RATING 3,75 out of 5 stars
Martin is a ghost. Well, not really, but he might as well be. Job gone, home gone, self-respect gone, and no one even seems to notice. The only person who really sees him is Seb, the artist who lives above the used bookstore.
Seb haunts the edges of Seacroft in search of beauty. He knows how to excavate the hidden value in abandoned things–whether it’s in the pages of forgotten books or in Martin’s stuttering attempts to rebuild his life–and transform them into works of art.
Two lost souls, Seb and Martin discover the strength they need to face eccentric townies and their dysfunctional families together. But as friendship sparks toward something more, neither man wants to risk what they’ve only just found. It takes two to fall in love, but it will take the whole community to bring their beauty to life.
Top Shelf is an 81k slow burn friends-to-lovers MM romance. It features an anxious professor, a drama queen artist, a bookstore that might be haunted, and a full-blown heart-eyes HEA.
Top Shelf was a lovely reading, I soon fell in love with Martin, perhaps because I knew what he was going through. I could feel him struggle but he was so brave to try and start again, in a different and easy environment. He found a new life in his brother’s house, in a new town, with a new job at a little bookstore and new people like Penny and Cassidy. And then there was Seb, the artist who carved books. When Martin first discovered it, he felt it as a sacrilege, books couldn’t be destroyed like that, but the masterpieces Seb worked on were too precious to be offended by. Little by little they became friends and more, until when things went really bad, they were there for each other. I loved how they took their time although the strong chemistry.
I liked the plot and the writing a lot, the novel was easy and quick to finish. The only reason why I didn’t give Top Shelf an higher rating was due to the ending part. Without spoiling anything I think Seb acted a little too much childish and forgot how supporting Martin was, sure he maybe wasn’t thinking clearly, still I didn’t like him at all.
Top Shelf is the first title in a new series by Allison Temple, I can’t wait for the next installment, maybe abou Seb’s brother?
The cover art by Cate Ashwood is lovely, I like this artist style a lot.
Sales Links: Amazon
Kindle Edition, 302 pages
Expected publication: May 20th 2019 by Allison Temple Books
Edition Language English
Series Seacroft #1