Country Mouse

Amy Lane; Aleksandr Voinov
Country Mouse
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Riptide Publishing
Release Date
April 2012
Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ

Owen may be a bit of a country mouse, but he's loving his vacation in London. After a long day playing tourist, he's on the hunt for some cheap beer and a good burger. Instead he finds a man hunting him, an arrogant prick with only one thing on the brain: the kind of meat that doesn't come on a bun.

Eighty-hour weeks at a trading desk don't leave Malcolm Kavanagh much time for meaningful relationships. Besides, in his world, everything's a competition—even sex. When his newest one-night-sub fails to show, Malcolm sets his sights on the pretty young Yank on the bar stool beside him.

Owen's all for an adventure with a native, but he's not the pushover Malcolm thinks he is, and Malcolm's not as shallow as he tries to be. They both soon learn that nothing's too intimate to share with a stranger, and the strangest things happen when two people share the most important pieces of their hearts.

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Jun 01, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
373 people found the following review helpful
Reading this book was a little change of pace for me, and I couldn't be happier that I did. From first to last, COUNTRY MOUSE was a moving, sexy, heartfelt joy to read and deserved to have as wide an audience as possible.

Owen Watson has always been a free-spirited, easy-going guy. Though he's lost boyfriends and girlfriends in the past, he's managed to remain on good terms with all of them, so when his ex-girlfriend asks him to join her on a European sightseeing trip, he's pleased to expand his horizons. But when Jenny hooks up with an old flame, leaving Owen alone for the night in a strange city, Owen decides to take a walk, and claim a little bit of London for himself. Preferably, a piece of London that serves hamburgers. But the pub he chooses isn't the finest of establishments, and if it weren't for the magnetic gaze of the man standing at the bar, he might not have stayed another minute.

Malcolm Kavanagh has been having a pretty lousy night. After another brutal day of trading, he came to this pub to meet his latest one-night stand, only to be stood up. He might be furious, if it weren't for the lanky, innocent-looking Yank who strolled in and sized him up. Malcolm knows for a fact that he can show the Yank a good time—he's all but perfected the art of fulfilling a stranger's most elaborate fantasies—but though Owen's certainly game for the sex, he won't take a single word of Malcolm's dominant sarcasm, and sees right through his act to Malcolm's real desires. As much as he tells himself that this man means nothing more to him than a single night, Malcolm finds himself unable to send Owen away after their first tryst, and their night of passion turns into a weekend of sightseeing, secrets and passion that leave both of them dreading the morning when Owen is scheduled to leave England.

The chemistry between Owen and Malcolm is sensational. Not only is their bickering quick and snappy, and the heat between them enough to scorch my Kindle, but they also balance each other's personalities beautifully. Though Owen comes across as a little bit meek compared to Malcolm, it's certainly not a flaw—there are times when Malcolm could make an angry grizzly bear look passive. But the truth is that Owen's strength really is remarkable. He has no pretences, never hides his true feelings, and isn't afraid to show the annoyance affection he is feeling, even in his first meeting with Malcolm. And it is that strength that gives Malcolm the courage to drop his own pretences and take a risk on showing Owen genuine emotion.

It's hard not to love all sides of Malcolm's personality. That ice-cold, utterly controlled exterior, and his ultimate-Alpha-competitor persona has its own appeal, but it's the man beneath all those traits that draws Owen in that bar and keeps him at Malcolm's side. Malcolm is, in truth, touchingly generous, achingly lonely, and so adoringly bewildered by his feelings for Owen that he won my heart in an instant. In many respects, this is Malcolm's story and watching him come out of his shell was an absolute joy.

I lived in London for a number of years and the way the city was portrayed throughout this story made me feel like I had gone back to visit. The descriptions of the pubs and the smells of the streets and the tourists—from both Owen and Malcolm's perceptions—were so well done that the city was as real a character as our heroes and it was the perfect way to round off such an incredible book.

I can't recommend this story highly enough. From that first spark and sass of their meeting to the final scene that had me cheering out loud, this story had it all. I would willingly and happily read any book by either Amy Lane or Aleksandr Voinov in the future, but I can only hope there is a chance for another team effort, as this story showcased the best of both their considerable talents.
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Book Review by Rho (reviewer)
Jun 11, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
349 people found the following review helpful
COUNTRY MOUSE is an utterly adorable M/M romance, featuring two unlikely men who find love in a most unconventional way. I zipped through this novella in one sitting and absolutely did not want it to end.

Owen and Malcolm meet in a gay bar. Owen's a tourist in London and Malcolm is a workaholic who's been stood up by his latest paramour. They hook up for what they think will be a one-night stand, but Malcolm was not prepared for Owen to be exactly what he needs.

Ok, let me just get this out right now: I just loved this author pairing. Amy Lane and Aleksandr Voinov did such an amazing job on this story together. It flowed wonderfully, and they seemed to share one voice. I get a little wary when two authors come together, but COUNTRY MOUSE has made me reevaluate my feelings on that subject.

I was quite blown away by this story because I think I was just as taken aback by Owen as Malcolm was. Who knew what he had beneath the innocent exterior we first see. I loved how he was so matter of fact in his ability to see Malcolm--the real one. And Owen just accepted him how he was. I about fell as hard for him as Malcolm did.

I loved the sexual chemistry and power dynamics between Malcolm and Owen. It definitely added a dimension to the story that I wasn't expecting, and I love to be pleasantly surprised.

Overall, I was entertained, enthralled, and enamored. Ok, enough with the alliteration, but it's true! I have been an Amy Lane fan since The Little Goddess Series, so that's why I was originally attracted to the story. But I have to say, I will have to try more of Aleksandr Voinov's work as well. And of course, if they team up again...I'm there!
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