Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Review: The Grump by Wayne Mansfield

the grumpTitle ~ The Grump

Author ~ Wayne Mansfield

Publisher ~ JMS Books 

Published ~ 12th August 2017

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance





Brad can’t believe his luck when he finds the perfect place to live at the perfect price. It’s a pity his new landlord Douglas is such a miserable grump. It isn’t long before he wonders if it’s a good idea to be living in such close proximity to such a moody ogre.
Fortunately, his life at work is looking up with the arrival of a new employee named Enzo. Brad falls immediately in lust with the hot Italian. They start dating, though it soon becomes apparent there are going to be problems. Enzo starts exhibiting some unlikeable traits and, while Brad finds himself slowly falling in love with the man, he also realizes Enzo has problems not just with commitment, but also with his sexuality.
Brad has a dilemma. Does he persist with Enzo, tolerate his bad behavior, and pray for a miraculous, happy ending? Or will the love he seeks come from an entirely different direction?


Freya’s Review

I am in total agreement with my friend Debra when she said that this is a brilliant title. Brad moves into a new flat and is on the lookout for lurve. Douglas Owens – his landlord, is a grumpy man. Brad works as a physiotherapist and is drawn to decidedly manly men. Enter Enzo, who is, sort of, out of the closet, but one who has a lot of baggage.

This is a quaint little tale. However, for some reason, I got hung up on where the story was based. Geography is not my strong suit and didn’t recognise towns. Being a Brit, I could see elements of English terminology mixed with American and I got confused. At the end when I discovered that Mr. Mansfield was an Aussie, the dialect and everything made sense. It must be set in Australia.

There was much to like in this novella. Such as, Brad holds his own against Douglas’s grumpiness. And, in true Rocky Horror style, instead of shouting out Brad arsehole, it’s Enzo arsehole. Nevertheless, Brad wants Enzo. This is when one of Brad’s friends comes out with the best line of ‘just be in it for the cock.’ It’s not until Douglas apologises and gives the reason for his grumpiness, that Brad sees him as potentially anything other than the horrible landlord.

For me, too little time passes before Douglas reveals all and tells Brad his life history. Nevertheless, there is an endearing quality to Douglas that I fell for. He tries to be nice, but he’s awkward, and when he tries to do or say nice things, they come out the wrong way.

All the characters have a story to tell, and I was more sympathetic to some than others. Regardless of the reasoning, Enzo was still an arse. As for Brad, the tale is told in the third person, from his POV.  He’s a na├»ve soul who I’m sure many will identify with.

The author keeps the reader in touch with reality by ensuring Brad takes toilet breaks. I’ve read whole novels where going the little boy's room for functional purposes, isn’t mentioned. While I’m all for it being there, after all, it’s a natural occurrence; in an 18k story, I read it a time or two too often.

In all, I found the star of The Grump, was the grump himself – Douglas. Brad has the lion’s share of page space, but whenever Douglas is there, the page comes to life. This element made the story a sweet ditty of a tale, ideal for those who want to read an HEA without risk of cardiac arrest in the process.

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