Saturday, 31 January 2015


Pages: 96
Date: January 30, 2015
Grade: 4+
Details: no. 4 With a Kick

The blurb:

“Rob Barker had plans for his weekend and they didn’t involve struggling through the pre-Christmas crowds with the five-year-old niece he barely knows. Left with no choice, he grudgingly takes Pearl to see the sights of London but, instead of following the list his sister-in-law gives him, Rob takes her to With A Kick, an ice-cream shop with a difference. 

His plan is foiled when he discovers With A Kick is closed for a private children's party, but the owners kindly let Pearl join in. Rob’s mood improves considerably as he watches Father Christmas hand out presents. Not only is Santa a hot red-head under the beard, he is also one of his rugby team-mates, Mick, a man Rob has always lusted after. After Mick confesses a mutual interest, he agrees to meet Rob at With A Kick’s evening party—where there are definitely no kids - or girls - allowed.”

My thoughts: 

This is the second book I’ve read in this series and I can honestly say I enjoyed Bells and Balls at least as much as I did Hissed as a Newt (which reminds me I really have to go back and read books 1 and 3 soon). I like Sue Brown’s men and the way they interact both with each other and with the world.

Rob Barker’s day with Peril – excuse me, Pearl – had me in stitches at times. I have to admit that it took me a few pages to get to like Rob but as I got to know him better he more than grew on me. By the end of the book I was a fan of this snarky yet bighearted man.

Mick was lovable right from the moment he was introduced which made all the pain he subsequently went through that much harder to read about. On more than one occasion I wanted to give him a hug and tell him all would be fine. Thankfully Rob was there to do that job for me.

The slow emergence of a relationship between Mick and Rob was a joy to behold. The way these two big rugby players are almost shy with each other and both in fear of what their family’s reaction to them being gay might be was cute and a nice reminder that appearances rarely tell the full story. It was wonderful to read a story in which coming out of the closet played a big role without being the theme of the book. First and foremost this is the engrossing story of two men coming to terms with who they are and finding each other on their somewhat surprising journey. And of course I've got this thing about rugby players...

Bells and Balls was extremely hot for a story that has little to no sex in it. It takes a good writer to make lust as hot – if not hotter – than any sex scene good have been, and Sue Brown did a wonderful job.

All in all this was a delightful story. I found it all but impossible to put the book down once I started reading and while the story is complete, I was sorry to have to say goodbye to Rob and Mick by the end of it. 

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