Percy had been living with his aunt who accepted him unconditionally, but she recently passed away. His aunt left her house to Percy and since the memories are overwhelming him, Percy thinks the best thing to do is to sell the house as fast as possible. Her house is on a cul-de-sac where all the neighbors know each other and across the street lives Cal.
Percy likes to call Cal his nemesis after their initial meeting was less than graceful for Percy. Yet, when it comes down to it, Cal sees Percy as a member of the neighborhood and, along with the rest of the neighbors, wants Percy to stay. But don’t tell Percy that as the verbal sparring the two of them have engaged in over the years is clearly their version of foreplay. Yet neither of them have realized that they are doing it.
A neighborhood game of Sherlock Gnomes has Percy more involved with the neighbors than he thought he wanted to be as he tries to figure out their secret gamer identities. And is it possible that he and Cal are becoming friends? The stars just may align for Percy to have the home and a love that he’s always craved.
This book follows Leo Love Aries in the Signs of Love series and is connected by Theo’s mother who lives on the cul-de-sac and tries to give Percy the astrological push that he needs. Percy is not in the best place. His boyfriend recently broke up with him and his aunt was the only family he was in contact with and he misses her terribly. He feels lost and alone and his aunt’s house causes him more pain than comfort.
This series seems to be fairly well received, but this book and the relationship between Percy and Cal didn’t really work that well for me. The guys have known each other for a few years and have declared themselves to be at the level of nemesis, but they’re not really and it came off to me as a little contrived and a little juvenile.
We are told of their first meeting and a few encounters over the years, but the two of them never spent much time together even though Percy is close to everyone on the street, including Cal’s mother and sisters. The focus of the story revolves around the two of them verbally sparring with each other at every opportunity, but I often felt like I was missing something from their conversations. They seemed to read each other so well and I often felt like the conversation jumped because they knew what the other was thinking and I was going back to reread conversations, but there was nothing further there.
The story also goes into this secret gnome game that the neighbors were playing. This allowed for some online chatting, but what exactly was going here wasn’t clear to me and then in the middle of this there was another zombie game added in and that one didn’t work for me either.
The relationship between the guys is a slow burn, but the book was just slow for me all the way around. It was trying to be clever and for some readers I’m sure this book hits the mark, but much of it didn’t appeal to me. The guys don’t get together until well into the book and I was not shown what they truly saw in each other as long-term partners. A good portion of their ending is off page as well and we are only told about it after and then the epilogue moves them forward.
The book features a friends to lovers scenario in a close knit community. While there is most likely an audience for it, it didn’t engage me as I would have liked.