A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Pansies (Spires Universe) by Alexis Hall


Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

pansies-by-alexis-hallWhew!  I’m emotionally exhausted from following just a few weeks in the lives of Alfie and Fen as they rediscover each other and move their relationship forward from enemies to lovers.

When Alfie leaves his posh London apartment, secured with money he’s made while working as a financial guru for the past seven years, he drives in his equally posh sports car back to his hometown of South Shields in Northern England where nothing is posh.  It’s rundown and depressing, and yet he feels hopeful and renewed by getting in touch with his roots.  A night out has an unexpected result—he spies a hot twink with long hair and a gorgeous ass in the local bar, but when the two end up in bed together he learns this isn’t a stranger at all.  It’s the guy he knew as James in high school—a guy who he bullied and tortured to the point where James’s life was so miserable he went by his middle name, instead of his real name of Fenimore, nicknamed Fen.  And Fen is shocked when he learns Alfie doesn’t recognize him at all, but he sets Alfie straight when he gives him the tongue-lashing he deserves—and not the kind of tongue Alfie may have been hoping for.

Though the story was long, I enjoyed the fact that the author took the time to explore each man’s personality and psyche individually and then together, weaving memories of their pasts with the present, unfurling Alfie’s feelings of his discovery of being gay, and then of falling in love, and finally, of realizing what love really means and of coming to terms with who he is.  At times heartbreaking, at times infused with humor, each man’s story is unique, and yet the stories are easily intertwined to bring the couple to the present where they discover a love neither had envisioned and neither is willing to give up.

I was swept up in their story, at times rooting for Alfie, at times crying for Fen, and once—wanting to smack Alfie upside the head for listening to advice from Fen’s father.  Thankfully, the story ended with a HEA—always the best ending in my opinion.  I recommend this to those who enjoy MM romance, especially a romance that takes the time to fully develop between two men who were at odds previously and now learn to appreciate the best and worst in each other’s lives.

The cover by Simoné is fantastic!  In fact, I chose the book based on the cover. It clearly depicts Pansies, the flower shop around which the story is based, and it shows the couple in a joyous moment—big, muscular Alfie, holding a smaller, lithe Fen as they laugh together in front of the shop.

Sales Links

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Riptide Publishing

All Romance | iBooks | Kobo

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 376 pages
Published October 8th 2016 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitlePansies
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesSpires Universe

In the Spotlight with Pansies (Spires Universe) by Alexis Hall (giveaway)



Pansies (Spires Universe) by Alexis Hall
iptide Publishing
Cover art by Simoné

Read an Excerpt/Buy It Here

About Pansies

Alfie Bell is . . . fine. He’s got a six-figure salary, a penthouse in Canary Wharf, the car he swore he’d buy when he was eighteen, and a bunch of fancy London friends.

It’s rough, though, going back to South Shields now that they all know he’s a fully paid-up pansy. It’s the last place he’s expecting to pull. But Fen’s gorgeous, with his pink-tipped hair and hipster glasses, full of the sort of courage Alfie’s never had. It should be a one-night thing, but Alfie hasn’t met anyone like Fen before.

Except he has. At school, when Alfie was everything he was supposed to be, and Fen was the stubborn little gay boy who wouldn’t keep his head down. And now it’s a proper mess: Fen might have slept with Alfie, but he’ll probably never forgive him, and Fen’s got all this other stuff going on anyway, with his mam and her flower shop and the life he left down south.

Alfie just wants to make it right. But how can he, when all they’ve got in common is the nowhere town they both ran away from.

Available from Riptide Publishing: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/pansies

About Alexis Hall

Alexis Hall was born in the early 1980s and still thinks the 21st century is the future. To this day, he feels cheated that he lived through a fin de siècle but inexplicably failed to drink a single glass of absinthe, dance with a single courtesan, or stay in a single garret.

He did the Oxbridge thing sometime in the 2000s and failed to learn anything of substance. He has had many jobs, including ice cream maker, fortune teller, lab technician, and professional gambler. He was fired from most of them.

He can neither cook nor sing, but he can handle a 17th century smallsword, punts from the proper end, and knows how to hotwire a car.

He lives in southeast England, with no cats and no children, and fully intends to keep it that way.

Connect with Alexis:

Website: quicunquevult.com
Blog: quicunquevult.com/blog
Twitter: @quicunquevult
Goodreads: goodreads.com/alexishall



To celebrate the release of Pansies, one lucky winner will receive their choice of 3 ebooks from Alexis Hall’s backlist. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 15, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!