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'Pansies' by Alexis Hall



Pansies by Alexis Hall.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Why bother with a predictable or exotic location for your queer romance when South Shields in the NE of England works perfectly well? I love the way Alexis Hall sees beyond the surface drabness of a run-down coastal town to find so many points of character, fascination, and natural beauty. And surely it's important some queer tales take place in forgotten geographic corners. Not everyone lives in London, Manchester, or Brighton.

This story showcases Hall's ability to write humour, pathos, sexiness, and descriptive flights of fancy. Both lead characters are believable, ranging far beyond those who populate many queer romances. And they're both lovable, in their very different ways. Fen works in a florist's shop. Alfie has moved away from his roots to work a high-powered job in the City. They meet by accident when Alfie returns for a friend's wedding. Fen's confidence in who he is baffles Alfie. Alfie's acquired metropolitan disdain for this bleakly beautiful part of world irritates Fen. Their journey is long but also engaging on many levels. One to re-read.

The narrator does an excellent job, Geordie accents and all.

Edited by northie


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