Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5
Nicky Hauser has never been able to figure out what he wanted to do with his life so he’s been gliding along from job to job until he rolled his life and love into one person by working at his boyfriend’s restaurant and living in his boyfriend’s apartment. Then he walks into work only to catch his boyfriend cheating on him with a co-worker and in that moment loses everything. Now out of a job, a home and a lover, Nick scrambles from friend to friend, sleeping on their couches while looking for jobs. Finally Nick lands a job housesitting for a wealthy couple and discovers he can make a living doing the one thing he loves to do – cleaning.
Computer consultant Spencer Cartwright is a messy person and has a cluttered, garbage strewn house to prove it. When Spencer needs to go out of town on business, friends recommend Nicky to house sit and clean, changing Spencer and Nicky’s lives forever. But Spencer is coming off a divorce and Nicky is wary of romance and a relationship so soon after being dumped. Can these men sweep their past failures away and find love in a spotless home together?
Housekeeping by Kim Fielding is a charming little romance, a happy quick read that is perfect to way to spend some free time over the holidays. Nicky Hauser and Spencer Cartwright are two quirky and complementary characters, each totally endearing in their own way. Nicky is somewhat recognizable as that person who has never quite found their way in life. Not quite emotionally a grownup, too old in years to be a teen, he has managed to go through life without making any real decisions over his future whether it be a profession or even something to be passionate about. Fielding has made him totally believable, letting us connect with someone lacking direction in life and uncertain how to proceed. He’s just too nice and gentle, and lacking in ambition.
Kim Fielding has crafted Spencer Cartwright with a different set of issues. Spencer’s been married, to a woman, before finally admitting his homosexuality. He’s colorblind, constantly busy, and a total slob. Clearly his life needs cleaning up and Nicky is just the person to handle the job. And happily for us, Fields lets her characters turn from employer/employee to friends and finally to lovers, letting us watch as their relationship builds over trips to Ikea and a mixing of friends and relatives.
Don’t look for any angst, there isn’t any. No real highs or lows to be found in this story, just a group of funny, lovely friends and two men looking for love and finding it where they least expected it, at home amongst cleaning supplies. It’s charming and smile worthy. I love Kim Fielding’s stories, she rarely lets me down and didn’t with Housekeeping. Consider this definitely recommended.
Cover art by Paul Richmond is really very funny, his m/m version of American Gothic. I loved it.