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Sort of Stranger Than Fiction

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When Michael Milner opens a dojo across the street from Ethan's bookstore, Red Bird Books, he makes ripples not only because he's a newcomer in the small desert town of Peabody, but because half his face has been horribly scarred. How? Ethan isn't sure. Michael's not exactly the chatty type, which only adds to his allure. Michael may not be the most sociable person in Peabo When Michael Milner opens a dojo across the street from Ethan's bookstore, Red Bird Books, he makes ripples not only because he's a newcomer in the small desert town of Peabody, but because half his face has been horribly scarred. How? Ethan isn't sure. Michael's not exactly the chatty type, which only adds to his allure. Michael may not be the most sociable person in Peabody, but he's quick to defuse a tense situation when Ethan finds himself cornered by Karl Hagar, fellow writing group member, and creepy author of even creepier serial killer tales. Ethan's sister Erin is convinced that Karl himself is responsible for the bodies turning up lately in the desert—after all, don't all the advice books say, "Write what you know?" While Erin's idea seems pretty far-fetched, Ethan does have to wonder why Karl's eerie focus has landed squarely on him.


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When Michael Milner opens a dojo across the street from Ethan's bookstore, Red Bird Books, he makes ripples not only because he's a newcomer in the small desert town of Peabody, but because half his face has been horribly scarred. How? Ethan isn't sure. Michael's not exactly the chatty type, which only adds to his allure. Michael may not be the most sociable person in Peabo When Michael Milner opens a dojo across the street from Ethan's bookstore, Red Bird Books, he makes ripples not only because he's a newcomer in the small desert town of Peabody, but because half his face has been horribly scarred. How? Ethan isn't sure. Michael's not exactly the chatty type, which only adds to his allure. Michael may not be the most sociable person in Peabody, but he's quick to defuse a tense situation when Ethan finds himself cornered by Karl Hagar, fellow writing group member, and creepy author of even creepier serial killer tales. Ethan's sister Erin is convinced that Karl himself is responsible for the bodies turning up lately in the desert—after all, don't all the advice books say, "Write what you know?" While Erin's idea seems pretty far-fetched, Ethan does have to wonder why Karl's eerie focus has landed squarely on him.

30 review for Sort of Stranger Than Fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Natasha

    Moar pls.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Fey

    Ethan is a hopeful writer, and co-owner of a family bookstore, his sister Erin runs the coffee-shop half of the store, and is his closest friend and only relative. Michael is a new guy in town, having recently opened a dojo across from Ethan's book store. He's tall, blonde, a bit terse and standoffish, but who wouldn't be when living with a huge disfiguring facial scar. Ethan is fascinated with Michael, but deals with this terribly, and puts his foot in his mouth a bit. Soon after Michael arrives Ethan is a hopeful writer, and co-owner of a family bookstore, his sister Erin runs the coffee-shop half of the store, and is his closest friend and only relative. Michael is a new guy in town, having recently opened a dojo across from Ethan's book store. He's tall, blonde, a bit terse and standoffish, but who wouldn't be when living with a huge disfiguring facial scar. Ethan is fascinated with Michael, but deals with this terribly, and puts his foot in his mouth a bit. Soon after Michael arrives in town, bodies are discovered in the neighborhood, and speculation abounds as to the possible murderer. Erin has her eye on Karl for the culprit, a loner who writes creepy violent stories for Ethan's writers club.. and may just have a bit of an obsession for Ethan himself. Yet again my main fault with this Petit Mort was that it was too short. With an author and a plot like this it needs more space to fill. Things have to be tied up way too hastily for my liking. This isn't me disliking the story, far fom it. This is me saying I really loved these characters and I wish they had more time, more space.. just more. Recommended to any m/m reader who gets along with short stories better than I do ;) See my other reviews of the Petit Morts series: ← #6 Pretty Ugly | #8 One Less Stiff at the Funeral →

