RELEASE DATE: 10th June 2016
BLURB: Seth Wilder lost his partner of twenty years to suicide two weeks before a long-anticipated cruise. Cancellation insurance was never purchased, and Seth can’t get a refund. Bryce McFarland, his late partner’s gym buddy, appreciates his predicament, and when asked, agrees to accompany him on the trip. This way, Seth recoups the money and doesn’t have to cancel his plans. The gesture is unexpected but accepted gratefully.
The two men have nothing in common. Seth is a reclusive romance writer, and Bryce is a hard-core Grindr user with major commitment issues. Out of necessity and despite the seemingly insurmountable differences in personality, they develop a tentative rapport. As they begin their journey through the UK, Bryce helps Seth come to terms with his partner’s sudden death while Seth, in turn, discovers the root cause of Bryce’s phobia.
Shipboard romances rarely work. Sensible men resist, sexual tension notwithstanding. But a full moon and late summer breezes lend themselves to the impossible situation, barriers are crossed, and a love affair is kindled.
I missed me some great Mickie B. Ashling. It’s been a while since I read her and it was high time to enjoy some amazing characterization, a heartwarming, eventful plotline, and some wonderful chemistry. I wasn’t disappointed. Open Seating is a gripping story and I read it in one sitting.
The basic idea of the book is very intriguing. We get to meet Seth, who had suddenly lost his life partner after 20 happy years together. Seth is going on a three week cruise they had been planning and saving for the past five years. As tickets are non-refundable, he takes his late partner’s gym buddy with him. Bryce is his total opposite and their bickering and chemistry creates an entertaining atmosphere. I enjoy reading stories about more mature main characters and I got an amazing treat here, meeting Bryce and Seth, who are both in their mid-late-forties. Their situation is pretty unique, but I think the writer did a great job creating a believable, lifelike situation from this rare scenario.
Bryce and Seth are truly amazing together. The way their relationship is changing, forming is wonderfully built, and very well written. Bryce is a riot. I fell in love with his down to earth personality, his easygoing and caring nature. He turns out to be the perfect partner to Seth, and is able to get him out of his shell, showing him the joys of life. As we slowly relize, Seth’s relationship with his late partner wasn’t as picture perfect as it first seemed. Bryce is a much better fit for him, their chemistry is palpable, and their banter made me laugh out loud many times. They have some pretty memorable, life changing, heartwarming, seriously sensual and hot scenes together. I loved this story and these two guys deserve a long, joyful life together. Highly recommended!
**** The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press in Exchange of an honest review.****