Review – “Hotel Pens”
Travel writer Joe Jordan hasn’t been home to New York since his boyfriend broke up with him. Instead he’s hopped from hotel to hotel, collecting pens like a child in a fairytale might leave a trail of breadcrumbs hoping to find his way back. But now he has an assignment, an article titled “5 Ways to Rediscover New York.” Being back on his home turf is daunting—until he meets Claude Desjardins, a gay romance translator staying in his hotel who, after a night of near passion, leads Joe on a treasure hunt through Manhattan, writing clues on Joe’s skin using hotel pens. But it isn’t just New York Joe needs to rediscover.
This story is a novella, and on the shorter side, but completely worth it. I picked it up on a whim during Dreamspinner’s sale a while back and thoroughly enjoyed it. It certainly wasn’t a heavy book, but it was a nice sweet read without lacking substance. Joe’s past issues were believable and the relationship that develops between him and Claude was very believable. The treasure hunt on Joe’s skin was such a fun thread throughout the book and I loved the way Claude’s creativity shook Joe out of his humdrum life. There’s a bit of a lingering question throughout the book that causes some angst and lthough I guessed the “twist” to that issue long before the end, it didn’t make it any less wonderful.
While it may not be a story that changes the world it’s a very solid feel-good read.