Book – His Mossy Boy (Being(s) in Love #8)
Author – R. Cooper
Star rating - ★★★★★
No. of Pages – 350
Cover – Very nice
POV – 3rd, dual character
Would I read it again – Yes!
Genre – LGBT, Paranormal, Series, Shifter, Magic
** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK FOR MY READING PLEASURE **
Reviewed for Divine Magazine
The previous novel, Treasure for Treasure, really reignited my passion for this series, so I loved that this book continued that storyline, like a Part 2. Seeing Joe and Zarrin have such a big part of this story, the same way that Martin and Forrester had a big part of theirs, was perfect. They're a really close-nit community, so it was right for them to maintain that.
I loved the little mentions of other characters from other books, such as Arthur and Bertie (from A Boy and His Dragon), Rennet and John (from A Firebird and Other Stories) and Albert (from Little Wolf, but also mentioned as Theo's cousin from A Beginner's Guide to Wooing Your Mate')
The Prologue really set the scene, for me; it was soft, a little lonely, and it showed us who Ian and Martin were, in such detail, without being overly done. It also kept that nice continuity link with the previous book in the series. It packed an emotional punch that never really let up for the entire book.
We knew in book 7, when we first met Martin, that he was pretty much a stoner, alcoholic with a clutzy tendency and very little self-worth, self-belief and positivity. Considering his mother and her behaviour, it isn't all that surprising that he feels the need to drown out his thoughts with alcohol and drugs. He stays that sad, unsure, self-depreciating character until about the halfway mark, when he finds a little courage and realises that his 'solution' of drowning out his problems isn't helping anymore. He's the character that made me want to cry the most, because he was so clearly lost and alone, so lonely and afraid to follow his heart.
The sad part is that Martin feels so awful about himself because of his mother and her belief that his hobbies – making a home and taking care of it, knitting, baking, DIY and antiquing – are all sissy, womanly things to do that make him somehow less than. She even finds fault with his wearing an apron at work, just because she deems it womanly and beneath a man. Yet, there's a common thread all throughout that she already knows or at least suspects his deepest darkest secret and that she's trying everything possible to push him in the other direction. But, as Martin finds out, there's no way to force someone not to be gay anymore. And I love the journey he goes on, even while doubting himself and what he loves, while disbelieving the support and encouragement from his friends, as he finds out who he really is and that he's okay just the way he is. No one should change him and no one needs to.
In a way, Martin and Ian are the same. They're lonely, closeted and afraid of letting someone else in, because of their secrets. Despite Ian being the older, more mature and adult of the two, he has all the same characteristics as Martin, except his solution is to wander the woods and help people. His job as a Deputy in the police department keeps him well known in town, but he insists on closing himself off emotionally and not having friends or a social life. The reason why isn't just that he's gay, but something much more intriguing. And the way that's revealed, with constant hints from Zarrin and Ian himself, is brilliantly done. There's a constant uncertainty about what he might be, because he's something new to the series.
Right from the start, Ian and Martin are a perfect match for each other, which I commented on in my review of the previous book. But it's really much sweeter here than I expected. I loved their chemistry and the awkwardness of them trying to be together. The sexting was hilariously hot, both awkward and yet allowing them to be more open and honest, more adventurous with each other. Then came the phone sex, which ramped it up a notch, before they finally accepted that they should be doing this stuff in person. Which was where they couldn't hide their insecurities any longer.
Everything about their relationship – from the sexting, phone calls, physical meetings and their past meetings with each other – is awkward. There's no other word for it. But it also makes it real, relatable and normal. They go through the same kind of things that ordinary, real life, couples go through.
I'm not going to say too much about them, because it would spoil the story, but I loved the crows and Schmitty. They were both funny and very nosy, using their influence to make sure Ian and Martin didn't completely mess up. Honestly, I'm kind of hoping the next book is Schmitty and Albert. That troublemaker needs a good guy to settle down with, but I'm also a little unsure, because Albert has to be the same Albert from Little Wolf, who already had a mate. It would be interesting to see Graham again, but I'd also like to see Schmitty get some happiness, too. And, eventually, Bernard needs to get his act together. He can't be Mister Grumpy all the time, though he softened quite a bit in this one.
Overall, it was an engrossing read, from start to finish. I would say that you couldn't read this without reading book 7, Treasure for Treasure, first, however. The stories are too intricately linked not to read that first, because you won't understand any of the stuff about Zarrin and Joe, otherwise.
But, beyond that, it was brilliant; well written, well plotted and without the communication issues that were prevalent in previous books in the series. It was hot and funny in equal measure, while keeping old characters in the loop and introducing new ones. I'm looking forward to the next in the series.
“I'm a freak, you know,” he confessed, carding his fingers through chest hair. Martin was a fairy but not a fairy. The odd man out, always. “I can jus' pretend. That I'm not. That I'm normal. Just tonight, I can be yours.”
“My duck has feelings about you too.”
“He was a freaked-out, sexually confused stoner who should be in therapy, a fairy-type who wanted to bake bread for Forrester and throw himself on Forrester's bed but wouldn't.”