Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Nachos & Hash by Brandon Witt

Mary’s Boys #1
Novella / 33.904 words
Release Date: January 25, 2017
Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press       Amazon US    Amazon UK

The blurb

Darwin Michaels is living his dreams in the Mile High City. While Denver offers the perfect job, scrumptious dining, and whirlwind dating options, Darwin is losing hope he’ll find the right man to spark his interest for more than a one-night stand—until he sets eyes on Cody Russell.

Cody has just accomplished his life’s goal—get the hell out of Kansas. In one fell swoop, he lands a job at Hamburger Mary’s and gets a newfound family and the chance to be with other gay people! All that’s missing is someone special. But when Darwin shows his interest, Cody is sure it’s too good to be true. After all, what can Darwin possibly see in the high school dropout serving him nachos?

As Darwin falls in love, Cody struggles to realize his worth. When his past threatens the fragile life he is building, Cody spirals into a moment of dark desperation. But Darwin is determined to show Cody that love and family and home are there for him… will Cody accept what is offered?

My thoughts

Oh my, what a delightful little gem of a book this turned out to be. From the very first paragraph this story hooked me. The characters captured my heart, the story captivated me and the setting has me thinking about booking a flight to Denver.

Nachos & Hash gave me the perfect blend of fun and feels. For every time Cody’s past and insecurities broke my heart there was a moment—more often than not taking place at Hamburger Mary’s—to put a huge and happy smile on my face. I loved how Cody, despite all his issues was more than ‘just’ his angst; he too had moments during which he was simply happy, times when his wonderful spirit and sense of humour pushed all his doubts aside, showing the man he could and would be if only he’d allow himself to be who he was born to be.

Darwin was, of course, exactly what Cody needed. Their pasts are similar enough for him to understand most if not all of Cody’s issues, while at the same time the way he lives his life now is proof that things do get better if only you open your heart and mind to the possibility.

Cody’s moment of despair broke my heart and angered me. Every time I allow myself to acknowledge that there are indeed parents who would reject and harm their children rather than accept they’re gay (or otherwise not living up to their parent’s idea of what they should be) I come as close to feeling pure hatred as I’ve ever done. If only every person this happens to could have a Darwin and a Hamburger Mary’s in their life, because families aren’t only the result of birth. Families are the people in our lives who are always there, regardless of who or what we are, and through all our struggles. And while a blood relationship can certainly be the basis for such a bond, it is by no means necessary.

Apart from Cody and Darwin, who completely stole my heart, this story comes with the most amazing secondary characters. First and foremost there’s Hamburger Mary’s. Of course that’s not a character in the strictest sense of the word, but it might as well be. That place has as much of a personality as any of the humans described in this story. I’m so glad this is the first instalment in a series because I can’t wait to spend more time in this venue with larger than life personalities such as ManDonna, Steven, Pat and Vahin.

If you like your stories perfectly balanced between angst and sweet do yourself a huge favour and pick up a copy of Nachos & Hash; you won’t regret it.

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