Stuff (The Bristol Collection 02), by Josephine Myles
Genre: MM Romance, Humor, Contemporary, British
Stars: 4.5 Stars
When Mr. Glad Rags meets Mr. Riches, the result is flaming fun.
Tobias “Mas” Maslin doesn’t need much. A place of his own, weekends of clubbing, a rich boyfriend for love and support. Too bad his latest sugar daddy candidate turns out to be married with kids. Mas wants to be special, not someone’s dirty little secret.
When he loses his job and his flat on the same day, his worlds starts unraveling…until he stumbles across a vintage clothing shop. Now to convince the reclusive, eccentric owner he’s in dire need of a salesman.
Perry Cavendish-Fiennes set up Cabbages and Kinks solely to annoy his controlling father. Truth be told, he’d rather spend every spare moment on his true passion, art. When Mas comes flaming into his life talking nineteen to the dozen, he finds himself offering him a job and a place to live.
He should have listened to his instincts. The shop is already financially on the brink, and Mas’s flirting makes him feel things he’s never felt for a man. Yet Mas seems convinced they can make a go of it—in the shop, and together.
I read the first book in “The Bristol Collection”, Junk, last year, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Jo Myles’ authentic style and language makes me laugh, more than almost any other author around.
In Stuff, Mas is a lovely affectionate character. While he has his issues, he is totally charming. Mas is undeniably gay, open and proud, and has just managed to finagle a position working for Perry.
Though Mas from the start fascinate Perry, their personalities are almost absolute opposites. Perry is uptight, definately not gay and so incredibly law abiding that even the thought if breaking the law makes him break out in a cold sweat.
As soon as Mas persuades Perry he’s needed in the shop, it’s full steam ahead. Mas takes over, not just the shop, but Perry’s life. Perry is an artist, though like with every other aspect of his life, it’s a solitary process. Mas quickly breaks down Perry’s barriers, and makes him question what and who he wants in his life.
“I think you need your whole life shaken up a bit. You’ve got stuck in a rut, and you’re not happy. Something needs to change.” And then everything does.
What I particularly found attractive about the book, apart from the wonderful main characters (Perry reminds me so much of my brother) is the real community spirit Mas builds as the shop, Cabbages and Kinks (and what a great name for a second hand shop that is – with its reference to one of my all time favorite books!) starts to take off.
Without exception, all the supporting characters are well rounded and likeable (well, except one). This isn’t to imply they’re without flaws, but despite their imperfections are still warm-hearted and caring. Even the unpleasant one acts as a catalyst to take Mas and Perry to the next level in their relationship.
Jasper & Lewis, from Junk, play pivotal roles in making sure the path of true love runs as it should. The inclusions of these two men added an extra dimension of reality. After all, who hasn’t asked their best friends for advise at one stage or another in a new relationship?
The ending was so sweet; it was exactly what was needed.
Jo Myles’ use of colloquialism and idioms is wonderful to read. You have to love an author who uses the words “bum” and “tummy”, and liberally sprinkles a story with “arse”.
If you’re looking for a love story with enough quirks to make it different, some gorgeous clothes, wonderful humour, pies, and British insights, Stuff is for you. It’s great.
Publisher and Original Publication Date: Samhaim Publishing, 27th May 2014
Purchase URL: Samhain
Formats Available: epub, mobi, pdf
Length: 374 pages
Reviewed by: Karen
Author’s Website: Josephine Myles