Rating: 4.25 stars
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Sebastian Seaford is a famous lecturer. His favorite topic? Love. Finding it. Keeping it. Letting it make life worth living. His fans adore him, and he them. Sebastian also adores Alex Reynolds, his 23-year-old boyfriend. Sebastian is 55 years old and a widower, having lost his husband, David, to cancer nine months ago.
Alex makes his living house/pet sitting. It’s a good job and keeps a roof over his head. He doesn’t want to rely on Sebastian and his money to get by. Alex wasn’t always a sitter, though. He’d once been an escort until he got caught up in a scandal that brought down the mayor of Harmony Haven.
Now, Sebastian and Alex are very happy together, until some unfortunate events begin getting in the way of their blissful future. Soon, the residents of Harmony Haven are caught up in a mystery with more twists than a tornado. What’s going to happen with the truth finally begins coming to light?
Let me begin here by saying The Homos of Harmony Haven isn’t your traditional book. It was originally written as a daily serial beginning January 1, 2019. The first 25 episodes are available for free on the website, and after that time, the remainder of the first season is available for a “nominal fee.” You can contact the author through the web form to purchase the remaining story, so check out www.thehomosofharmonyhaven.com for more details.
Now, onto the review. I really found myself enjoying this one. I had to get past the sheer number of important characters (there are no less than eleven that I can think of offhand). I was afraid I’d be overwhelmed, but the further I read, the more comfortable I became. Yes, there are a lot of characters, but they are all necessary to the fabric of the story. We have Sebastian and Alex. Then, there is Seb’s old friend, Michael, who is the company’s PR executive. After that, there is Victoria, Seb’s ex-wife, and their two adult children, William and Savannah. Kevin is Alex’s best friend. Brent is Seb’s personal assistant. Carol and her father Terrance are from southern money, and finally, there’s Helen, William’s partner at work and Savannah’s ex-girlfriend. Everyone has their own strong personality and fulfills their roles perfectly, and the amount of intrigue they all create is fascinating. After I got over my initial skepticism, I was completely compelled by all of them. I read all this story from beginning to end with no stops. I believe I was awake for 20 hours straight because I didn’t want to put it down.
I think the author’s choice of writing this as a serial is interesting. I’ve never read a story in this vein and didn’t realize the structure before I read the book. When I think about it now, I did notice something odd about the beginning of each chapter. It was almost like it would give a little summary about what had gone on in the previous one. However, this didn’t get in the way of the storytelling. I was able to relax into this method of writing quickly, within four or five chapters or so.
There is a lot going on here. I can’t even begin how to tell you everything that happens without giving it all away, and this review would be as long as, or longer, than the story. I will tell you that the initial mystery turns into a tremendous amount of intrigue. It kept me guessing through the whole thing. I knew there was a bad guy, and I was pretty sure who that bad guy was, but what kept me reading was the why. Here’s where it gets a little complicated. I finally did find out who, but I didn’t quite get treated to that very important why. All the while, subplots are being weaved around the main one. Savannah has some personal issues, and those issues will probably affect William and Helen eventually. Victoria’s bitterness overtakes her family’s needs. Kevin loves his friend, and wants to be there for him, but he’s not necessarily around. Carol has some secrets of her own, and Michael seems to have his fingers in a dozen pies. This is all very impressive and the author is to be commended.
Now, let’s talk quickly about the ending. I’m actually not even going to call it an ending. It’s a cliffhanger. Remember “Who shot JR?” Yeah. That’s kind of what we have going on. I believe the words, “WHAT THE HELL??” were uttered. And yet…after I sat back for a moment or two, I thought about how awesome it was…how something could grab my attention and hold it for the entire night, and never let go of me until I read, “The Homos of Harmony Haven will return in Book 2 of the series”. I am going to highly recommend this one. It’s entertaining. It’s fascinating, and it is awesome!