  3. 5 out of 5

    Serena Yates

    This was a fun short read. Just enough of a mystery to keep me fascinated (and wondering), just enough of a romance to make it a very sexy book, and definitely a great description of small-town life and the characters so commonly found inhabiting those places. Ethan was a great viewpoint character to have for this story, I think. He is quite clearly oblivious to a lot of what is going on around him. That makes it more difficult to tell the story from his point of view, and still have it make sens This was a fun short read. Just enough of a mystery to keep me fascinated (and wondering), just enough of a romance to make it a very sexy book, and definitely a great description of small-town life and the characters so commonly found inhabiting those places. Ethan was a great viewpoint character to have for this story, I think. He is quite clearly oblivious to a lot of what is going on around him. That makes it more difficult to tell the story from his point of view, and still have it make sense. A challenge Josh Lanyon handled well. Michael is an intriguing character with lots of hidden depths. The fact that he is physically scarred is only the beginning. Between Ethan and him, he is the more observant and, in the end, the one to take the initiative. Much to Ethan's surprise and my personal delight. The ending is fascinating. Yes, it is very abrupt (as others have said). Interestingly, though, that didn't leave any loose ends. I did go 'What? It's already over? But... but I wanted more!' Slightly annoying initially, but in the end my own reaction made me grin. 'Always leave them wanting more' comes to mind...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ami

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The character of Ethan seems to slightly borrow Josh Lanyon's previous (and his most beloved) character, Adrien English: Ethan owns a book-slash-coffee shop (with his twin sister, Erin), he is currently working on a novel (the title is "Death in a Very Small Town", yes noted the word "very" :p), forming a writing group of his own, as well as his likeness to swim. However, I still enjoy this short story very well because it is romantic *sigh*. Michael Milner, the subject of Ethan's crush is not p The character of Ethan seems to slightly borrow Josh Lanyon's previous (and his most beloved) character, Adrien English: Ethan owns a book-slash-coffee shop (with his twin sister, Erin), he is currently working on a novel (the title is "Death in a Very Small Town", yes noted the word "very" :p), forming a writing group of his own, as well as his likeness to swim. However, I still enjoy this short story very well because it is romantic *sigh*. Michael Milner, the subject of Ethan's crush is not physically perfect, in fact he bears scars and his right half face is destroyed; and somehow that adds a plus point in my eyes. Not a perfect specimen character, yay!! I think the push into their relationship is hilarious (though Ethan will NOT think so, I mean, he does call Michael as "Phantom of the Dojo") -- and the build up is sweet (you should read the reason why Michael likes to visit the coffee shop, and I swear you will say "awwww" ^_^)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    This series is never disappointing and the writing is always stellar. Ethan has lived in Peabody, California, population 339, all his life. Michael is mysterious, scarred and not from Peabody. Ethan can't stop drooling over him. Chance is of course around, offering his sage advise, and subtle matchmaking skills all wrapped up in chocolate. There wasn't really a mystery in this story, although the writing caused suspicion anyway. Like the last book, I do wish me had one more actual scene with the This series is never disappointing and the writing is always stellar. Ethan has lived in Peabody, California, population 339, all his life. Michael is mysterious, scarred and not from Peabody. Ethan can't stop drooling over him. Chance is of course around, offering his sage advise, and subtle matchmaking skills all wrapped up in chocolate. There wasn't really a mystery in this story, although the writing caused suspicion anyway. Like the last book, I do wish me had one more actual scene with the 2 men, but still good.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bubbles Hunty Honest & Direct Opinions

    What the hell? this was an absolutely wonderful story. I would have given it 5 stars but there is no end. it just felt like the quota was met for word count and the story stops. Very disappointed

  7. 5 out of 5

    liz

    3.5 stars -.5 for the way too abrupt ending. again.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tully Vincent

