Monday, 27 April 2009

Review – The Happy Onion – Ally Blue

 

 

 

 

The Blurb

Liberal vegan meets corporate carnivore. What could possibly go wrong?

Thomas Stone has one sacred rule: Don’t Date The Boss. Ever. So when he finds out his new employer is the man he took to bed his first night in town, he’s less than happy. He doesn’t need any more complications in his life, and the way Phil makes him feel definitely qualifies as a complication. Especially since he can’t seem to keep his hands off the man.

Philip Sorrells is thrilled to discover that the new bartender his manager hired for his restaurant, The Happy Onion, is the aggressive little blond he slept with once and can’t forget. Thom is Phil’s wet dream come true, from his angelic face to his fiery temper. For the first time, Phil hears the siren song of monogamy, and he’s tempted to follow it.

When Thom leaves The Happy Onion for a job managing an upscale nightclub, it looks like a chance for him and Phil to be together without the whole boss/employee thing hanging over them. Instead, Thom’s new position brings out previously unsuspected differences in their world views. Differences with the power to destroy their fragile bond.

So how will this nature-loving tree-hugger and corporate-ladder climber navigate this political minefield in the name of love? Very carefully.

 

 

The Review

Characters

Phillip Sorrell – Local business owner, but a stanch supporter of community and environmental consciousness. He likes his men totally opposite to him, but when he met Thom, he just might be all he wishes for and a bit more than he bargained for.

Thomas Stone – Thom with the face of an angel and the bad boy attitude to belie his size. Thom is also able to adjust when the going gets tough. Caught up in wishing for an expected twist in his life – he is caught out when said wish becomes his for the taking.

 

The Plot

Thom finds himself in a pickle when a sure thing fell through, once his luck picks up however he thought a night of celebration is in order and celebrate he did – and he meets a most delicious man, that has him thinking about all the things that he hasn’t thought of in awhile.

Phillip is just out to have some fun and enjoy the evening when he meets Thom. Not expecting Thom to be his newest employee, he reacts with some level of grace, but also making Thom know that there can be more if he so desires.

With Thom’s current predicament, a whole to of baggage on his shoulders and Phillips free love attitude – both men are in for  a rough ride to making any chance they have of being together work.

 

As he approached the door, Thom heard music thudding from inside. He listened for a moment, trying to get a sense of Phil’s current mood. The music he played nearly always reflected how he felt. Thom let out a relieved sigh when he recognized a track from Beck’s Midnite Vultures.Phil only played that one when he was feeling upbeat.

Gathering his courage, Thom lifted his hand and gave three firm raps on the sturdy wooden door. A few seconds later, the door swung open, blasting “Sexx Laws” to the neighborhood at the ear-splitting volume Phil seemed to prefer.

Phil stood in the open doorway wearing a pair of ripped, faded and paint-splattered jeans and nothing else. Sweat threaded tiny rivers through the thick fur on his chest and plastered curling tendrils of golden brown hair to his flushed face.

He looked positively edible. Thom gulped.

The slow, sexy grin that always turned Thom into a slack-jawed idiot spread over Phil’s face. “Hey, Bubbles. What brings you here?”

We need to talk. We need to figure out where whatever we have between us is going. After that, if we decide to pursue a relationship, we will need to set boundaries and limits. Then, and only then, you may take me to bed.

Not one word of Thom’s carefully rehearsed speech emerged from his dry mouth. Sex! his overactive libido screamed instead. Sex now! Sexsexsex!

He licked his lips. “Uh… I…”

Phil frowned. “Thom? You okay?”

Happy Onion © Ally Blue

Smut/Ick Factor

The smut in this one is definately a up against the wall sort of action. I loved everything about it. It’s  fast, full of issues and there was no grey areas about who was doing what to whom.

 

Positive

I love Ally blue, one reviewer mention that ‘She is the queen of angst” and I most certainly agree with her.

She has used the opposite attraction theme to bring together Thom and Phillip. Size, lifestyle choices, sexual preferences, mannerism – everything was the total opposite of the other and it makes HAPPY ONION a wonderful read.

