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REVIEW: Playing Chicken – A.L. Lester

Playing Chicken - A.L. Lester

Genre: Romance, Holiday

LGBTQ+ Category: MM Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Marc returns home from London to his isolated Welsh cottage for good, having found his ex boyfriend shagging someone else in their bed. Who’s the thin, freezing cold man with the bruised face he finds in his barn? Will the tenuous connection between them grow, or fade away?

A 9,000 word short story to mark the Welsh St Valentine’s Day, St Dwynwen’s Day, the 25th of January. With chickens. A meet-cute contemporary gay romance.

The Review

Marc leaves the big city life of London behind and returns to his Aunt Pen’s cottage at the edge of the valley. Marc is a nurse, and was in a relationship that had failed. So he packed his bags and came home to a place of comfort that he knew as a child.

He discovers Mal and Anghared living in his barn.  Marc’s nursing experience kicks in when he sees that Mal has been hurt.  

Dai Williams, a friend of Marc’s, has kept his eye on the cottage and comes to check on him.  Dai fills Marc in on Mal’s situation.

Mal too, had found himself in a bad relationship and took to the forest and lived in the ruins of St. Dwynwen’s.  

With the snow storm coming, Marc knows Mal can’t go into the forest and stay in the tent.  Marc opens his heart and home to Mal and Anghared with a warm and comfortable place to stay.

I liked both Marc and Mal, and Dai was good as a friend to both men.  There are so some wonderful secondary characters in Anghared and lots of crazy chickens!

AL Lester gives the background of the myth in “About St. Dwynwen,” and takes some liberties too, builds “Playing Chicken” around this very interesting tale.

This is a cute, sweet, funny and entertaining short story, the kind which only AL Lester knows how to deliver.

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.