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*BLOG TOUR ~ Review, Q&A plus Giveaway* Merry Gentlemen by Josephine Myles

November 19, 2013

’Tis the season of goodwill to all men…even the one who dumped you.

Riley MacDermott’s ambitions are simple. Managing the annual Bath Christmas Market—which involves long hours in the cold and a whole lot of hassle—will secure the promotion he needs to afford to move out of his noisy, top-floor flat. Where not even his balcony is safe from an aggressive herring gull.

The last stallholder he expects to see is his ex. Riley never recovered from their break up, and five years on the old chemistry still sparkles. So does their habitual head butting.

Stan never wanted to leave the love of his life, but the pull of the woods was too strong—and Riley was firmly planted in the city. Reconnecting is painful, but Stan still jumps at the chance to stay with his old flame during the Market. And damn the consequences.

As the weeks pass, the two grow closer than ever. But despite scorching sex and cozy intimacy, they both know they face a cold and lonely future. Unless one of them can compromise.

Warning: Contains sex in a shed, a seagull with a grudge, glamping, awful Secret Santa underwear, misuse of an Abba song, and as many wood-related puns as the author thought she could get away with.

My Review:

A Christmas book that is not really about Christmas but takes place during the Christmas season that is full of witty one liners, sexy sheds, Santa Claus suits, hot men who live in the woods, camp ABBA singing and revenge seeking poop bombing seagulls? Oh yeah, that should get you ready for the wild, hilarious ride that Josephine Myles takes you down with Merry Gentlemen.

Good things can get snatched away from you without a moment’s notice, and the sooner you learn that, the better. And now here I was, on the wrong side of thirty, freezing my bachelor arse off on a balcony of a one-bedroom flat, yelling at a stupid seagull. How had my life ended up so far from where it was meant to be?

I have been trying to figure out just how to review this book. I have said before the ones that hit the closest are the hardest for me to talk about. Did I love this? Yes. Did I laugh my ass off reading it? Um, see the author name for that. *wink* Did I sigh at the romance no matter how it came across the page even while watching co-workers open calendars at holiday parties? Of course. So why can’t I get some words down to say what I liked? Maybe I need to break out in song? Maybe I need to not think so much? Not sure.

Yeah, all right. I was a master of excuses. Came with having the gift of the gab. I didn’t just kiss the blarney stone, I snogged it senseless and gave it a handjob.

Riley MacDermott, where do I begin with this man? Firstly, I adored him. I loved reading his inner thoughts and the things that came out of his mouth made me laugh out loud. His inability to officially let go of his ex-boyfriend and his eagerness to climb up the corporate ladder makes him the perfect leading man for this story. His obsession with a seagull who seems to have it out for him just makes me want to see the whole thing in action.

“What can I say? I have a gift for pissing people off. Seagulls too.”

“You used to be so charming.”

“I still can be. You’ve just caught me on a bad day.”

While at work trying to keep the proprietors and patrons of the Bath Christmas Market happy, Riley runs into said ex, the one he can’t forget and with one description of Stan you can tell why. I am a sucker for blondes and Stan with his edible build, quiet charm and insane love and understanding for Riley the attraction was instant and constant. While Riley was the life of party, with or without the traditional company Secret Santa gift, Stan was the calm amongst Riley’s storm. He was solid as wood (ban pun penalty) and exactly what Riley has always needed. But these two, while loving each other passionately, these men want different things in life and for their life. Riley wants the busy of the city and Stan wants his peace and solitude in the woods where he can think and be himself.

I suppose we always end up wanting the things we don’t have. Part of the human condition.

I am a sucker for second chance romance done well. I love the history of the couple, what didn’t work or what they just couldn’t get passed. I love the first meeting of them again, the rush of emotion that overtakes them both; either the urge for tackle sex (a term? It is now) or to punch the other in the throat, I love it. I got it ten-fold with Stan and Riley. I fell so hard for them separate and together. I loved each moment they spent together and every moment of Riley over analyzing the hell out of every little aspect of their past, present and future relationship. (Have I mentioned how much I GOT Riley? He could be my glamping doppelganger) I wanted them to figure it out, how to be together and both get what they wanted out of life and their partner. They had me with all the feels these boys. All the feels.

What the hell was I feeling now? Was this nerves? Fear? Fury? Whatever it was, it could fuck off. I had a job to do.

Merry Gentlemen was a lovely way for me to start of my holiday reading. I love the Christmas stories that come out, the way they make me crave for the cold weather, the holiday cheer and just that feeling that the season is special and magical enough to make the impossible happen.

“That was incredible,” he said, sounding every bit as bowled over as I felt. “Riley? You felt that too?”

I nodded. That must have been what he needed, because his face softened into something like the Stan I remembered. The one who’d teased me for being a wimp, but who always got the great big spiders out of the flat for me. The one who made me breakfast in bed on a Sunday.

The one who kissed me like I was the most important thing in the world.

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating



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Now for the moment where I attempt to ask proper questions without sounding like a complete  fangirl and fail but Ms. Myles kindly answers them anyway.

What is the one Christmas tradition you cannot do without?

