A Mary’s Boys Novella
Author: Brandon Witt
Release Date: September 27, 2017 Price: $4.99
Reviewed by Elaine
Cover Art: Bold and vivid, the cover is appealing and captures my interest immediately with the red background. Looking closer, the background is a close-up of a strawberry with candles in the foreground. Hamburger Mary is on the cover, with a Mary’s Boys banner. Two men are embracing, seeming to pose for the picture. The half glare in the bearded man’s face seems to capture Steven’s personality, especially as we begin the story.
Blurb: The blurb is short and concise, consisting of three short paragraphs, giving a brief description of each character, and the main dilemma in the story. While the blurb is sufficient I feel it could have described the conflict in a little more detail to give more of a hook. There are also no 18+ warnings in respect of the sexual content.
Plot: The plot of the story is simple and straightforward, with no mysterious twists and turns. The plot introduction is well done; we meet Steven and Ryan and learn their background stories in addition to setting up the rising action in the story. I fell in love with Steven in the very first chapter; his insecurities and conflict with his father made my heart bleed for him – it literally gave a kerplunk.
Main Characters: Steven Conley, 46 years old, owner of Hamburger Mary’s.
Ryan Fuller, 27 years old, owner of Confetti, a party planning business, and funeral home attendant.
While we don’t get physical descriptions of our characters right away, the emotions they feel came across immediately and gave me the impression of really knowing Steven and Ryan as the men they are. Both men feel very deeply and struggle with their internal conflicts. Ryan’s desperation to hang on to his connection with Steven comes through as well as his dreams crashing as they seem to be slipping away.
Secondary Characters: By book four, the secondary characters have been around for quite a while, most having received their own previous stories. They are not just filler in the story, they truly are an integral part of the family, and there is absolutely no doubt they are a family. Their thoughts, feelings and welfare are of utmost importance to Steven – his safe place. I imagine I could sit at the bar and watch ManDonna and Ariel perform, maybe grab some of those nachos to eat and ogle Vahin while I was at it.
Flow/Continuity: The book is written in alternating 3rd person, and each chapter is labeled with the character’s name so there is no confusion as to who is the subject. This method works for me and flows well. There are intimate scenes which are fairly hot and descriptive, and some which fade to black that in my opinion are just as hot, and lend to the romance of the book. The scenes flow well and add intimacy to the story.
Conflict and Climax: What strikes me the most is how this story seems as though I am watching it happen in true life. Instalove? No. What we have is a deep attraction and then normal doubts and issues which any couple in a May-December romance might have. Ryan realizing he may have put Steven on a pedestal and built him up unfairly really hit it on the head for me. Deciding what to do with his self-realization was my favorite part of the book.
Editing: Edited well, there were no plot inconsistencies, grammar or punctuation errors to take me out of the story.
Format: There are no blank pages, clear separation in scenes, chapters labeled for the appropriate characters and paragraphs look good. No distractions to take a reader out of the story.
Conclusion: This, the final book in the Mary’s Boys series, is a personal favorite of mine, as I can really relate to both character’s conflicts and emotions. While it probably could be read as a standalone title, the reader would miss so much of the community atmosphere of the book and I must recommend reading the series in order. For fans of pure romance and an uncomplicated plot, the story is sweet (but not overly so), Deeds & Confetti will leave you feeling happy and pleasantly satisfied with life in general.
I give it an 8 out of 10.