Five Star Review by Sebastian Sharpe

Five Star Review is a standalone with a workaholic who's happy with the life he has. Then he meets Phillip and there's an instant connection, and life might not turn out how Jeremy thought after all.

From the blurb:

In the bustling city of Liverpool, Jeremy Rhodes thrives as an ambitious investor, determined to break free from the confines of his small-town upbringing. But when a prestigious corporate retreat brings him to the tranquil shores of Lake Windermere, Jeremy's carefully crafted plans are about to be challenged.

Jeremy Rhodes never quite fit into the mould his small town of Kirkby had cast for him. With a sharp mind for numbers and a drive to escape the confines of his upbringing, he carved a path through the financial district of Liverpool, rising as a standout investments handler and stock trader. But as his success soared, so did the weight of his secrets.

When an opportunity for corporate recognition leads him to a prestigious retreat in the tranquil lake district, Jeremy finds himself facing unexpected twists of fate. Amidst the opulence of Coleridge Manor, where the air is thick with promises and second chances, he grapples with desires that have long since been kept buried.

Yet, it was a chance encounter at Pierre’s, a local French bistro, that ignited a spark Jeremy never anticipated. With Liquid courage and a daring impulse, he finds himself entangled with Phillip, a charismatic waiter whose allure proves impossible to resist. But as passion collides with reality, Jeremy is forced to confront the consequences of his actions and the depths of his own desires.

As a waiter at Pierre’s, Phillip’s days usually follow a predictable rhythm, serving up dishes and smiles of the patrons of Liverpool. But when Jeremy Rhodes strolls into the café, Phillip’s world is thrown off its axis. There’s something magnetic about the way Jeremy carries himself, something that draws Phillip in with an irresistible force.

Their encounter is a whirlwind of unexpected passion and stolen moments, leaving Phillip dizzy with desire and craving more. Yet, beneath the heat of their attraction lay a complicated web of emotions, as Jeremy grapples with the weight of his choices and secrets he guards closely.

When fate reunites them at Coleridge Manor, Phillip finds himself navigating the delicate balance between heartache and hope. Caught in the crossfire of Jeremy’s inner turmoil, Phillip must decide whether to fight for the pull of their connection or give him up once and for all.

In a story woven with longing and laughter, Jeremy and Phillip must confront the regret of the past, the desire of the present and the fear of a future neither of them saw coming.

Set against the enchanting backdrop of the holiday season, "Five Star Review" is a captivating tale of second chances, small-town charm, and the transformative power of love. Join Jeremy and Phillip on a journey of self-discovery and romance as they navigate the highs and lows of finding love in unexpected places.

Rogue's review:

- Instant connection
- Forced proximity
- Age Gap
- Boss's Son
- Low angst

Jeremy is a workaholic who has dedicated his life to his job, with room for little else there, let alone a partner. He's immensely successful though, and is happy with his life until he meets Phillip at a local restaurant during a drunken lunch and there's an instant connection there. Cue all sorts of shenanigans with a drunken filthy review left on the restaurant website by Jeremy's best friend, a work retreat with some of the most bonkers people, a snowed in work trip that turns into a Christmas retreat, and finally Jeremy realising his life isn't quite what he wants after all, and finding what he's missing.

For the most part I liked both Jeremy and Phillip, but I totally understood Phillip getting frustrated with Jeremy as he blew hot and cold, then hot and cold again, and again. It got a little wearing, but did allow for the best conversation between Jeremy and Phillip's mum, which I loved.

“Love has a way of finding its way back to us, even in the darkest of times.”

There were a few things that threw me out of the story, nothing too major that spoiled my enjoyment of it too much though. I loved the descriptions of Jeremy's boss' house though, it was beautifully done and I felt like I really could see the place.

Overall this was funny, bawdy in places, yet low angst and ultimately sweet. I enjoyed this very much.

Five Star Review is currently available as an e-book and can be read as part of your Kindle Unlimited Subscription