Posts Tagged ‘john inman’

Reviewed by Carissa

Serenading Stanley by John Inman eBookTITLE: Serenading Stanley
AUTHOR: John Inman
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 234 pages
BLURB: Welcome to the Belladonna Arms, a rundown little apartment building perched atop a hill in downtown San Diego, home to the city’s lost and lovelorn. Shy archaeology student Stanley Sternbaum has just moved in and fills his time quietly observing his eccentric neighbors, avoiding his hellion mother, and trying his best to go unnoticed… which proves to be a problem when it comes to fellow tenant Roger Jane. Smitten, the hunky nurse with beautiful green eyes does everything in his power to woo Stanley, but Stanley has always lived a quiet life, too withdrawn from the world to take a chance on love. Especially with someone as beautiful as Roger Jane.

While Roger tries to batter down Stanley’s defenses, Stanley turns to his new neighbors to learn about love: Ramon, who’s not afraid to give his heart to the wrong man; Sylvia, the trans who just wants to be a woman, and the secret admirer who loves her just the way she is; Arthur, the aging drag queen who loves them all, expecting nothing in return—and Roger, who has been hurt once before but is still willing to risk his heart on Stanley, if Stanley will only look past his own insecurities and let him in.


“Stuck in the dead grass by the front steps leading up to the entrance of the apartment building was another sign.  This one was handwritten on a slab of cardboard and stapled to the wooden stake pounded into the ground.  The lettering on this sign was rendered in pink Magic Marker.  It read ‘VACANCY.’  And under that, this time scrawled in magenta Magic Marker and sprinkled liberally with glitter, were the words ‘TO APPLY PLEASE BE CUTE.’”

Stanley knows two things for certain: he would do almost anything to avoid moving back in with his mother, and he is abominable at interacting with anyone not long, long dead.  Also, he might just be a little in love with Roger Jane.  OK, that’s three things, but to be fair, he really didn’t want to be in love with Roger.  Not really.  Even if only the thought of those godlike lips made him tremble.  And alright, he also knows that Arthur needs some serious make-up tips–and that he most definitely shouldn’t get them from Ramon.  And that Sylvia is one hell of a woman–despite having more parts than she ever desired.  He also knows that living on floor six of the Belladonna Oven, er, Arms, was likely kill him–or at least Arthur–eventually.  So, it turns out Stanley actually knows quite a bit.

He certainly knows enough to know that Roger will never look at him twice.  What with Roger being a god, in all his beautiful nursing glory, and poor ol’ Stanley entirely mortal, and entirely aware of it.  Except Roger did look–a lot more than twice–and now Stanley doesn’t know what to think.

I am a big fan of John Inman, so I may’ve been counting down the days till I could get my hands on Serenading Stanley.  And I may also have spent four hours curled up on my bed giggling like a stoner with a pet watermelon to play with (um…just read the book, you’ll totally understand) when I finally got it.  There may also have been kissing involved (hey! I’m not that kind of girl…it was a quick, discreet peck on the screen) when Stanley manned up and got all declare-y.  This may have all happened…but the brownies seemed to have clouded my memories a bit…so I’ll guess we’ll never know for sure.

What I do know is that once again Inman gave us a book chalked full with pithy humor and a whole host of characters to fall in love with.  This book is no two-man show.  Yes, we are given god-like Roger, who will use every tool in his arsenal to woo the recalcitrant Stanley.  And poor, earthly Stanley, who’ll use every trick in his, to avoid a broken heart.  But it is the cross-dressing building manager, the lovely Sylvia–who would do anything to make her body fit her soul–and even the kleptomaniac, the beautician, and the masseur, that make the story whole.  Without them Stanley would never have his Roger, and without them we would never have such a fun and truly heartwarming tale of friendship, love, and beauty disasters.

If you are looking for an angst-filled book, than I’d advise you to look elsewhere.  Yes, we have Stanley issues, what with the whole insecurity thing, but it is nothing to bog the story down.  This is a fun, light read, that will have you awwing and giggling away long into the night.  Roger’s insistence, and Stanley’s reluctance, play nicely off each other.  And boy, when Roger wants to make a point, he does it beautifully–and with tongue.  He will also not let his Little Mouse scurry away simply because he fears the big What If.  Plus, when a man comes bearing a watermelon–and something a lot more fun–how can you turn him away?  I loved these two together, and I loved watching Roger serenade his way into Stanley’s heart (in a totally non-musical way–because apparently that would be disastrous).