    3.5 stars.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cole Riann

    4.75 stars This is my favorite story by Josh Lanyon so far in the Petit Morts series. While I got caught up in the story and felt like the mystery wrapped up pretty quickly, the real spark in this story is the relationship between naive, small-town book geek and new writer Ethan and quiet, steady and badly scarred Michael, the new resident to Peabody and dojo owner with a real heart of gold. The scene where everything finally comes out in the open between them really showcases how utterly sweet a 4.75 stars This is my favorite story by Josh Lanyon so far in the Petit Morts series. While I got caught up in the story and felt like the mystery wrapped up pretty quickly, the real spark in this story is the relationship between naive, small-town book geek and new writer Ethan and quiet, steady and badly scarred Michael, the new resident to Peabody and dojo owner with a real heart of gold. The scene where everything finally comes out in the open between them really showcases how utterly sweet and genuine Josh Lanyon's writing can be. The two of them together just makes me want to smile. Also, a shout out to a really great secondary character who leapt off the page, Ethan's twin sister Erin, who is charmingly upbeat and funny. Well done.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alisa

    Audio version This was just ok. The plot was pretty good and then it just ended. Like the most abrupt ending ever. I checked my phone to see if maybe the audio cut off but no, that was just how it ended. The narration was good.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mel

    A typical Lanyon story: good writing, great mix of mystery and romane, a quirky protag and lots of humor. The ending felt a bit sudden though. It definitely left me wanting more. (4-)

  12. 4 out of 5

    La*La

    3.5 stars. The ending was too abrupt, even for Josh Lanyon. Otherwise, this was good.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Joshy Sensei

    Just like the other novella in the series this is light and fun read. It just felt too abrupt. Granted this is novella and abrupt is a thing but i needed a bit of a closure.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    A bit of romance, and a bit of mystery. This is also a very short read, but I really enjoyed it. The characters are all interesting (kudos for Erin! I love her). We see the events from Ethan's POV, and that is part of the fun, as he is a bit oblivious at what's going on around him :P Michael is fantastic, and, at times, I feel like he's laughing a little at Ethan, but in a really fond way :P And yes, the end was abrupt, but there are no loose ends, and it's an intriguing one, as usually happens wi A bit of romance, and a bit of mystery. This is also a very short read, but I really enjoyed it. The characters are all interesting (kudos for Erin! I love her). We see the events from Ethan's POV, and that is part of the fun, as he is a bit oblivious at what's going on around him :P Michael is fantastic, and, at times, I feel like he's laughing a little at Ethan, but in a really fond way :P And yes, the end was abrupt, but there are no loose ends, and it's an intriguing one, as usually happens with all Lanyon's short stories, so I'm not disappointed.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Renée

    It ended before the story was over!

  16. 4 out of 5

    PettyProse

    Review: This story is narrated from Ethan’s point of view, bookshop-owner and would-be published author, and is a charming read. Review for Brief Encounters Reviews: http://briefencountersreviews.com/201... Ethan’s an attractive blend of polite, friendly discretion and healthy curiosity. He’s a small town guy who’s never moved away – or wanted to – but he knows enough about life to seek adventure and be drawn to Michael, his mysterious new neighbour. The author’s prose is a pleasure to read as al Review: This story is narrated from Ethan’s point of view, bookshop-owner and would-be published author, and is a charming read. Review for Brief Encounters Reviews: http://briefencountersreviews.com/201... Ethan’s an attractive blend of polite, friendly discretion and healthy curiosity. He’s a small town guy who’s never moved away – or wanted to – but he knows enough about life to seek adventure and be drawn to Michael, his mysterious new neighbour. The author’s prose is a pleasure to read as always, the dialogue realistic across many characters, the words well chosen, the plotting careful. Ethan appears closeted by omission rather than intention, which is rather sweet. Yet he can also be bold, as when Michael comes around to his place. I really liked Ethan’s voice and his occasionally clumsy, self-conscious moves, a plausible reality for a young man in that situation. His cringeing when he thought Michael would think he was stalking; when he spoke cruelly out of turn and Michael heard; when Michael helped him out with preparations for sex (with an especially kind and beautifully-observed touch about a condom). The characterisation was excellent and made me smile in the most sympathetic way. Chance’s role seemed less than in other stories, and I missed more of his guiding hand. His gentle but deliberate mockery had the right effect of prompting Ethan out of his comfort zone, both as a man and towards Michael. Michael is a striking character, brooding, seeking peace. I’d have liked to find out much more about him. His declaration of interest to Ethan comes late in the story and is emotionally powerful. I liked you the first day I saw you. You were sitting on the floor surrounded by books, and you looked up when I opened the door and smiled right at me. His steady quiet is a fine, perceptive contrast to Ethan’s lighter mood and chatty nerves. The sex scene is pitched just right, as Ethan is inexperienced but very enthusiastic! He was surprised to hear Michael making little sounds again… He realized that he was the one making those excited sounds and promptly shut up. Secondary characters were great. I loved the humour of Ethan’s writers’ group, and his sister Erin’s coffee blend recipes. In fact, there were several threads going on, all deserving of their own spotlight: Ethan and Erin’s life in Peabody and their experiences with the McCartys; Michael’s painful back story; the romance between Ethan and Michael; the mystery of the dead bodies; Karl’s part in the drama which felt under-developed to me. Too much for a short story format to deal with adequately, which was a pity. The ending was particularly delightful, winding up the mystery – no spoilers! – in an amusing and totally satisfactory way. The story is undoubtedly romantic, though Ethan has only just been introduced to intimacy, but his affection for Michael is genuine and growing deeper. The writing was witty and well-crafted, the characters attractive, and I definitely cared for their future – just what a reader wants! I rate it B+. by pettyprose…my opinion alone.

  17. 4 out of 5

    mw138

    2.5 stars Ethan is gay man living in an extremely small town. He's had a crush on the town's karate instructor, Michael, but always seems to embarrass himself in front of him. Will fate finally bring them together despite Ethan's nerves and Michael's aloof nature? This was pretty sweet story. I liked watching the relationship between Ethan and Michael unfold, but the ending was so abrupt that I had to go back and read the final passages again to make sure I wasn't missing something. To me, we were 2.5 stars Ethan is gay man living in an extremely small town. He's had a crush on the town's karate instructor, Michael, but always seems to embarrass himself in front of him. Will fate finally bring them together despite Ethan's nerves and Michael's aloof nature? This was pretty sweet story. I liked watching the relationship between Ethan and Michael unfold, but the ending was so abrupt that I had to go back and read the final passages again to make sure I wasn't missing something. To me, we were sort of left hanging when it came to Ethan and Michael's relationship (view spoiler)[ especially when one of the final things we were told about him was that he was probably going to use Ethan for just a "quick fuck". The reasoning behind the comment was just left open. Was it Karl's jeaousy or did he know something we didn't? (hide spoiler)] . I was left wanting so much more. The mystery was interesting and was wrapped up quickly and efficiently. Although the pacing started off slow in the beginning, it picked up in the second half. I just wish that we could have been given more concerning the MCs relationship (view spoiler)[...if there even was a real relationship. We never really found out because Ethan and Michael seemed to be more friends than anything else at the very end (hide spoiler)] .

  18. 4 out of 5

    Elisa Rolle

    Nice and sweet, this novella is also unexpectedly “innocent”; Ethan has lived all his life in a less than 500 people small town and he believes he is the only gay man among them. Not the ideal situation if you want to have a boyfriend, and so twenty something Ethan is pure like the day mum did him, and he tends to fantasize like a teenager girl on “boys”. Ethan’s latest crush is Michael, the owner of the dojo two doors after Ethan’s coffee bookstore, a former soldier who arrived in town six week Nice and sweet, this novella is also unexpectedly “innocent”; Ethan has lived all his life in a less than 500 people small town and he believes he is the only gay man among them. Not the ideal situation if you want to have a boyfriend, and so twenty something Ethan is pure like the day mum did him, and he tends to fantasize like a teenager girl on “boys”. Ethan’s latest crush is Michael, the owner of the dojo two doors after Ethan’s coffee bookstore, a former soldier who arrived in town six weeks before. Michael is a mystery, and the wanna-be writer in Ethan like the mystery and the man. Ethan is so naïve that he doesn’t realize that, not only Michael is interested in him as well, but there is another man who is trying to make a move on him. So from not having any prospect boyfriend, now Ethan can pick, and the lucky guy will see his dream comes true. Usually this series has some paranormal element, something “magic”; Sort of Stranger Than Fiction is instead an “ordinary” story, just boy meets boy, boy gets boy, and happily (for now) ever after. I think than, in the end, I prefer it like that. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0049H96S2/?...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Susana

