Monday, April 22, 2019

Melinda's Review: Death of a Bachelor

Remember, this is a Royal Pick for the month! Check back on April 25th when the monthly giveaway opens!

Death of a Bachelor by M.A. Hinkle
Series: Cherrywood Grove, 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance -- Queer, M/M

Cathal Kinnery is an arrogant, overeducated jerk, and Damon Eglamore is not afraid to tell him so. But Damon married Cathal’s best friend, so they have an uneasy truce. Then she passes away. Now they’re stuck together in close quarters, trying to honor her memory without shouting at each other all the time.

At first, they have no idea how to move forward. Damon is a chef, but all his favorite recipes remind him of his late wife. Cathal would love to start tomcatting around town again, except for that annoying promise he made to his best friend about looking after Damon.

Then Damon’s son comes to them for help, convinced the only way to win over his first crush is a gender-bending Shakespeare production. After that, Cathal talks Damon into taking up baking as a new way to use his talents. Next thing they know, they’ve begun a new life working as a team instead of jumping at each other’s throats. But can they trust each other long enough to make it last, or will they fall into old bad habits again?

Where to Buy*:
More Info:

CW: Death of a secondary character

Melinda's Review:

Death of a Bachelor is a book that on first glance might not be for me. Because on the surface it’s about death and I really wasn’t in the mood for death and all that dealing with it means. But Death of a Bachelor is really about more than death – it’s about grief, and joy, and finding love in unexpected places. It’s about friendship and found family (my catnip!) and how those people can get us through difficult times even when we don’t think we want their help. And because it’s a romance, it has a happily ever after that made me really, really happy.

The two MCs meet in a bar and pretty much hate each other on sight. The one is pretty derisive of the other and it does not go well at all. We open to the beginning chapter and one MC is marrying a woman and the other MC is pretty pissy about it because he dislikes the guy so much. But he likes his BFF so much he’s willing to put his feelings aside.

I was pretty wary of what was going on between the two later on in the book because I very much did not want Damon’s love for his wife to be erased at all. Their marriage was a happy one and it resulted in a son, a beautiful home, and really a great life. So going into the book I was just not into the idea of all of that being erased. I was also worried the book would fall prey to the gay for you trope that I have zero interest in. Luckily, my worries were allayed. Damon is shown, on page, to be bisexual right away, and Cathal is gay. This is very much not a spoiler because it’s right in the blurb – but Damon’s wife dies, after a long illness, and essentially asks Damon and Cathal to look after each other. All of the above is very brief and the taking care of each other is where the book pretty much begins. What I was concerned about was whether or not Damon’s sexuality was going to be either this GFY trope or a big secret throughout the book, I strongly feel that in 2019 we don’t need to see those types of GFY relationships normalized. Happily Damon’s bisexuality was completely just part of life –as it should be. I am here for all the books that do this.

This book is about healing and grief, and the way it handles this is just beautifully done. I don’t know anyone that hasn’t been touched by death in some way. All three characters deal with it in completely different ways and Hinkle did a wonderful job of depicting this horrible process and how differently everyone copes. I loved how there was humor and life in the grief – because literally life does have to go on, even while grieving.

I genuinely adored this book. The teenage son – Felix – is hilarious and it’s touching to see him dealing with both death and teenage crushes. Damon and Cathal have an amazing chemistry, whether it’s bonding over food, giving advice to Felix, or exchanging banter. This is a slow burn with just kissing on the page – but it’s so well written I didn’t care. This is a very quiet story, but one that worked all the way around for me. That this is a debut for M.A. Hinkle impressed me so much because wow, did I love this.

4 1/2 STARS! 

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Source: Bought

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Thanks for the review, Melinda! 


Until Next Time,

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