Guest Review: Keeping House by Lee Brazil

Posted June 11, 2011 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Tracy’s review of Keeping House by Lee Brazil

Donovan Holloway, advertising executive, newly made vice president of the company where he’s worked for twenty years, grew up in a free love hippie commune, taking care of the parents who should have been taking care of him. He’s worked hard to put himself through school and achieve the American dream. All he’s ever wanted was a normal family life—house in the suburbs, two cars, two kids, a shaggy dog. A family to come home to—to care for, and to care for him.

Mischa Blake is the green eyed, liberally-pierced, black-haired, Mohawk-wearing spoiled youngest son of a Hollywood producer and his actress wife. Mischa has made a terrible mistake. In a fit of childish pique, he’s accepted a dare from his older brothers. The dare? Live on his own, supporting himself completely for a year without accessing his trust fund. No problem. Except Mischa has never worked a day in his life, hasn’t finished college, and has absolutely no skills that he can bring to the table.

So when he sees Donovan’s ad for a housekeeper/gardener, he has nothing to lose by applying, because really…how hard can it be?

Mischa three brothers want Mischa to stop being a party animal, go to college and become what they consider an upstanding citizen. To the brothers that means working in the family production studio. But that’s not really Mischa’s thing and though he loves his brothers to pieces he hates that they constantly try to run his life. During their weekly Wednesday night poker game the brothers play a game of truth or dare with Mischa (which is completely planned by the brothers and Mischa is smart enough to catch on) and he takes the dare. The dare is that Mischa find a job and support himself for a whole year without touching his trust fund (other than the money he has now). If he fails to do this then the brothers get to make him take a job of their choosing, go to college, etc. While Mischa doesn’t think this will be too difficult it turns out it’s harder than he thinks.

Mischa eventually applies for a position to be a housekeeper/gardener to a busy executive and though the man at first doesn’t even want to give him a chance (Mischa has lots of piercings and a Mohawk) he soon sees that Mischa is up for the job. But Mischa finds, as does Donovan, that there’s more than the job to be interested in – namely each other.

First off let me talk about the brothers. I could tell from the minute they were introduced that they loved Mischa and wanted what was best for him but the way they went about it truly pissed me off. They couldn’t see that Mischa was his own person and kind of a free spirit and that he never wanted to be involved in the family business. On one hand the fact that they were trying to get Mischa to be responsible and find a job was a great idea. But on the other hand the way they went about it left me cold.

When Mischa started his housekeeping duties he cracked me up – he had his laptop and he used that sucker for every little thing. Just goes to show you that you can google about anything and get the job done. His first day on the job he was using a search engine to find out how to make a pot of coffee and eventually how to do laundry. lol So Mischa was smart and got his job done because he wasn’t afraid of hard work, but while doing this Donovan, his boss, was lusting after him and by the second day falling in love with him. Maybe I’m not a big believer in love at first sight because I didn’t believe this one at all. Donovan knew absolutely nothing about Mischa at all except for his looks and that he could do the job he was paid for yet he loved him? Too easy.

While I really liked Brazil’s writing style, the story left out huge aspects of the relationship that I felt would be important to know. Also the overall timeline would have been beneficial – how long had Mischa been looking for a job before he landed on Donovan’s doorstep? When I got to the epilogue there was a major announcement but I didn’t have any idea how long it had been from the love declarations/last chapter to that moment. Yes, this was a short novella but I think that just a few more pages would have benefitted the story a great deal.

Overall a good, sweet m/m story.

Rating: 3 out of 5

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place

This book is available from Breathless Press. You can buy it here e-format.

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One response to “Guest Review: Keeping House by Lee Brazil

  1. I was interested in your comments about Mischa . . . I often wonder why authors develop a character that has some virve and can be comfortable in his own skin, a sense of personal power and is in the position he was because he chose to be there, and then the other characters have such a response to him as a person that is somehow “out of sync” as it was in this book. Don’t really know what an author is attempting to do. I think your comments about important aspects of the story being missing also comments on the fact that the author, even in a novella, has to be careful to keep the flow of the story helpful for the reader. Good review.

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