    Ethan’s got a thing for Michael, the newly arrived owner of the Dojo near Red Bird Books, the book/coffee-shop that Ethan and his sister Erin own at Peabody, a little place where being gay like Ethan is a problem because he’s probably the only one around. Michael, scarred and mysterious, seems polite but distant. Probably he hasn’t even noticed Ethan around… Has he? Another wonderful little story by Josh Lanyon, Sort of Stranger than Fiction is told from Ethan’s point of view. Ethan is a town boy Ethan’s got a thing for Michael, the newly arrived owner of the Dojo near Red Bird Books, the book/coffee-shop that Ethan and his sister Erin own at Peabody, a little place where being gay like Ethan is a problem because he’s probably the only one around. Michael, scarred and mysterious, seems polite but distant. Probably he hasn’t even noticed Ethan around… Has he? Another wonderful little story by Josh Lanyon, Sort of Stranger than Fiction is told from Ethan’s point of view. Ethan is a town boy who has never left his place. He is gay but has never acted on it because he thinks he’s the only one in his little town. Actually, he becomes suspicious of poor Karl Hagar because he thinks the guy is acting weird around him… when the only thing Karl wanted was to ask Ethan out. Michael, on the other side, is exotic and worldly: He’s travelled a lot, lead a life of adventures… Ethan does not think he can find him appealing… But he does. Despite his gloomy appearance, Michael is really sweet when they share their first night. I really liked it. I loved them together. The only annoyance in the story is Erin. Her behaviour toward her brother is irritating…

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    Overall The subhead of this story should have been "Not Just Another Murder Mystery," in keeping with Lanyon's humor, which I appreciate. Our main character is the classic bookstore owner (Ethan), who runs shop mostly so he can read the books he keeps stocked. He lives in a small town of under 500 residents and is gay...not a good combination for romance! However, there are some new arrivals to the town: a candy shop owner, a dojo owner, and a series of mysterious deaths. When he's not embarrassin Overall The subhead of this story should have been "Not Just Another Murder Mystery," in keeping with Lanyon's humor, which I appreciate. Our main character is the classic bookstore owner (Ethan), who runs shop mostly so he can read the books he keeps stocked. He lives in a small town of under 500 residents and is gay...not a good combination for romance! However, there are some new arrivals to the town: a candy shop owner, a dojo owner, and a series of mysterious deaths. When he's not embarrassing himself with Michael, the dojo owner, Ethan's dealing with Kyle, a member of his writer's circle whose serial killer series is a little too real for most residents. When Kyle starts seeking Ethan's attention, Ethan begins to wonder if the lurking man could be the murderer. Lanyon once again weaves an amusing and enjoyable tale, mixing humor and mystery, which seems an unlikely duo. Although the ending felt abrupt, we weren't left with any unresolved ends, even if it does leave me wanting for more.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Wren

    4.5, actually. I love how these books take place just anywhere and everywhere, in this case a little bitty town just off the interstate. I liked the main character, Ethan, and his moments of embarrassment and recovery, as well as his thought processes and inability to read people very well. Seeing Michael with Ethan's eyes and hopes was heart-achingly wonderful. Josh Lanyon kept the tension up throughout the story - I felt like I was never really sure of anyone and what they might be hiding. Thi 4.5, actually. I love how these books take place just anywhere and everywhere, in this case a little bitty town just off the interstate. I liked the main character, Ethan, and his moments of embarrassment and recovery, as well as his thought processes and inability to read people very well. Seeing Michael with Ethan's eyes and hopes was heart-achingly wonderful. Josh Lanyon kept the tension up throughout the story - I felt like I was never really sure of anyone and what they might be hiding. This element held my interest in a way that seldom happens in the m/m genre. A couple of niggles: I really did not like Ethan's sister Erin and her penchant to go on about things. Also, at the almost-end of the book, I felt like a sentence or two had been omitted, when it seemed like characters were suddenly reading the paper when just previously they were both actively doing something else. Still, a very good story!

