Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Even with a string of earthquakes jarring the tenants of the Belladonna Arms, rattling nerves and smashing dishes, life still manages to plod along as usual. Love pollen continues to fall, romances continue to flourish, and Arthur, the grand Pooh-bah in residence, continues to plan his upcoming wedding extravaganza.
In the midst of all this drama fall Gideon Chase and Reed Kelly, two redheaded losers at love who find themselves regrouping under the auspices of the most incorrigible matchmaker in heels.
Arthur sees hope for the two right away. He leases them adjoining apartments, then continually tweaks their budding friendship in the hope it will slip into love. Just as Arthur’s plans are coming along nicely, Reed’s past shows up to toss a monkey wrench into his and Gideon’s blossoming romance.
With Arthur’s wedding ceremony nigh, and Reed and Gideon on the verge of heartache yet again, Arthur faces one inescapable conclusion.
It will take more than love pollen to sort this mess out.
There’s is absolutely nothing better than to be home again in that faded six-story apartment building called The Belladonna Arms high atop a hill overlooking the ocean, a fabulous view of the city, and new possibilities for love for all who arrive there. For you see, it’s full of love pollen as each book has proved time and again. Love pollen and cats. Both figure large in each story.
John Inman has written so many incredible stories in many genres from contemporary romance to humor to the supernatural and horror. But none has so captured my heart and left me wheezing from laughter or yes, sniffly from tears as his Belladonna Arms series and the oddball family that has sprung up in each apartment on every floor. I thank John Inman every time each one/or couple makes an appearance in his stories. And they do. In every one because they are a family that supports each other, no matter the occasion, in this case Arthur and Tom’s wedding (omg…the wedding dress). The earth itself is having conniption fits over Arthur’s upcoming wedding as earthquakes galore are running through the area. Through Inman’s vivid descriptions and our in depth knowledge and love or these characters we feel every quake and shimmy as if we were there.
The author really makes us a part of this family too.
From the moment heart hurt, homeless ginger haired Gideon Chase walks to see The Belladonna Arms because Ben has told him he can get him a room there, we know Gideon is on a special journey. One that starts with Arthur in all his drag splendor waiting at the entrance, shifting boobs made of quinoa bags and all, of The Belladonna Arms. Then we move to red-haired Reed, his marriage, his decision not to live a lie, and again his arrival at The Belladonna Arms. Two gingers, both hurting, now side by side neighbors. Let the love pollen flow.
Lacking the necessities, all of the couples of the apartment building gather round Gideon to help him furbish his new home. By chapter three, I’ve wrapped this book around my heart like a favorite comforter, so happy I feel to be back in their midst. Then Gideon opens his door to two of my favorite kleptos, married couple Charlie and Bruce, And it happens. I’ll say the words. Internet ballet lessons.
Ok, now I’m starting to wheeze here and the tears are streaming down my face. I’m laughing so hard that typing is a fail.
Brilliance. The humor here will just grab at you when you least expect it. This is just the first of many such scenes.
Of course, there’s plenty of poignancy too. Reed has some powerful issues to work through and he’s not always as successful as one would hope at first in finding his way. Nothing here is ever easy. But The Belladonna Arms family comes through again and again in the most amazing ways. Inman finds paths that lifts everyone up, not just the main characters, but the secondary ones, that in other hands might have come out looking somewhat villainous, and that would have been such a shame as well as unnecessary.
No one leaves The Belladonna Arms feeling unloved or a Belladonna Arms story feeling less that a bit dusted by love pollen yourself. I can’t help but wonder if a certain half naked flower boy will be featured in the next story. Here’s hoping!
But until then I’m keeping myself warm with the laughter and love I find within the pages of Ginger Snaps (Belladonna Arms #5) by John Inman. I know I will see Reed and Gideon again so this is but a seeya later. And I keep bursting into giggles and outright laughter over the thoughts of Gorilla tape and cowboys hats and plie’s. Truly my stomach hurts. But not my heart. John Inman has left that in excellent shape.
Now to wait for my next visit. Until then I highly recommend you take a trip to the Belladonna Arms yourself. Meet everyone and fall in love. Start at the beginning and work your way here. Join in on the family fun.
Cover art: Aaron Anderson. Normally I love Aaron Anderson’s work but I think this is a miss. You have a story about gingers and you cut the top off the model so you miss out on the color of the hair? Nope. Plus the bandana really belongs to Charlie. Fail all around. Except that its done in the style that brands the series.
ebook, 240 pages
Published April 24th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleGinger Snaps
Series The Belladonna Arms #5