I like the fact that there was enough of a pretty decent story line to balance the books and not a book where every page is full of steam.

Support characters are not only of the love them or hate them variety, but they added to the angst of the book as well.

I really liked Ms. Blue’s definition of Phillip and Thom’s characters – Philip definitely a child of the 60’s and he more than happily embodies everything that was around at the time. Thom on the other hand can be a little (a lot really) uptight, but he is consistent with is wanting of Phillip.

I also liked the play on the aggression and submissive nature of both men – it stood out and for each smut scene you just never know who was going to demand what of whom.

A short read, but with a plot that just let you lose yourself into it, it demanded no huge leap of faith to believe the plot. A sweet read.

 

Negative

While i love the angst, there was a whip lash moment with the on again off again nature of the relationship, this will be a definately turn off for readers especially if you are not a lover of the angsty theme sort of book. Check out Obsidian Bookshelf Review.

Cover

A sweet cover, nothing of the amount of issues that is involved in the book is actually reflected. But i loved it.

 

 

12 Speak To Me:

sharrow on 27 April 2009 at 11:26 said...

Cool review and the blog is looking great! :)

Lily on 27 April 2009 at 14:46 said...

Great review. I love Ally's writing and enjoyed this book very much.

Obsidian Bookshelf on 27 April 2009 at 15:35 said...

Hi, E.H., this is a fascinating review! I really wanted to get a sense of why this book worked for the reviewers who loved it. I myself just couldn't get into it to the point where I just couldn't see the positives after awhile.

I think it may be a polarizing book, especially in regards to Thom. Readers will either connect with the book and him immediately or they will immediately find it and him offputting.

I'd have to agree with those positives you pointed out in that you're right about the opposites-attract theme being intriguing explored, the plot being well-structured, and the sex scenes being clear (-- I know just what you mean about some sex scenes in m/m fiction in general being annoyingly vague and confusing).

Thanks again for the link to my review. I'm going to do the same to yours from my blog so readers can get the Pro/Con balance on the book. :)

Shawn Lane on 27 April 2009 at 16:06 said...

Great review, E.H. I really liked this book too but then I love most of Ally's work with very few exceptions

Erotic Horizon on 27 April 2009 at 20:35 said...

Sharrow,

Thank you stopping by - I love ally Blue...

Glad you are enjoying the blog..

Be good.

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 27 April 2009 at 20:37 said...

Hey Lily..

I have had this for ages, but until I read Obsidian review recently I had totally forgotten about it ...

I will be catching up on a bit more of her work in the very near future.

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 27 April 2009 at 20:38 said...

Hey Shawn .

I can see you are another fan of Ally Blues work..

I am fastly becoming one...

E.H>

Houston A.W. Knight on 27 April 2009 at 21:38 said...

Hey Sweetie!

Just dropping in to check out your blog and see what's up.

Another awesome Blog!

hugs
Hawk

VampFanGirl on 28 April 2009 at 00:42 said...

Hi E.H.!

Great review! I LOVE angst in my romance novels so you had me hooked by that.

But I am a bit ashamed to say that the cover...so not fellin' it. It had me giggling. Sorry. But otherwise, the story sounds good.

:) VFG

Erotic Horizon on 28 April 2009 at 03:48 said...

Hey Obsidian..

I do see your point with Thom, he is one of those love him or hate him kind of characters...

I thing it's the overflow of angst at every turn that could be a turn off for you...

I love that i can see your point and see a protag that i like in a different light...

I love adding other reviews to mine... I alway thing it makes a difference in the long run..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 28 April 2009 at 03:49 said...

Hey Houston..

Big SHOUT {{{{ YEAH}}}}

Welcome...
Thanks for stopping by, have a good week this week.

E.H.

Erotic Horizon on 28 April 2009 at 03:52 said...

HEY VFG..

Thanks for looking in on this review..

I know what you mean about the cover, one of the guy has some very feminine traits...

But I liked it....

I am glad, I gave you a giggle.

E.H>