  22. 4 out of 5

    L-D

    The premise behind this series is pretty cute. Chance is some sort of magical man/being and he has a chocolate confectionery called Sweets for the Sweet and seems to be some sort of mystical matchmaker. In this episode, Ethan owns a bookstore/coffee store with his sister. Across the road, a new dojo has opened with a gorgeous owner, Michael Milner. Michael is beautiful even though half of his face has been disfigured in Afghanistan. While Ethan is tongue-tied around the stoic Michael, he can't hel The premise behind this series is pretty cute. Chance is some sort of magical man/being and he has a chocolate confectionery called Sweets for the Sweet and seems to be some sort of mystical matchmaker. In this episode, Ethan owns a bookstore/coffee store with his sister. Across the road, a new dojo has opened with a gorgeous owner, Michael Milner. Michael is beautiful even though half of his face has been disfigured in Afghanistan. While Ethan is tongue-tied around the stoic Michael, he can't help but feel that maybe Michael might be interested in him also. This was a good story in this series and I enjoyed it, although I felt it ended a bit abruptly. Up until the ending though, I was really enjoying the story.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lady*M

    4.5 stars I think everyone has several visions of personal hell on Earth. One of mine is living in a town as small as Ethan's, where everyone knows everyone from the cradle, knows everyone's business and neighbor's grudge can change your life. Still, I liked this story a lot, especially the characters: Ethan, Michael, Ethan's sister Erin, even Karl. I liked the small town version of Chance too. The unsurprising quaint atmosphere was fetching and Ethan and Michael really sensual together. I needed 4.5 stars I think everyone has several visions of personal hell on Earth. One of mine is living in a town as small as Ethan's, where everyone knows everyone from the cradle, knows everyone's business and neighbor's grudge can change your life. Still, I liked this story a lot, especially the characters: Ethan, Michael, Ethan's sister Erin, even Karl. I liked the small town version of Chance too. The unsurprising quaint atmosphere was fetching and Ethan and Michael really sensual together. I needed a few pages more to give the story full five stars. It wasn't necessary, but the story had such a nice buildup, such perfect pacing, that I felt it deserved a more complete ending. Great little story. ^^

  24. 4 out of 5

    Otila

    Read as part of Sweet Spot: The Petit Mort Stories Ethan has a crush on the owner of the dojo that just opened next door to his bookstore. He just can't seem to find the right words to talk to the guy. And now he may have a serial killer stalking him. I really liked this one. Ethan was adorable. "You were sitting on the floor surrounded by books, and you looked up when I opened the door and smiled right at me. It felt like you had been waiting for me, like you were welcoming me home." *sigh* Chris Read as part of Sweet Spot: The Petit Mort Stories Ethan has a crush on the owner of the dojo that just opened next door to his bookstore. He just can't seem to find the right words to talk to the guy. And now he may have a serial killer stalking him. I really liked this one. Ethan was adorable. "You were sitting on the floor surrounded by books, and you looked up when I opened the door and smiled right at me. It felt like you had been waiting for me, like you were welcoming me home." *sigh* Christmas Coda

