Meanwhile, Bo Lansing, a total stranger to Larry, toils at a dead-end job as a fry cook while attending night classes to become a certified chef. When the school closes its doors without warning, leaving Bo in the lurch for thousands of dollars in tuition, his dream of becoming a chef is shattered and his financial troubles spiral.
Desperate for a new beginning, each man answers an ad for live-in help posted by a wealthy recluse, and wonder of wonders, they are both hired! Just as their lives begin to improve, a young Kumeyaay Indian named Jimmy Blackstone joins the workforce at the Stanhope mansion.
When Mr. Stanhope’s true reason for hiring the young men is discovered by one of the three, a fourth entity makes its presence known.
With all these players vying for position in a game of intrigue orchestrated by one lonely old man and a mischievous ghost, can a simple thing like love ever hope to survive the fray?
My goodness…there is so much I want to say about this book, and I can’t, because…SPOILERS!!!!
First things first, I have always loved John Inman’s work (well except for horror, I just can’t read those stories, I’d scare myself 🙂 ), and this one is no exception. No matter the subject matter, he manages to infuse humor into his books. Some are so hilarious I have laughed until I cried. This one had quiet humor, the little things, which went along so well with the theme of this book. A lonely old man who wanted to find a couple who he could have fall in love under his roof, and then…well spoilers, so nope.
The theme also matched one of the MC’s, Larry, so very well. He was a quiet, shy man, prone to blushing and falling for the wrong guy. And he adored the senior occupants of the house, both Roger Stanhope, the owner and (for lack of a better term) puppetmaster and Mrs. Price, Roger and Jeremy’s cook, et. al. His respect for both of them, and the situation that he had been granted was so strong, and carried through in everything he did.
There are secrets in the house, and just when you think you know all the secrets, Mr. Inman decides to flip the script and give you a completely different secret for the house to deal with. Nobody does that better than John Inman. His writing brings out all the joy of life, and the insecurities and challenges that come with being in a house with people who you hadn’t met before. He manages to make you wonder how this will turn out right for everyone, and have the happy ending that he never fails to provide.
One thing I have always enjoyed about Mr. Inman’s books is the diversity of the characters. In this book, you have a redhead, a man with black hair, a Native American, Roger, a 93 year old man, Jeremy, Roger’s lover of 70 years, (you’ll understand when you read it), and a senior woman of retired age. Not your typical cast of characters, and yet, they have the qualities you would expect from the such people.
Lastly, I must say, Mr. Inman may have ruined me. I will never think of Wesson Oil and Rice Krispies the same again. (Again, you have to read it to understand, so no excuses!). The visuals you will get are worth every single penny.
4.5 pieces of eye candy for me