Title: Spring Break at the Villa Hermes
Author: Xavier Mayne
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Troopers Ethan Brandt and Gabriel Donnelly celebrate the one-year anniversary of their engagement by flying south for a week of calm relaxation at the Villa Hermes, a gay boutique hotel on the beach. But when the rest of the guests turn out to be college guys on spring break (unwittingly booked into a gay hotel by a passive-aggressive travel agent), their week turns out to be anything but calm.
Ted, one of the spring breakers, has harbored a crush on his roommate and best friend, Bark, since they met freshman year. Now, on their fourth and final spring break, Ted knows they must soon say good-bye. A lacrosse star and ladies’ man, Bark has no idea Ted has fallen for him—until a storm forces the entire group underground for twenty-four hours of stress and truth-telling. Bark doesn’t want to say good-bye to Ted at graduation either. He just didn’t know how to put his feelings into words or if he could face the consequences of speaking them. Brandt and Donnelly help the college guys through their crisis by showing them what love between best friends can grow into.
But Ted and Bark aren’t the only spring-breakers with secrets.
Spring Break at the Villa Hermes, a contemporary mystery, is the fourth book in the, A Brandt and Donnelly Capers series. This newest addition to the series finds the boys heading out for a week at the beach for some R&R. Unfortunately, things do not go as Donnelly and Brandt have planned. First, the villa where the two men are staying is suddenly filled with college boys as spring break has started. The group of young men is made up of a variety of personalities, and each of them has secrets that can’t help but come out. Ted and Bark are the two that stand out the most for Brandt and Donnelly.
Ted has been in love with his friend and housemate Bark for some time now but because the man is straight Ted won’t say anything. With help from the troopers, Ted sees that maybe things are not necessarily what they seem.
Then there is the storm that heads their way. Forced underground for safety, the group which consists of the Villa owners, the college boys, and Brandt and Donnelly spend the time revealing their secrets, some of which may surprise the reader even though they are not as worrisome as everyone imagines.
There is a minor mystery that is woven throughout this story. While I would have liked to have seen this part of the story expounded on it is interesting and will keep the reader turning the pages.
There are many secondary characters in this story and at times it seems as if Donnelly and Brandt take a back seat in the story. However it is one of those secondary characters that really shine in this book. Winnie has an interesting history and his personality would give Bryce a run for his money.
It is important to read the previous books in this series before starting Spring Break at the Villa Hermes. Book five will be out soon, this one covering the bachelor party and while I can’t wait to see what problems will arise next, it is the wedding that I am anxiously awaiting. I hope that the author has plans to continuing the stories after that as these have become some of my must read books.
Reviewed by: Lydia
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