  25. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    First of these I've read, so I didn't know what to expect exactly. Some minor quibbles, the two that might be considered flaws are both to do with character descriptions. (One seems self contradictory and the other just comes far later than I think it should.) The third would be, well, not exactly a problem, but there's a long sex scene which is interrupted by a chapter break. Personally I find that a rather surprising narrative choice, but whatever. I enjoyed the characters and the story, (wish First of these I've read, so I didn't know what to expect exactly. Some minor quibbles, the two that might be considered flaws are both to do with character descriptions. (One seems self contradictory and the other just comes far later than I think it should.) The third would be, well, not exactly a problem, but there's a long sex scene which is interrupted by a chapter break. Personally I find that a rather surprising narrative choice, but whatever. I enjoyed the characters and the story, (wish bits of it had been expanded a bit), and will check out more from both Lanyon and the rest of this series, which apparently is by multiple authors.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katharina

    3.5 Like with any Josh Lanyon book I've read so far, the characters, the plot and the whole setting of this story have again managed to surprise me. His characters tend to be both ordinary and original, and that is a pretty great combination! For some reason, though, I couldn't really connect with the MC of this story, Ethan. I liked him well enough, but I didn't really feel for him or with him as I did with most of the characters in his other stories. It's still a recommendable read, this just lo 3.5 Like with any Josh Lanyon book I've read so far, the characters, the plot and the whole setting of this story have again managed to surprise me. His characters tend to be both ordinary and original, and that is a pretty great combination! For some reason, though, I couldn't really connect with the MC of this story, Ethan. I liked him well enough, but I didn't really feel for him or with him as I did with most of the characters in his other stories. It's still a recommendable read, this just lowered the rating a little bit.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Josephine Myles

    Lovely story from the talented Josh Lanyon. I love protagonists who are charmingly awkward and inexperienced, so this was always going to be a winner. It also plays on that "only gay in the village" theme (although there are more gay guys in Peabody than Ethan expects) which I do enjoy. It's a humorous, tender story that keeps you guessing. I was seriously impressed by how much Josh packed into this short read, and Ethan was adorable. Possibly my favourite Petit Morts so far... Lovely story from the talented Josh Lanyon. I love protagonists who are charmingly awkward and inexperienced, so this was always going to be a winner. It also plays on that "only gay in the village" theme (although there are more gay guys in Peabody than Ethan expects) which I do enjoy. It's a humorous, tender story that keeps you guessing. I was seriously impressed by how much Josh packed into this short read, and Ethan was adorable. Possibly my favourite Petit Morts so far...

  28. 5 out of 5

    ~~~Heather S.~~~

    There's something very smooth and soothing about Lanyon's writing, I can't get enough of it and this short leaves me wanting more! The story was intriguing and had a touch of murder mystery with a sweet romance, engaging characters, and insight into very small town life. I enjoyed the banter between Erin and Ethan, the quintessential brother/sister relationship, they were cute. Ethan really needs to get out more, he's pretty clueless, hopefully Michael will change that!! There's something very smooth and soothing about Lanyon's writing, I can't get enough of it and this short leaves me wanting more! The story was intriguing and had a touch of murder mystery with a sweet romance, engaging characters, and insight into very small town life. I enjoyed the banter between Erin and Ethan, the quintessential brother/sister relationship, they were cute. Ethan really needs to get out more, he's pretty clueless, hopefully Michael will change that!!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kati

    I loved the atmosphere in this book, yet it felt... unfinished. There was no resolution, at least in my opinion. I mean, we did find out who killed those people found in the desert but other than that, the ending felt rushed. I know that not every book has to have a definite ending, but I expected something more. It felt as if the author simply didn't know how to end it, so he left it... out there, for the reader to interpret as he or she wished. I loved the atmosphere in this book, yet it felt... unfinished. There was no resolution, at least in my opinion. I mean, we did find out who killed those people found in the desert but other than that, the ending felt rushed. I know that not every book has to have a definite ending, but I expected something more. It felt as if the author simply didn't know how to end it, so he left it... out there, for the reader to interpret as he or she wished.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emanuela ~plastic duck~

    4.5 stars. The ending was too too abrupt, this is the only flaw in this short story. It ended on a scene too distant in place and emotion from the previous scene in my opinion. The best thing in this story is that it made me suspect of EVERY single character in the book until the end. It had a nice small town atmosphere and I liked that all the characters had all their own kind of loneliness. The writing is wonderful.

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