City Mouse

Aleksandr Voinov; Amy Lane
City Mouse
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Riptide Publishing
Release Date
March 2013
Book 2 of Country Mouse
Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, LGBTQ

A magical weekend, a breathless declaration, a happy ever after . . . Right?


When Malcolm Kavanagh took his first step toward emotional maturity by declaring his love to Owen Watson, that was just the first chapter in their story. Anyone who's ever been in love knows that happy endings take a lot more work than that.

One problem: Malcolm has never been in love. He doesn't know the rules of a relationship and isn't confident enough to trust that his is real. He learns the ropes by sharing his life and his flat with Owen, but relationship boot camp proves a challenge. Everything is a struggle, from accepting Owen's low-status job to putting his boyfriend above his personal trainer.

Luckily, Owen knows a little more about relationships, and labors patiently to survive the first six weeks of their life together. From the art galleries of Cambridge to the tawdry majesty of the Dominion theatre, Owen adapts to England while Malcolm adapts to the whole human race. Maybe, if Owen is patient enough and Malcolm learns to give, the two of them can make it past Relationship Armageddon to a real happy ending.

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
May 21, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
122 people found the following review helpful
Amy Lane is one of my favorite writers by far, and her first partnership with Aleksandr Voinov resulted in one of my favorite books, Country Mouse. Now, this dynamic duo are back to bring us the continuing saga of their two unlikely lovers, and the results could not be better.

Uptight Brit Malcolm Kavanagh puts everything on the line to declare his feelings for his new American lover Owen Watson. While the scene was perfectly set for a happily-ever-after, real life isn't that simple. Now that Owen has decided to stay in London with Malcolm and start a life with him, the fairy tale has given way to the reality of low-paying, demanding jobs, navigating London's social scene, and reaping the rewards of sharing a life with another person.

But while Owen has managed relationships in the past and knows the kind of effort it will take to make it through his first six weeks, Malcolm has never allowed anyone as close as Owen. For him, learning the giving and taking, the opening and sharing involved in a real relationship is terrifying. But these two have what it takes to stay together in spite of it all…right?

Owen and Malcolm are both such brilliantly crafted characters that it's impossible not to fall for them and cheer as they find their way together. Owen is genuinely sweet and patient, but is also wonderfully self-reliant and resilient. There is a constant concern that he will be trampled underneath Malcolm's bluster, but he stays strong though it all, and his subtle manipulation of his surly Brit is sheer genius.

Despite all of his outward defenses and bravado, Malcolm is by far the more complex and fragile in this relationship, and watching him find his way into a relationship was heart-rending and beautifully rewarding. Both these authors have a wonderful talent for displaying their characters in all their flawed, loveable and sexy glory, and Malcolm is a perfect showcase for their talents.

Though this is a fabulously sexy story, at its heart, it is a true love story—the kind of love that endures in spite of fights and disillusionment and pettiness. There is no doubt whatsoever that both Owen and Malcolm are better people together than apart, and that they are genuinely happy and fulfilled by the other. But when the curtain closes on the final scene of most romance novels, this book picks up, showing how that love works on a day-to-day basis. The results are adorable, touching, funny, and heartbreaking, and addictively readable.

As before, London itself is also stunningly portrayed in all its tawdry glory here, making for a vibrant setting as real and familiar as the two characters who make their way around it. I can't recommend this book more highly, or thank these two authors enough for exploring this love story even more. The insight that Amy Lane & Aleksandr Voinov have into their characters at this point give them the chance to explore their relationship even more deeply, and while I would gladly follow Malcolm and Owen for years to come, I couldn't have been more pleased with this story and the chance to spend a little more time in their world.
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