate all the “nice” moments between these “nice” men? And they are very nice and enjoy doing nice things together, a point that is made, not so subtly and repeatedly, by the author in an attempt to show the differences between Solvin, Icelandic God, and Alan, the evil ex-boyfriend.

Ben just broke up with Alan, his overbearing, even a tad abusive, boyfriend and travels to Iceland to get away for a while.
On his arrival, he meets Solvin, the Icelandic God, who is unaware of his own god-like status and looks, which makes him even more tempting and lovable, of course.
Ben and Solvin, spend mere days together, doing the tourist thing, fall in love (too) easily and decide to get engaged so Ben can emigrate to Iceland.
A life-altering decision, made in less time than most people would need to pick what topping they wanted on their pancakes, say Nutella or maple syrup. Though apparently Nutella isn’t know and loved everywhere yet, that was eye-opening for me. Left me completely flabbergasted.

Ben has a difficult time getting over Alan, though I have a hard time understanding why, because they didn’t appear to have had the most loving relationship and Ben thinks Alan is an awful guy, quite rightly so.
Ben continually compares Solvin to Alan, ad nauseam. Ben realizes this himself and tries, but fails, to stop doing this. Solvin has the patience of a saint.

Steam-wise this is a very mild story as well, which isn’t a bad thing per se, but I felt that the only really intimate scene had an almost perfunctory feel to it and didn’t add much romance, closeness or sexiness. A missed opportunity.

On the plus side, Ms. North did her research with regards to Iceland and I really enjoyed seeing all the Icelandic sights through Ben’s eyes.

This story was competently written, but to me was lacking in the plot department and the author could have been more subtle while trying to get certain points across to the reader.

3 of 5 stars

Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

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