He’s in it to win it
Until he falls under his neighbor’s spell.
Bram Larkspur’s rugged, sexy looks belie his fear of all things horrifying. But as Casper Road’s newest resident, he’s excited to join the annual Halloween decorating contest. The competition is keen, especially from six-time champion, architect Zachary Glass. But when enigmatic Zachary sparks a prank war, it’s game on—until one sizzling kiss turns these rivals into allies. Now only one thing scares Bram: how quickly he’s losing his heart to Zachary.
From Harlequin Special Edition: Believe in love. Overcome obstacles. Find happiness.
Book 1: Better Than People
Book 2: Best Laid Plans
Book 3: The Lights on Knockbridge Lane
Book 4: The Rivals of Casper Road
This is the fourth book in the Garnet Run series by this author, and the second to be published under the Harlequin Special Edition romance line, and it makes my little heart so happy to see gay romance being represented in a product line that I’ve been reading since I was a teenager. And Roan Parrish is a great author to have this opportunity.
On to this particular book. Bram Larkspur might be the sweetest man I’ve ever seen written. Scared of horror movies, frightening Halloween displays and the like (I’m right there with you, Bram!), and nothing but positivity in all things he comes in contact with. He had his heart broken by his best friend and boyfriend, so decided to move away to start over. Even with that kind of heaviness weighing him down, he still managed to only be positive and happy most times.
Zachary Glass, an architect that worked from home and seemed to rarely leave his house, was obsessed with making the most elaborate Halloween display each year. I was a little perplexed at this. He didn’t really seem to like Halloween, or the children, just the competition of beating the others on Casper Road, and outdoing himself every year. He was honestly a difficult man to like from the beginning. He was unpleasant much of the time, not welcoming, and when his routine was disturbed it caused great stress. This last part I understood more, simply by understanding that his personality was that of a recluse, like his best friend Wes, and although it was never stated, he seemed to be neurodivergent. He did struggle with niceties, but was willing to try for Bram. But when he neglected to tell Bram about the Denver job, I kind of wanted to have Bram say “well, forget it then”.
However, I did end up liking them as a couple. Zachary was who he was. Confessed to not liking dogs, but was still kind to Hemlock, talked to Bram’s family, yet stood up for Bram when they seemed to forget that he was an adult and capable of making decisions.
There were some unsettled issues that kind of broke my heart, and could lend itself to a sequel, or it could just be that that’s how life is…you don’t always find the answers you were looking for. The way that Zachary came to terms with this issue at the end brought tears to my eyes. Sometimes you simply have to accept, and hope that it finds a way to be a light for you, and not bring you into the dark further.
Overall, these were very different characters than I’ve seen from this author, and I loved getting to see characters from past books pop in, but still with a satisfying ending.
3.75 pieces of eye candy