Title: The Secret of Hunter’s Bog
Author: Ally Blue
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Expected publication date: March 7, 2016
Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance
Page count: 212
Word count: 55,300
Rating: 2.75 Stars
First off: beware the effect of reading about po’boys, fried pickles, hush puppies, fried crab claws, crawfish gumbo on top of other mentions of fries and burgers/sandwiches had on you. It got me salivating for those heavenly sound chows.
Typical me to get side-tracked by food in book. Or got smitten by character’s cooking skill like Will Hood had here.
This book drew together a pair of young men with betrayed past. For Koichi McNab it made him wary, keeping himself at a distance from others and dreading when (not if) the ax would finally came down and severe whatever ‘relationship’ he had. While Will Hood left his affluent family behind to build his own life and looking for his once-upon-a-time lover to find closure.
Koichi’s family background was mostly told instead of shown between pages. They were described as close-knitted though other than Kimmy, the twin sister he had business with, there wasn’t any scene of Koichi with his family in this book. Considering the trouble Koichi had had to do with stuff from his family, I thought this could get explored a bit more.
Talking about sister, I hope Kimmy and Will would make up their mind whether to call him Koichi, Chichi or T (if I were Koichi I’d loose patience with them). And calling a lover by nickname with that sort of meaning was not cool, Will. Not cool at all.
The attractions between Koichi and Will were too sudden – no particular allure asides from, it seemed, the physicals. How they went from knowing each other a few days before jumping each other bones and – security reason notwithstanding – moved in together. The sceptic in me doubted their sort of whirlwind love affair.
I know I probably shouldn’t presume but the image I pictured with Will’s (physical) description and his emotion just didn’t match. For a big guy he’s marshmallowy and softy on the inside. Koichi otoh, seemed tougher than his lean form depicted. Granted, this made for an interesting dynamic in a couple both in and out of the bedroom.
I was hoping for a bit of sleuthing with the troubles Koichi and Will had (the arson, the burglar, the bog, the ghost, mysterious people and the missing lover). Alas, the mystery part shoved a bit haphazardly into the storyline with coincidence thrown in. I’m not saying this isn’t a good story but I thought it could be better. The plot had potential. I clung on to those yummy dishes mentioned here though, to keep the happy feeling.
ARC is kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the exchange of a fair and honest review.
For Koichi McNab, the shop he and his twin sister Kimmy are opening in Hunter’s Bog Mall is a fresh start after their old one burned down. A way to move on. Especially when he meets the hunky owner of the luxury camping goods store next door. Koichi’s never been an outdoorsy guy, but Will Hood just might change his mind.
Will came to Southern Alabama to establish his own life away from his big, intrusive family—and in hopes of finding Anthony, the lover who vanished two years ago. But meeting Koichi throws everything off-kilter. Anthony was a long time ago. Koichi’s right here, smart and funny and cute, and Will wants him.
As Koichi and Will become friends, then lovers, Will’s past and Koichi’s present tangle into a dangerous knot that brings them face-to-face with secrets, theft, treachery . . . maybe even murder. With their lives on the line, their only way to safety is together.
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