Reviewed by Helyce
Goodreads Blurb: Tobias “Mas” Maslin doesn’t need much. A place of his own, weekends of clubbing, a rich boyfriend for love and support. Too bad his latest sugar daddy candidate turns out to be married with kids. Mas wants to be special, not someone’s dirty little secret.
When he loses his job and his flat on the same day, his worlds starts unraveling…until he stumbles across a vintage clothing shop. Now to convince the reclusive, eccentric owner he’s in dire need of a salesman.
Perry Cavendish-Fiennes set up Cabbages and Kinks solely to annoy his controlling father. Truth be told, he’d rather spend every spare moment on his true passion, art. When Mas comes flaming into his life talking nineteen to the dozen, he finds himself offering him a job and a place to live.
He should have listened to his instincts. The shop is already financially on the brink, and Mas’s flirting makes him feel things he’s never felt for a man. Yet Mas seems convinced they can make a go of it—in the shop, and together.
When I pick up a book by Josephine Myles, I know that I will be taken on a journey where I will definitely be entertained. Ms. Myles characters are always quirky and odd, but at the same time very endearing-so much so that they pull you in.
In Stuff, I adored both Mas and Perry. Without being too heavy, we are given a somewhat emotionally stunted character in the form of Perry. After a difficult childhood, where he is literally given to an Aunt to raise, it’s no surprise that Perry has issues. Though his Aunt loved and raised him as if he were her own, his biological parents continue to cause him grief in adulthood. Perry is an odd duck; an artist and borderline hoarder, he is very attached to everything in the shop he has. And there is a lot of stuff in his shop.
Enter Mas–young and attractive, he basically insinuates himself into Perry’s life. He moves in and starts making multiple changes that make Perry’s head spin. But it’s clear that Mas knows what he’s doing. Mas is a breath of fresh air and he immediately breaths life into Perry. He is confident and his can-do attitude is exactly what Perry needs. Mas’ excitement about the shop is contagious and Perry finds it impossible to deny him anything.
The romance is a bit slow to build as Perry has always considered himself straight. In fact, he has an ongoing “appointment” with a woman he knows to take care of his “needs”. Perry is seemingly content with his shop and his sculptures, but really he is so very lonely. Once Mas is on the scene, it becomes clear to Perry that he’d only been living half a life. He still fights his attraction to Mas initially, but Mas is pretty hard to resist.
The conflict in here is light and mostly deals with Perry accepting Mas in his life as well as some dealings with his father. The Perry at the beginning of the story would have let his father run roughshod on him; but thanks to Mas, Perry is confident and knows exactly who he is and what he wants. While we get some backstory to understand where Perry’s head is at when he first meets Mas, I think I would have enjoyed a bit more interaction with Perry’s family, rather than it just being part of the epilogue.
I love the British lingo and I swear the characters have accents when they talk in my head. Sweet and romantic with many humorous moments made this a very enjoyable read.