A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: For a Good Time, Call (Bluewater Bay) by Anne Tenino and EJ Russell

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

It took me a while to get into this story because the authors took their time building the characters, their interactions, their backgrounds, and finally their attraction. But when I look back over the hours I spent reading this, I realized I enjoyed it overall, and there were points in the story where I couldn’t wait to get back to it if I had to put it down while doing daily activities.

If you are looking for a sexy romp, stop here, and don’t purchase this one. But if you are looking for a new perspective on sexuality, romance, friendship, and love, by all means, keep going and pick this up.

Seth Larson is a good-time party boy and king of one-night stands. Not interested in anything other than a hookup for most of his life, he’s shocked when the quiet, sexy Nate Albano, 37-year-old Special Effects Technician for the Wolf’s Landing TV show, turns him down cold after leading him on. Or at least, Seth thinks Nate’s been leading him on. It takes him a while to find out that Nate is so sweet and innocent of the sexual innuendos most guys thrive on that he didn’t even realize Seth was coming on to him until it was too late. No wonder Seth was shocked when he was looking for sex but was turned down flat! And Nate’s pretty embarrassed by that experience because he liked the guy and just can’t figure out how he misunderstood him.

Seth lives with his grandmother in the stately old mansion on Russell Hill where town founder Finnimore Larson established his estate. His family has lived there for generations, and Seth is employed by his father and uncle as the caretaker and all-around handyman in exchange for rent in the little apartment above the garage. When his grandmother wants to sell the place and move to senior living with her friends, Seth is fully supportive but the others, including his mother, are opposed to selling the house. Since they’re in charge of the estate and are supposed to be making decisions to care for the elderly woman, they have control. And Seth is determined to help his grandmother win her freedom from their oversight. Lots of family turmoil surrounding this issue ensues, but it’s sprinkled with some great humor.

Nate enjoys his job, though because of his erratic behavior as a result of past emotional upheaval in his life, he’s lucky to have been hired, even with a recommendation from Levi Pritchard. Looking at it as a new lease on his career, he’s dedicated and focused, and he and his best friend have come up with great ideas and even better execution for special effects for the show. He’s still grieving the loss of his former partner, Jorge, who left him three years before for another man—more so because he’s only ever had two relationships in his life. He’s gray asexual, so for him the relationship spark must come first. Even after Seth’s blunder, though, he realizes he does feel that spark of attraction with Seth, and he starts to wonder if he’s going to be lucky enough to get a third.

Seems hard to believe, given Seth’s history and reputation, but after they make amends from their first meeting, it’s very definite that they are indeed attracted to one another. Seth goes through pains to keep from offending Nate—so much so, that Nate starts to doubt Seth is even interested.

Once the storyline is established, the story moves along more quickly, but be prepared for the slower start while the groundwork is being laid. The authors did a great job piquing my interest throughout the story. Added to the romance is a potential murder mystery for the guys to solve. When the apparent weapon from Seth’s great grandfather’s murder is found, they take a genealogical trek through the Larson family tree, work on special effects to garner interest in the sale of the mansion, and visit with a few characters from past stories. Add in a feisty old lady and an extremely lovable dog and this became a book I couldn’t put down.

It’s not one of those mysteries readers can’t figure out, but the relationship issues sprinkled among the murder mystery and the plans for the house sale all combine to make this a different take on the usual romance. And when the men finally, finally get their act together, it warmed my heart.

Fans of Bluewater Bay will surely recognize the past characters and various locations highlighted and I’m sure they’ll enjoy this book, but so will others who are looking for a nice MM romance with an atypical couple. And no fear—this can definitely be read as a standalone.

Cover art by L.C. Chase does both a great job with the characters yet connecting it to the series.

Sales Links

Riptide Publishing

Book Details:

ebook, 358 pages
Published April 10th 2017 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleFor A Good Time, Call…
ISBN 1626495920 (ISBN13: 9781626495920)
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Bluewater Bay #17

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

1 comment

  1. I’m a big fan of romance, but this couple is absolutely doomed. If you like to be able to imagine “happily ever after”, skip this book!


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