Book: Between A Rock and A Hard Place
Series: London Lads #5
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs/ Tibbs Design
Publication Date: August 30, 2017
Length: 61 pages
Reviewed by Michael
Garry’s at the end of his tether. He’s waiting at Glasgow Airport to meet his friend Will, on their way to a holiday in a Scottish Highlands hotel. Now there’s a ten-hour delay to incoming flights, the seat in the lounge is more like an instrument of torture, and he’s beyond tired of airport food.
He’s also dreading having to apologise for the pass he recently made at Will, his colleague at a London bank, under the influence of too many beers and a long-held crush. Now Will’s been offered a new job offer on a continent thousands of miles away, Garry realises it may be the end of their close friendship—let alone anything more.
To add to Garry’s stress, he’s treated to the company of Emily and Max, two young people who think he needs educating in the ways of the world. Struggling with their well-meaning help and the startling mess from spilled ketchup and noxious-smelling sweets, he’s encouraged to re-examine how he feels about Will and to decide what kind of journey he’d really like them to take together.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been stuck in an airport because of a delayed flight. You know how stressful and boring that can be. Your patience is already frazzled because you really hate being trapped there. Add in the stress of being there to meet up with your best friend, Will, who you’re also secretly in love with. Add to that that the two of you are meeting up with other friends for a vacation. On top of that, this may be the last vacation you two ever get to take together because your bestie/paramour may very well be moving to a different country for a new job. Add to that the fact that just before your bestie left for the interview for said job, you got drunk and kissed him. Now throw in two messy kids that seem gung-ho on keeping you company, even though you have absolutely no idea who these kids are or why their parents aren’t keeping a better eye on them. You’d be kind of grumpy too, right?
That’s where we find Garry. And you’ve got to feel kind of sorry for him. He has a lot going on, all at one time, and the last thing he needs it babysit two little kids that he doesn’t even know. But through the forced entrapment, through the messy candy and French fries with ketchup, the kids help him untangle the mess that his life has become. Who would have thought that kids had the ability to help with very adult issues. But sometimes kids see things in far simpler terms than adults, and sometimes the simplest solutions are the best ones.
As I was reading this, I had one question that kept running through my head: Where are the parents? No parent in their right mind would allow their children to spend as much time with a stranger as these two spend with Garry. I’ll admit, I found the question distracting…until the end when everything, and I mean everything made sense because of a fun little twist. And it was that twist that made the whole story worthwhile.
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