“Sometimes things have to go wrong in order to go right.” ~ Denise Tinsley
Patrick, of 'Double Scoop' by Clare London, is terrified when his business partner and best friend, Lee, is injured in an explosion. Patrick becomes intensely aware of how much Lee means to him and how awful he would feel if he were to lose him. The accident lowers Patrick's walls of self-deprecation just long enough to give Lee an idea of just how precious he is to Patrick, but once he knows Lee is going to be all right, Patrick withdraws again, diminishing the importance of their encounter, leaving Lee hurt and confused.
Even though the shop is damaged, all is not lost. Patrick has more friends than he ever realized and they all have their own special talents and expertise to help get things up and running again. Bryan, