Godfather Wars – Brittany Cournoyer
Dolan versus Everett. Snarky meets stoic.
Dolan Masters loathes many things: root canals, splinters in his fingers, and people putting toilet paper on the roll wrong—loose end over the top, please. But the one thing he hates more than anything else is Everett freaking Henson.
Everett Henson spends more time with animals than people, his best friend Eli being the exception. The downside of that friendship means crossing paths with Dolan Masters; the man who rubs Everett wrong in every way possible.
But a baby changes everything.
With both men believing they deserve the honor of being the godfather to their best friends’ baby, the only way to settle things is through a competition. Will there be bloodshed, or will these two realize the truth staring them in the face?
May the best godfather win.
Godfather Wars is a stand-alone MM romantic comedy, filled with funny mishaps, snarky banter, and colorful language.
I have only read one other Brittany Cournoyer book and that is the dark stalker story, Captivated. Godfather Wars is her more effervescent offering. It grabbed my attention me because of the cute premise. Which is two guys duking it out to become the godfather of their bestfriends’ first baby.
I love enemies-to-lovers stories, most especially when the MCs hated each other with a passion. I wouldn’t say Dolan and Everett hated each other with a passion but there’s enough animosity for them to be considered enemies. We later discovered this was due to a miscommunication between the four friends that happened a couple of years ago. The two then went about snarling and snarking at each other whenever they meet.
To decide who deserves the title of godfather, soon-to-be-parents Tasha and Eli, concocted a series of tests for the two contenders. This was one the best parts of the story. Expect hilarious epic fails, gross chocolate/peanut combinations and killer geese. Competition was fierce. The two men fought hard. They were neck to neck. The clincher is the toughest task of all. Who will come out on top?
For me, it’s the dogs.
Delilah is Everett’s dog. She has eyes that stares right into your soul. Lucky found Dolan when the stray pooch injured his hind leg. The two furballs bonded right away. They had front row seats to the two dorks and truth that is staring their humans in the face. If dogs could roll they eyes, they would be rolling them out of their sockets.
I liked the MCs’ voices and how they were distinct from each other. Dolan had a more serious, level-headed personality while Everett’s thoughts run to the more dramatic and hyperbolic.
The contest was a brilliant ploy to get the two to see past whatever it is that kept them apart. After the initial hostilities, Dolan and Everett soon discovered how easy it is to talk to one another. The transition from enemies/rivals to lovers happened naturally. I liked the pacing a lot, being a fan of slow burn.
While the romance was cute and all, I don’t sense that strong a connection between Dolan and Everett. I appreciated the plot veered away from the cliches, like the big fights and the grand gestures, focusing instead on smaller, more intimate moments like bonding over their dogs and splinter removals. However, the whole thing lacked depth somewhat which was unfortunate because the story had all the right ingredients.
Overall, Godfather Wars is a low-angst, low-steam novel with almost no conflict. It’s a happy book about expectant parents, ridiculous feuds, judgmental dogs, missed encounters and a second chance of sorts. Recommended if you like your MM romance sweet and light with a chick-lit vibe.
3.5 Stars – that place between like and love
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I found this tag on Chelle’s Book Ramblings . It’s simple and fun. I thought I would put my own spin on it and make it a weekly thing.
Out of Darkness: Captivated – Brittany Cournoyer
Ethan Fletcher’s a rising star in the modeling industry, and after landing an ad on a billboard, things were looking up for him. From the outside looking in, he was living his best possible life. No one knows the struggles Ethan faced, or that every night he removed the carefully constructed mask he had to slip on just to face the outside world. However, the camera wasn’t the only thing in love with Ethan’s face.
When the gifts started to arrive, they seemed innocent enough. But, the attention from the fan who called himself The Suitor had Ethan on edge, and when someone important in Ethan’s life goes missing, he knows it’s no coincidence. Receiving no help from the local police, Ethan seeks comfort from a very unlikely source. Together, they find themselves in a race against time to catch The Suitor before Ethan becomes his next victim.
Captivated is book 1 in the Out of Darkness series. It talks about stalking, kidnapping, murder, and mental illness. Captivated ends with a happy for now and is a continuing series. This book is an extremely slow burn with a romance that progresses throughout the series.
Captivated is a story of an all-consuming obsession that tortured, maimed and killed.
Ethan Fletcher is a model who is so beautiful he mesmerized the enigmatic and very disturbed individual simply known as The Suitor. Very little is known of the man apart from the fact that he owns a cyber security company, is devoted to his cat and loves to woo men with expensive gifts.
He tried the same method with Ethan. However, Ethan was not the type to be wowed by expensive shoes. Because The Suitor was not the type to take rejection easily, he started taking drastic measures with tragic results.
At first, I thought, hey, maybe this Suitor guy had some redeeming qualities and he will end up with Ethan like one of those Criminal Delights stories.
I couldn’t be more wrong.
The man was pure evil. Nobody could forgive what he did to poor B, just because B did Ethan a favor.
Ethan is a model attempting to break into acting. He doesn’t do well with crowds and has social anxiety. Ethan loves working on his puzzles to calm his nerves. The model is a lonely man whose only friend was his agent, Beatrice a.k.a. B. Later on, Ethan discovered he had a friend in X, another model B handles and who he did not get along with at first.
My heart went out to Ethan. Bad enough he had to deal with anxieties, now he has a crazy man out to get him. On top of that, the police was not be taking the model seriously. The only person who actually seemed to care was X.
X had some surprises of his own, starting with the mystery of why he prefers to be called X. He liked helping Ethan with his puzzles and introduced him to his own version of grilled cheese sandwich. He was a solid guy who used his considerable pull to make the police move their damn asses and start doing something about Ethan’s case.
There is no romance in the story. I’m kind of hoping the author would make Ethan aro and/or ace, but as per blurb, the romance in the series is extremely slow-paced. And from here on out, I’m rooting for an Ethan+X merger.
The writing felt simultaneously slow and fast. The character progression and developments came slowly but the tension was tight and had me on full on suspense mode which made things go quickly. The book presented both Ethan’s and The Suitor’s POVs which made it even more creepy.
The ending resolved enough threads to give a satisfying conclusion. The Suitor was named. Ethan had the help he needed. He and X had an appointment with grilled cheese sandwiches. It also left teasers hinting The Suitor has more gifts to send. I cannot wait for the next one. I’m also dreading it.
This is my first Brittany Cournoyer and certainly won’t be the last. She did a great job creating a gripping thriller that constantly kept me on the edge of my seat. It’s a chilling portrait of what stalkers will do to get the object of their desire. Recommended if you like dark, depraved bastards with offers one cannot refuse and bright, beautiful men who dared to say no.
4.5 Stars – perfection is only half a step away