Book Review – Mystic Man by E.J. Russell


Publisher: Reality Optional Press
Pages: 104
Characters: Aaron/Cody
POV: 3rd
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb:
When a series of personal crises prompt risk-averse research librarian Aaron Templeton to apply for a job on the other side of the country, nobody is more surprised than he is. He nearly runs home before the final interview except for one little problem: he has no home anymore. He put his condo on the market before he left California and it’s already sold. Only an encounter with free-spirited Connecticut native Cody Brown at the Mystic Seaport Museum staves off Aaron’s incipient panic attack.

Cody loves nothing better than introducing newcomers to the great features of his beloved home state, and when the newbie in question is a rumpled professorial type with the saddest blue eyes on the planet? Score! The attraction between the two men deepens as they explore Cody’s favorite spots, but when difficulties arise and Aaron’s insecurities threaten to overwhelm him, will Cody’s love be enough to keep him in Mystic?

Mystic Man is a 32,000-word novella featuring a pertinent internal playlist, suggestive shellfish consumption, and a six-year-old who thinks history should have more girls. HEA guaranteed.

Buy Link

Review

Mystic Man is a sweet, low angst, fun story about two very different men, who are each other’s harbour and anchor. I connected with both Aaron and Cody almost immediately and had to keep reading to make sure they got their HEA. I liked that the author spends time growing Cody and Aaron’s friendship as well as romance, and how they spark off, and understand, each other.

I also loved Cody’s internal playlist, and how the songs connected to the story.

The supporting cast are great, and I thought there was a very real sense of family. Cody’s sister, brother-in-law, and niece feel very real. They’re close and it shows.

The setting feels like a character in its own right, and I enjoyed learning more about Mystic. I thought the story wasn’t just about Cody showing Aaron around Mystic, but the journey of both men finding a home in each other.

I enjoyed catching up with Cody and Aaron a year later too, and found the ending very satisfying.

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at https://annebarwell.wordpress.com
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