I'm slipping this in amongst the anticipation of my big news. But I don't want to get too far behind.
In and Out by LB Gregg (195 pages)
Aspen Mountain Press
Holden is a former adventurer, TV host and author until his lover of many years reveals he also writes porn. Now a couple of years later he's housebound due to agoraphobia living in his family home. He hires a gardener, Adam, to do something with the disaster, and he finds a body in the compost heap. Eeep. Holden's life then starts to get even more complicated as his alcoholic brother who is in the process of divorce, his brother's soon to be ex, his own cheating ex, his brothers best friend and a host of others start traipsing through his house. They show up, they disappear and the whole town is sure Holden is involved somehow and it looks like he's being set up. It was interesting with Holden suffering from agoraphobia and Adam wasn't a regular guy either, perhaps a bit of Aspergers, unable to recognize facial cues or pick up on sarcasm and verbal bantering. I found Holden a bit annoying at times, the police want to speak to X whose supposedly upstairs sleeping but it would take him forever to get around to going up and knocking on the door, by then the guy is gone. Just let the cops go get him for cripes sake (or maybe the house is much larger than I can imagine). I did love how Adam seemed to see how Holden used humour as a bit of a mask and I also liked that Holden was annoyed by his own disability, but was still trapped by it. And I swear I never know who the bad guy is until it's revealed in the author's books. I always think I know but I'm usually wrong. Another great addition to the series.
Euphorbia by Glyn Soitino (103 pages)
A few years ago, Mark came home to find his snobby lawyer boyfriend left him for someone more sociably acceptable. He has since sworn off love. When Colin, a popular mystery writer (and erotic romance writer - two writer books with overgrown gardens - huh) moves to the country he needs to find someone to tame his garden. Mark is now working freelance as a gardener and takes on the task. He's impressed that Colin is one of his favourite authors and they form a fledgling friendship until Colin asks him out and Mark shuts him down. When the Euphorbia plant "attacks" Mark and he gets sap in his eye, Colin takes care of him, taking him to the doctor and refusing to take advantage of Mark's pain killer induced horniness. I quite enjoyed this, I liked how Mark had to face up to the walls he'd erected after the jerk broke his heart. The interaction with Mark's parents were great, a bit of humour and understanding when he needed it. All in all, this is a sweet little story about opening your heart again with engaging characters. And I have no freaking clue what a Euphorbia is, maybe it's a British thing. I don't think we have them here. Apparently the sap will burn your skin if it touches you and I don't know of any plants like that. Don't want one either, sounds nasty.