Ellora’s Cave Publishing, 2008
Genre & Keywords: Gay, M/M , Interracial, Interfering mother-in-law
Heat level: ¹¹
I love the M/M stories of Shayla Kersten a lot. The past couple of months I’ve read and reviewed A Helping Hand, Hidden Force, Thirty Days and Forever. She also wrote a vampire series of which I’m gonna try the first book, The Cost of Eternity soon. Double Happiness is a stand-alone novella about two men, Chen and David, who are about to get married. But Chen’s mother is showing up with malice in mind. She’s not approving of David at all, because she wants a daughter-in-law. She tries to drive a wedge between the two lovers.
Double Happiness is a lovely quick read. It’s funny and sweet with a few sexy love scenes. The characters are well portrayed, as always in Shayla Kersten’s stories. David is a great guy whom it’s easy to empathize with. Both guys are hot and likeable, although Chen’s at first a bit of a mollycoddle or at least too credulous when it comes to his mother’s good intentions. David is kinda adorable and funny in his behavior around and thoughts about Chen’s mother, because he’s biting his tongue more than once. While his thoughts, mostly in italic, show exactly his bad boyish sarcasm and rebelliousness.
The following excerpt shows a little bit of that. Read the complete excerpt on Ellora’s Cave website.
A quick glance warned him Tai wasn’t playing fair. David couldn’t stand to see Tai unhappy and the younger man knew it only too well.
Retreating around the table, David kept his back to his lover. Their dinner cooling on the counter was a safer place for his gaze. “You have to tell her no.” The Ice Queen hated him. She’d be nothing but trouble
“How can I tell her she can’t come to the wedding of her only child?”
The small affair four days from now was a celebration of their domestic partnership papers. Living in New York, it was all they could do…for now.
Slamming his palms on the counter, David growled, “Does she know it’s not really a wedding?” A sharp gasp forced him to turn around.
Tai’s almond-shaped eyes narrowed into a glare. “It is to me. And it was to you before you knew Ma was coming.”
Uh-oh… Extract foot… “It still is. You know what I mean.” David grabbed the bag of food then set it on the table.
Tai’s frown softened. “Her being here is a big concession. You know how she feels about me being gay.”
“Yeah…all my fault… You know she’ll cause problems. She’d love nothing better than to see us split up. I just don’t want her coming between us.”
Tai opened the bag then pulled out an aluminum container. “I don’t think that’s why she wants to be here.”
David snorted. The woman wouldn’t piss on him if he were on fire. “She never once spoke to me in San Francisco. I didn’t know the meaning of ‘look through’ someone until I met her.”
Tai slammed another container on the table. “Give her a break. It was my father’s funeral.”
“I know, babe.” David circled the table then pulled Tai into a tight hug. The funeral a year ago had been hard on his lover. “I’m sorry. But three days—we were there three days. She couldn’t speak to me even once?”
Tai’s hands clutched David’s back. “It was a tough time for her. But now you’re going to be her son-in-law.” Pulling his head back, Tai glanced up at David. “Maybe she wants to make amends.”
“Maybe…but I’ll believe it when I see it.” When pigs fly… “When does she arrive?”
“Tomorrow evening. I’ll see if I can get off work early so I can pick her up.”
David sent a silent plea to any and all gods. He didn’t want to have to greet the Ice Queen alone.
And this is only the beginning of a well-paced story that made me chuckle on several occasions. I must admit that I thought the idea of an interfering mother-in-law in a gay relationship refreshing. At least I haven’t read about such a situation (but then again, I’m fairly new to the romance genre *grin*). Besides the fun, this story provided some hotness and some struggle (must-have-ingredients in a romance for me). Although the bad situation was solved a little bit too easy, it was plotted well.
So, if you’re looking for a fun, quick M/M read, you can definitely give Double Happiness a try!
The Back Blurb:
Chen Jin Tai faces the worst possible news only days from his commitment ceremony with his lover—Tai’s estranged mother is coming to the wedding. Unable to accept her son’s sexuality—she’s determined to have a daughter-in-law—Chen Qi Xiang’s visit is unexpected. Tai wants to believe she’s looking for reconciliation but he knows his lover’s attitude will be anything but optimistic.
David Anderson never thought about settling down until he literally bumped into Tai on the street. Before Tai, sex was for fun and love wasn’t an option. Now two years later, he can’t imagine life without his partner. Tai’s Ice Queen mother showing up with malice in mind could be the beginning of the end of the best thing in his life.
Two beautiful men, one tiny Chinese soon-to-be mother-in-law, a live cricket as a present and a red wedding dress. It’s about to be an interesting next few days and the men are going to learn a whole new level of sexual excitement.