Title: The Weather Baker’s Son
Author: Peter Grover
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release: 21st December 2016
Genre: M/M (contemporary)
Nature’s call of desire among golden fields and intoxicating red-lipped poppies seems to proclaim a path to love and healing in southern France. Yet Peter, an American university student struggling with self-doubt following a failed love affair, is determined never to be hurt again. While on a vacation with his widowed mother, Peter is smitten by Gaston, a handsome local baker. Gaston, less bold than Peter, is drawn to Peter as well but fearful of the loss of family esteem—particularly the respect of his cousin Mario, who looks up to Gaston. Their friendship grows into more as Peter continues to visit the bakery, but their increasing intimacy does not go unnoticed. The road to fulfillment becomes increasingly obscured, and internal doubts and external events spiral out of control. The arrival of a handsome stranger, suspicions of murder, and the threat of harm might spell the end of more than just their relationship.
World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.
France meets America in this Global romance. Having loved and lost; at the invitation of his mother, Peter heads for France to get away from it all.
The story starts with a prolog. Peter is being rescued, which immediately upped my concentration factor. Heaven help me, but reading about a man in peril does things for me. The timeline then goes back to tell the story from an earlier period in Peter’s life. It was a time when Peter’s innocence allowed him to be seduced by a man who played the field. He was in love. The same could not be said of his lover, Francois.
Told in the third person, the voice of the narrator seems to be that of a well-read person with a penchant to put an old English twist on modern dialogue. It’s almost as if Shakespeare were writing in the 21st Century. Had it not been for the appearance of a helicopter in the opening sequences, I’d have thought the story was historical. While different; for me, the style distracted my attention from the full depth of emotion being experienced. Heartache was there, and I felt it, but I think if the language had been slightly different, and my heart would have pumped harder. There again, the writing of each author is different, and I’ve no doubt some readers will lap up the panache of Mr. Grover.
There is a small cast, and each gets their fair share of air-time. In France Peter meets Gaston, the son of a baker who is better at predicting the weather than the Met office. Through the pages, the author flits from character to character, memory to memory, experience to experience. This coupled with the style, occasionally left me a touch confused. I believe it is because the author doesn’t stick with the life and thoughts of the main characters, he delves into the lives of the people around Peter and Gaston too. He even delves into the thoughts of the Padie, the dog. Everything is there to form a bigger picture of who does what and why.
Anyhow, the as the boys get closer, those around them notice the changes. Through small talk at the bakery, exposed skin here and there, occasionally a lot of skin, Peter and Gaston dance around each other, reluctant to take that final step, as nether want to be hurt. The unfulfilled touches of desire were a delight to read - damned they had me breathing deeply, let alone the boys in the story.
Just when things were heating up, a series of unfortunate events conspire to keep Peter and Gaston apart, among them suspicions of murder.
The Weather Baker’s Son is a tale of thoughts, dreams, and emotions with a nice ending. The heat is unrequited passion, rather than physical. Albeit, there are some intimate, though not explicit scenes. If one could imagine Shakespeare being thrown into a small modern French village and then writing an M/M story (not for the stage), this is what it would be like.
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