When I found out from a newsletter about the ongoing (at the time) Your Book Boyfriend’s Boyfriend giveaway on Prolific works, I instantly skimmed through the list and found Lily Morton’s book. This may be a novella, but the amount of time I’ve spent reading and re-reading this was comparable to that of a full-length novel. I couldn’t help it, though, I just kept on swooning over and over.

Blurb from the book:

Frankie Bishop had only been married for a few months when he became a widower, leaving him with a mountain of debts, a business on the edge of ruin, and a parrot called Hank Marvin.

Three years later, the business is finally thriving, and Frankie finds himself ready to look for love again. It comes as a complete surprise to discover that the’s developed feelings for Con – his late husband’s best friend and now Frankie’s business partner.

Why did he overlook the gorgeous man who’s been by his side through everything? Even more importantly, how can he tell Con about his feelings when Con seems to have suddenly found love with another man?

What I liked/enjoyed: 


Let’s start with the writing because it’s just *chef’s kiss.* Lily Morton always always delivers especially with the snark. I think that’s what even got me hooked on their books. But, how the setting was described made me fall in love with The Player. It felt like being transported to Cotswold — and I had no idea that beautiful place even existed in real life!

A summer breeze wakes me. It drifts through my window, rattling the wooden hurricane shutters and bringing with it the soft, sweet smell of the wisteria growing up the wall outside and the sound of Olympic-level gossiping.

(Location 50)

I love how it describes that feeling of waking up after a good night’s sleep and then be brought to an abrupt end with a comical description of the neighborhood.

I manoeuvre down the high street, dodging the inevitable tourists, some of whom move slower than Britain’s economic growth. 

(Location 393)

The sun is low, bathing everything with its golden glow. The village looks beautiful with the windows and paintwork of the cottages gleaming and flowers spilling in colourful abundance over the baskets.

(Location 394)

I wish I could visit the place! It sounded so dreamy.


Slow-burn romance never fails to get to me. But it’s also the daily life of Frankie that eased me into the story. I loved reading about how he restarted his life one step at a time.

I wash the come away, feeling dizzy and almost as if I’ve woken up from hibernation myself.

(Location 68)

Okay, this one was kind of crude, but I liked how it described Frankie’s slow awakening. It reminded me of the feeling of waking up one day, realizing that your wounds have been healed, and life looked a little better than yesterday.

I realise with a sense of shock that the anger, grief, and then melancholy feelings that have been my companions for three years have gone.

(Location 84)

“You’re wearing red shoes,” she finally says.

(Location 155)

It’s the small changes in Frankie’s routine that got to me. Seeing how he picked up his life made me want to support him.


Oh my god, the pining. This gets even better (or bittersweet??) on a re-read. The cockblocking and the meddling had me in tears, though.

So he’s been gone for a month, and I’ve missed him more than I can say.

(Location 206)


Ah, Frankie the ever-oblivious hero. 

I feel my heart pick up speed, galloping away in my chest. The silly organ has been malfunctioning around Con lately. It picks up speed, and my palms get sweaty whenever he stands close, and I’m endeavouring to ignore the implications of that.

(Location 217)

I say brightly, happiness running through me at the thought of more time with Con.

(Location 542)

Meanwhile, Con was swoon-worthy. This was not a dual POV book, and at first, I wished it was because I wanted to know Con’s thoughts. On my second read, I realized he didn’t have to. Why would he, when his actions spoke volumes than his words.

There’s just something very warm and steady about Con— a sense that he’s someone who will take care of you.

(Location 265)

I try to sidle past him in the hope of dashing upstairs and changing my shirt, but he puts out a foot and stops my progress. I glare at him, but he just gives me a lazy smile.

(Location 450)

*Context: Frankie was wearing a shirt he stole from Con’s wardrobe.

He shakes his head. “I just wish she’d make a fucking effort to get to know you. She’d love you so much if she did.”

(Location 488) *Conrad to Frankie*

“Stupid sod. I still can’t believe he was such a twat. He had you at home. Why the fuck would he look elsewhere? Why would anyone look elsewhere?”

(Location 581) 

“No, really. He had you, and all he did was fuck you and then leave you here alone while he jetted off being the big I am. I could never understand that.”

(Location 1064)

*Con on Frankie’s previous marital problems*

“I’d take your side over and over again, Frankie. Every single time.”

(Location 583)

And I died.

Banter between the characters

I wink at her. “Joan, I’m quite shocked. You’re obviously far more risqué than I ever imagined. Doesn’t a glimpse of ankles incite lust and depravity? I hope so. That was my main reason for wearing them.”

(Location 164)

I love their banter! I loved most of Con and Frankie’s dialog, but I like how witty Joan and Frankie’s were. 

Minor annoyances

The Boyfriend (??)

It wouldn’t be a Lily Morton story without the boyfriend, ex-boyfriend, are-they-boyfriends kind of character. Tim was a plot device used to make Frankie realize his feelings. But, you know, I’m getting tired of this device.

The cockblocking

Okay, this one was a love-hate. It was alright at first. Funny, even. But the more it happened, the more it delayed The Talk. Everyone wanted them to be together, but how could they do that when whenever the two tried to have a proper conversation, one of the neighbors would come out and disrupt the moment? On the other hand, I also loved it. That made The Talk near the end so worth it, too.


“And I loved him, but it wasn’t a forever thing. I’ll always remember him as a wild part of my life. A man of a moment in my life rather than the whole thing. But he brought me here, and this is home.”

(Location 601) 

He reaches over and kisses me, and my predominant emotion is surprise because it’s as easy and natural as if he’s been doing it for years.

(Location 1567)

“Tell me you believe me,” he says in a low voice. “I can’t bear it if I’ve stuffed this up just when I’ve finally got you.”

(Location 1721)

“How could I be anything but cheerful when I’m here with you like this?” I say softly.

(Location 1855)

How about you? Have you read this or other Lily Morton books?

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