Kier Moreau lives alone in an extremely well kept condo community. The association’s president has assigned him to welcome his new neighbor…because Kier is gay and his new neighbor is as well. Thanks to a giant misunderstanding, Kier decides he wants to stay away from the man and focus on an issue with one of his students. The young boy’s parents are going to be sending him to “conversion therapy.”
Riley Quinn is a former photojournalist who’s been from Afghanistan to Qatar and everywhere in between. Something went wrong along the way and he lost a friend and became disabled. Now, he’s miserable. When Riley mistakes Kier for the owner of the moving company and realizes what he had done, he’s embarrassed and determined to make it right. Unfortunately, he miscalculates and Kier freaks out.
Kier decides to do something a little rash in order to save his student and it goes horribly wrong. Using Riley’s technicolor door as a beacon, the student makes his way to the condo community where Riley takes him in and becomes determined to help.
This story was great! When I read the blurb, I was intrigued. It seemed like a lot of story for a novella of less than 100 pages. I wanted to see what the author could do with it and I’m so glad I chose this one.
Even though it is a rather short book, there is excellent character development. Both Kier and Riley were well fleshed out and I was able to learn more about them than I expected. Keir is a loner, but he’s got a soft heart when it comes to his students, and he’s willing to risk his job for one of them. Even though Riley is lost and feeling useless now, he’s been involved in exposing corrupt governments far from home. Both men are just good people.
What was unique about The Chartreuse Door was the amount of time Kier and Riley don’t spend together. Thanks to some bizarre circumstances, they keep missing each other, and I don’t want to give anything away, but something happens at Riley’s place that sends Kier fleeing. They only begin staying in the same room together well into the story. However, I was actually surprised that this is not a bad thing. Also, there is no sex. This is also fine. You have to remember these men virtually just met, and even though it’s obvious there will be a relationship between Kier and Riley, they’re only taking their first baby steps.
The subplot of the student being sent to “conversion therapy” is sad and timely. Kier is able to relate to the boy and the situation. I loved how he, Riley, and a good friend of Riley’s were able to put together an event to bring people around.
The ending wrapped up nicely, and as I said, it was obvious Kier and Riley would be getting a HEA along the line. Honestly, I’d love a sequel. There are a lot of things the men could get involved with that could be interesting and romantic. Looking through Lisa Gray’s backlist, I see I’ve actually read two of her other books and enjoyed them. I highly recommend you grab The Chartreuse Door. It was a great way to spend an hour, and it left me feeling really good.