Book Fair by Michael Murphy

BookFairLGTitle: Book Fair

Author: Michael Murphy

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (200pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (13th February 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥4 ½ – 5Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Jacob’s time working a booth for a gay lit publisher at a huge New York City book convention isn’t turning out like he hoped. One of the publisher’s boxes goes missing, and when he finds it, the box is wrapped up in union red tape. Then he gets into a nasty debate with Toni, a hunk Jacob would rather stare at than argue with.

Maybe his first day at the book fair couldn’t get worse, but it certainly gets weirder when, after an hour-long snarling match, Toni offers Jacob a ride to his hotel. Jacob accepts, but his day does not improve—the ride is nothing but awkward silence.

Over the rest of the week, Jacob’s life disintegrates, and Toni’s repeated offers to drive him to his hotel become bright spots. Silence turns to civility turns to friendship, and though Jacob hopes for more, work keeps the two of them from spending much time together. Finally Jacob is free of obligations—but suddenly he can’t find Toni anywhere, and Jacob’s time in New York is coming to a close.

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Review: Jacob is working the booth for a gay lit publisher at a book convention. Just when he thinks his day is about to end, a missing box and union rules tie him up in knots, and the person in charge of delivering the stock might be a hunk, but he is also a pain in the butt. Toni has had a bad day, but to make up for the mix-up in delivery he offers Jacob a lift, and the two begin an interesting friendship.

This is one of the easiest, funniest and sweetest stories I have ever read. I didn’t want it to end. Jacob works for a very small publishing firm, so small in fact there are only him and his boss. Working a convention is something he enjoys, but things start to fall apart when he tries to find a missing box, his boss starts to act strange and he has to walk back to his hotel. When he meets Toni it wasn’t the best first impression for either of them, but the offer of a ride begins a friendship that develops into more.  Misunderstandings and wrong impressions nearly pull them apart and it takes an interfering mother to bring the East and West together.

Before I say anything else about this book, I have to rave about Toni’s mother. She is wonderful, brilliant and the sort of mother that you secretly wish was yours, even as you dread what might next come out of her mouth.  A spectacular character who you will adore. Toni and Jacob make a great couple and they play off each other brilliantly, although they do fall in love quickly it feels right. The storyline is great with some angst threaded through the mix and some bravery on Jacob’s part that impresses; it has some doubts for both Toni and Jacob, but it also has unconditional family support. All the characters are well developed and I swear you could imagine yourself in the restaurant as Toni, his mother and Jacob interacted.

This story I recommend to those who want an easy, enjoyable funny book that is threaded through with laughter, love and joy, but want just a touch of angst.

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