If you have been reading the Tales of Bryant series by V.L. Locey, then you will remember that the last novella left us on the cusp of the wedding between Isamu, the young film student, and Brian, the fabulously wealthy, but emotionally aloof, corporate giant who loves him. In this latest release, Nine Small Sips, wedding week has arrived. From trying to keep their flamboyant and emotional wedding planner, Adrian, from imploding over the latest changes they need to make to their ceremony, and the sudden arrival of the only other man Brian has ever admitted to loving, Isamu is practically ready to get full on hysterical and call things off before they even begin. Each day seems to bring yet another road block or unwanted surprise into their lives and it will take all of Brian’s patience to keep Isamu calm enough to finally walk down the aisle.
I make no bones about the fact that I really adore this little series. Both novellas give this delightful glimpse into Brian and Isamu’s growing relationship and allow us to see behind the carefully constructed wall Brian has built around his feelings and his past. It is amazing to me how author V.L. Locey can pack so much emotion and story into short novellas, but each time this author delivers big on fascinating characters, moments of hot intimacy, and revealing backstory on Brian, in particular. Isamu is so incredibly sweet and pretty much an open book emotionally so, for me, it’s Brian about whom I crave to learn more and this installment doesn’t fail to deliver. I won’t go as far as to call this story arc a modern day Cinderfella, but in some ways it comes very close. No one is more deserving of a happy ever after than Isamu and the fact that the elusive and seemingly cold-hearted business magnate Brian is the one to give it to him is just glorious.
With the lovely addition of Isamu’s parents and grandmother, along with the hysterical wedding planner, Adrian, this novella flies off the page with some fabulous humor and pacing. However, it’s definitely the quiet moments with Brian that make this little book so worth the read. Theirs is a beautiful romance and a forever kind of love despite their age and economic differences. Brian is so supportive of Isamu and, for his part, Isamu sees the Brian he never lets the world view.
Nine Small Steps is a fitting and delightful end to this series. I highly recommend this novella to you. Remember these are not in any way stand alones so begin with the first, Tales of Bryant, before enjoying this one.