Decorating the tree is always—ALWAYS—my favourite part of the whole shebang. Now Daisy is old enough we do it together, although I do keep the glass baubles just for the top of the tree which only I can reach. I’ve got a great collection of decorations which I’ve been buying gradually over the years, as well as lots of crochet snowflakes I made myself. Every year I love going out and buying one or two new and unique decorations. We seem to have lots of birds and angels, as well as random things like the wooden skiing reindeer and the enameled stocking with a panda on it.

I’m not sure how I’m going to cope with a Christmas tree plus two overgrown kittens this year. I suspect they’ll just have to be shut out of the living room unless heavily supervised.

Speaking of Christmas traditions. Do you have any that are traditions but not exactly “Christmassy” but you do them every year? (We decorate our tree to The Beatles White Album and like to watch Gremlins, Die Hard and movies that take place around the holiday but not exactly holiday centered.)

We always have Tiramisu for pudding at Christmas dinner. Yes, I know it isn’t a typical Christmas dish but my family love it and it’s become part of our own tradition. It’s rich and boozy, but not laden with dried fruit like so many of the Christmas desserts. My dad seems to be the only one there who ever enjoys Christmas pudding. The pyromaniac in me loves igniting the brandy and pouring it all over the pudding, but quite frankly, I could set fire to all kinds of things that I’d actually enjoy eating/drinking, so I don’t consider Christmas pudding worth the effort.

Favorite Christmas Dish to make?

In terms of getting to lick the bowl, I think the best has to be my Yule Log. I make a sinfully rich, flourless chocolate roulade but using mascarpone cheese with a load of extra dark chocolate melted into it instead of cream. I might add a bit of amaretto in there this year too. I find things usually taste more Christmassy with some boozy almond flavouring. Yum.

In Merry Gentlemen we meet an ornery seagull who seems to have a grudge with Riley, did the gull come from personal experience? I am hoping not the shite part…*cringes*

Oh yes, the gull experience was a very real one, and the memory still traumatizes me! I was crossing George Street in Bath in the middle of summer, when a seagull took to the air in front of me and splattered me from head to toe. It was right outside a busy pavement café, and all the people there were trying to hide their laughter as I wailed “oh no!” A very kind waiter showed me to their bathroom and I cleaned up the best I could with wet paper towels. Fortunately I only lived about half a mile down the road, so it wasn’t too long before I could get home and shower properly.

The ABBA moment was outstanding, I love how and why Riley used it, what would be your go to song to sing in a similar situation?

It would have to be one that sprang to mind, the words already there… and while I’d like to say something cool and credible, I think it’s most likely to be something really lame like the theme tune to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, sung by Will Smith. Yeah, I know, I know. I just learnt the rap off by heart when I was younger, and it’s now permanently lodged in my brain. On the plus side, everyone would be so busy laughing at me they’d definitely not notice anything else that was going on.

The feeling that I got from Stan and Riley’s relationship was to just take a step back and look at things in a new light when the crazy begins to take over. That is what I try to do each holiday season when it begins to be too much. What do you do to make the crazy…less crazy?

When things get too crazy I resort to baking. I think this is why I end up making so much food in December! Only problem is, once you’ve stopped with the crazy baking, you have a whole heap of washing up to do…

Thanks for having me over to chat about Christmas, Sara. Now I think I need to run off and actually start my Christmas shopping!


***Josephine Myles is giving away one digital copy of any title in her back list

and I am giving away one copy of Merry Gentlemen (Kindle or Nook)***


>>>>>>>ENTER HERE<<<<<<

About the author:

English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. She blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.

Jo is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and publishes regularly with Samhain. She’s one of the organising team behind the UK Meet, an annual event celebrating GLBTQ fiction. She has also been known to edit anthologies and self-publish on occasion.

Connect with Jo:

 Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Website/Blog | Newsletter

6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 20, 2013 8:23 am

    This was a FANTASTIC interview. (I, too, have the Fresh Prince memorized LOL)

  2. Trix permalink
    November 20, 2013 9:50 am

    I’m getting an error page when I click on the Rafflecopter link–is it just me? (Firefox and Safari give me the same result.) Anyway, chocolate roulade sounds so good (I’ve never dared to do all the meringue mushrooms and things like that). The San Jose Sharks hockey team guys were doing the Fresh Prince theme this week online somewhere, so it’s clearly a trend.

    • The Risqué Redhead Reads permalink
      November 20, 2013 10:10 am

      It’s working now. Sorry about that.

  3. Lilian Quiros permalink
    November 20, 2013 11:15 am

    I will say best Christmas tradition is getting together on Christmas Eve with my family. I have a big family and they are loud and a bit crazy and it’s great. I love sharing and making memories with them. Great review and giveaway.

  4. Stephanie permalink
    November 20, 2013 8:28 pm

    My favorite Christmas tradition is when we leave milk and cookies for Santa and he nibbles on the cookies and sips the milk!

  5. Sheri permalink
    December 1, 2013 8:19 am

    I finally got around to this one, and absolutely adored it!!
    I too am a sucker for second chances, and this one played out brilliantly. I love holiday romances, and this is definitely a new fave of mine.
    Fabulous review my lovely scientist.

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