Author: Anna Martin
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press July 2013
Rating: A List
Blurb: New York native Henry Richardson needs a change. His boyfriend just dumped him, and his business has fallen victim to the economy. But is jumping on a plane after a surprise phone call taking things too far?
The promise of a new opportunity drags Henry away from the city to a tiny village in the English countryside and an enormous manor house his great-grandmother wants to bequeath him. As an experienced wedding planner, he sees the potential in renovating the dilapidated building and using it for events. All he needs is to find some local businesses to provide the essentials.
That’s how Henry meets Ryan Burgess, the shy but hardworking owner of an organic farm. The spark between them sizzles slowly while work on the house continues, but Ryan is deeply in the closet and unwilling to take the last step. They finally find something that clicks in cricket, something that Henry, a former amateur baseball player, is surprisingly good at. For him, cricket helps bridge the gap between England and New York—but unless Ryan can find something to span the divide between his sexuality and his fear, their relationship doesn’t stand a chance.
Review: This book is a complete delight. I fell in love from the first moment to the last. If you love sweet romances without the angst and pain, but full of promise and joy this is the book for you.
I know the blurb has you worried about a closeted man and another who was broken and beaten down by life. But it’s not what it seems.
Henry is a confident gay man who has had a rough couple years. I’m not discounting the pain of losing your business, and a family that is more dysfunctional than healthy, or even the fact that he was bashed. All of those things can tear anyone apart. But with Henry? They just made him stronger. The pain in his life gave him the guts to leave it all behind and start something new, something scary, something amazing. A new life.
We fall in love with the town of Chedder and the people in it as well. As a reader I love to feel like I’m walking the very streets that the characters are and in Cricket I felt I was. I wanted to go to the pub and get a cider or gin, and then some lunch. Or walk over and visit Henry’s great-grandmother and talk about history and life.
Then Ryan enters Henry’s life. Ryan is a man worth the time to get to know. He is vibrant and beautiful, with a family in love with him and a town that honors him. He is surprisingly self-aware. He takes his time, but when he makes a decision he commits to it. I enjoyed every interaction between Henry and Ryan. Not everything is perfect, and why would we want it to be? But the friendship to lovers to more, is stunning.
This book is going on my comfort read list. When I need to rest and read and soak in love and beauty I will be opening up Cricket again and again.
Reviewed by Beans
Posted on August 17, 2013, in Beans and tagged a haunting past, A List, American, Bashing, Beans, Brits, Coming Out, Contemporary, DSP, England, Family, Friends to Lovers, Hate Crimes, Homophobia, M/M, Making a New Life, New York, Renovations, romance, Starting Over. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.