Saturday, June 11, 2016

Lucky Starflowers by Kate Pavelle

Title: Lucky Starflowers
Author: Kate Pavelle
Purchase at Amazon 
Purchase at All Romance eBooks 
Cover Artist: Hard Candies Publishing
Genre: contemporary
Length: 88k
Formats Mobi, epub, pdf, audio

Theodore and his cousin Rickey inherited their aunt’s flower shop, Starflowers. They decide to run and improve it with their families’ financial support. Starflowers gives Theodore’s life meaning after a depressing breakup. Focusing on work is easy when he’s absolutely sure there’s no space for a man in his life. If he did allow for a boyfriend, it would be someone boring and everyday. Someone unlike the exotic Attila. He’d have a cubicle job, wear a cheap suit, and drive a Kia.

Sam Grey is a professional gambler who got caught counting cards one too many times, and consequences can be severe. He got beaten up, robbed, injured, and ends up homeless in Pittsburgh, living out of his Porsche. His temporary job helping with the Valentine’s Day craze makes him yearn not only for the perky florist, but for a slower, friendlier way of life. When the shop runs into financial trouble, Sam’s dangerous and exotic skills might be just the thing to help Theodore and show him he’s not just a deadbeat moocher who’s “just passing through.”

"Lucky Starflowers" is a gay romance with a happy ending.

Remember Attila? From Wild Horses and Broken Gait? He’d be a hard lover to get over, just ask Theo. Not that Theo’s looking, he has this flower shop that’s eating up his life and his sanity. Valentine’s Day from a florist’s point of view = stress x 1000, all those perishable flowers that somehow have to get into sweethearts’ hands.

I really loved peeking into Theo’s head, not just for the romance, which I loved, but for a look at an industry that I mostly don’t think about beyond walking in and paying for a bouquet. All the work that goes into that bouquet never crossed my mind. I will never look at a flower shop the same again. Everything had the ring of “author has done this.”

And Sam—oh, I loved Sam. Nomadic and living out of a Porsche (icky details and all) while he hits the various casinos, he’s an interesting guy. In his guise as Samantha, he’ll liberate cash at the poker tables, with less risk of getting his winnings beaten out or him, usually.

These guys come together when Sam parks his flashy red “mobile home” behind the shop, and Theo needs another set of hands. Sparks fly while Sam learns the tasks, and Theo’s kind enough to give him a bed indoors. Not with him, until a LOLworthy/screamworthy situation arises. This author inserts some great humor in places, with some lines that really zinged.

Sam’s alter ego confuses the heck out of Theo, who isn’t sure what a taste for frilly panties and lipstick means. Watching him flounder around is fun, painful, and sad all at once. Sam isn’t in such a hurry to pin labels on himself, which is delightful self-acceptance. His ability with disguise and cards has a big role to play here.

I thoroughly enjoyed how these two come together, even though they remind themselves how Sam is a drifter and not for long term. With every scene, they show how this might need to change, even if admitting it is hard. The language is beautiful, the settings vivid, and the characters endearing. The author has even addressed a lingering issue with the promise of a short to come, so what’s not to love here?

Quick, someone send me flowers!  5 marbles

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