Review

Review: Best Laid Plaids by Ella Stainton (2020)

Kilty Pleasures, Book #1

Heat Factor: My glasses are foggy

Character Chemistry: These guys are totally adorable, made more so together

Plot: PhD student studying delusions motors around Scotland with a PhD who lost his position because he talks to ghosts

Overall: Got bored with the sex, but the relationship was ACES


This romance was totally snuggly and ADORABLE. Ainsley and Joaquim were perfectly complementary, and all the work that Stainton put into making that relationship click along was exquisite. So much so that when I sex started at 25% and then continued at 33% and then so on, I was feeling a good deal of “Get on with it already! You’re not being all sweet and perfect for each other while you’re boning!” I mean, they kind of were, but the emotional connection was grown over time much better than the sexual one, which was pretty instant, so there wasn’t a great deal of space for emotional growth with the sex. That said, if you like lots of steamy sex, you will not be disappointed. These guys know how to get down to business to their own mutual delights. 

Po-tay-to / Po-tah-to

The construction of this book was interesting. Ainsley and Joaquim meet almost immediately, but the open is rather slow at first, and then Ainsley comes on to Joaquim super hard when they meet, which shocked me considering the way sodomy laws were used in Britain in the 20th century. I thought, “This has to be some kind of misunderstanding because this is a completely bonkers situation for a book that’s gotten such positive feedback so far.” It was. An opening with a misunderstanding that’s not central to the story and goes for that long is certainly a choice, but if you are interested enough to get to the other side of it, it does form a nice baseline for Ainsley and Joaquim to begin their relationship, since they’ve already established – by embarrassing accident – that they’re both gay and also find each other attractive. We don’t have to spend time tiptoeing around the sodomy laws issue. 

Beyond that, it’s a histrom that isn’t really supposed to be a full-blown paranormal/fantasy romance but that also involves a lot of ghosts. Joaquim, a psych PhD candidate, meets Ainsley with the intention of figuring out why an otherwise well-respected academic would tank his career by spouting nonsense about being able to talk to ghosts. What Joaquim finds is that, while Ainsley might talk to ghosts, Joaquim can see and touch them. These interactions eventually become both humorous and poignant as the ghosts get closer and closer to the protagonists themselves. 

With all this going on, my big question was, “How is Stainton going to resolve this so that these men 1. Actually live in the same city and 2. Are somehow able to be employed?” I’ll only say that she does manage it, and pretty well when all’s said and done.

So, to summarize: Yeah, yeah, you’re having all the smoking hot sexytimes, but please get on with it so I can watch you perfectly take care of each other, because that is some of the sweetest relationshipping I’ve read in a long time!

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.


Buy Now: Amazon


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