Between the entrancing tenants of the Belladonna Arms, and the hard-won love affair of Stanley and Roger, I was completely won over by this book.  And Sylvia nearly broke my poor heart.  That girl deserves everything that she got–and so much more.  To be trapped inside a body that never matches you, is a terrible thing.  To have yourself denied because of money, even worse.  I loved that Inman was able to bring Sylvia–and all the rest of the tenants–to life is such a wonderful, and highly amusing, way.  I would have liked a little more tension, near the end, but I think I’ll take the sight of Pete on his knees, any day.

Don’t know what else to say, but that I loved it and I’m glad I trusted Inman with my oh-so-fragile bookish heart.  I totally and completely recommend you read this book when you’ve hit angst overload and need to remember how to smile.  Or if you want to find out just how sweet a twizzler can be.

Carissa rates it – star_review

BUY LINKS: Dreamspinner Press

Carissa is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: CARISSA’S REVIEWS

Review by Heather C.

TITLE: Hobbled
AUTHOR: John Inman
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
BLURB: Thanks to fate and his own lack of good sense, eighteen-year-old Danny Shay is headed into what looks to be the worst summer of his life. It starts with a minor meltdown at work that leaves Danny under house arrest with a cast on one leg and an ankle monitor on the other, courtesy of the San Diego Police Department. On top of that, he’s battling a chronic case of virginity, with no relief in sight.

Oh, and there’s one more little glitch. A serial killer is stalking the city, murdering young men. And when strange sounds are heard in the house behind Danny’s, the neighborhood kids think they’ve found the killer. But not until Danny learns he’s next on the madman’s list do things really begin to get desperate.

Damn! And Danny had plans to come out this summer—maybe even get laid! He doesn’t have time for ankle monitors and serial killers!

Then ginger-haired Luke Jamison moves in next door. Not only does Luke solve a few of Danny’s more urgent problems, he also manages to create a couple more that Danny never saw coming. Gee. If he can survive it, this summer might not be so bad after all.


Charming. If I was only allowed to use one word to describe this story, I would use charming.

Eighteen-year old Danny Shay is trapped; confined by house arrest and a bulky leg cast for six weeks after he went into a rage at work when he figured out his boss had been ripping off his paycheck.  This has severely put a kink in his summer plans of losing his virginity!  When his single father has to go away for three weeks, horny and bored, Danny fills his time with eating, masturbating, and hobbling around the house. Oh, and spying on the neighborhood, of course.  That is until a hot, little ginger moves into the vacant house right next door! Danny will do anything to get Luke’s attention, and it doesn’t take long. Luke and Granger, the dog, have arrived with all their belongings; with Luke’s dad planning to arrive in a few weeks. Soon the boys are inseparable and spending every waking…and sleeping…moment attached to each other.  Literally.  But what the boys don’t know is that there’s something dangerous lurking in the neighborhood, snatching up cute, young men, torturing and killing them.

First, let me tell y’all some more about Danny and Luke.  There’s instant attraction between them…I would even go so far as to call it insta-love.  Ick!  Y’all know how much insta-love annoys me!  But I was ok with it here because it was young-teenage-insta-love which is 100% realistic.  And sweet.  And innocent.  And pure.  Yeah, Danny and Luke were totally likable and adorable.  And HORNY!!  OMG were they horny!  To be honest, the sex was a bit repetitive with 69 and rimming and 69 and rimming and 69…  See where I’m going?  But they were still very smexy.

Second, I loved all the secondary characters.  Frederick (Danny’s slutty, literature eating cat), Granger (Luke’s goofy dog who loved to torture Fred and was a totally worthless attack dog), and even DeVon and Bradley (the two foul-mouthed, vigilante pre-teens who were out to catch the bad guy). There were a few others, but those were my faves.

Third, I found this to be very humorous and lots of fun.  Even though the plot was a little silly, over the top and totally predictable, I had a lot of fun reading this.  Don’t come into it expecting something serious and realistic, because it’s not.  The characters were a little too-stupid-to-live at times, but, hey, I just rolled my eyes a little, smiled to myself and kept on reading.

Last, I will say that my biggest annoyance with this book was the head-hopping.  It was told in third person mostly from Danny’s POV.  But occasionally, the narrator would slip in a few lines or a scene from Luke’s.  Towards the end, it got even more messier with views from secondary characters, like Bradley, and even a brief bit from Granger the dog.  I felt that part of the writing could have been a lot cleaner, but it honestly didn’t take away much from my overall enjoyment of the story.

Keep this story in mind when you’re looking for a fun, easy read with two horny teenagers!

Heather’s Rating: 535px-3-5_stars-svg

PRE-ORDER LINK: Dreamspinner Press  ||  Book Store

Heather C. is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love

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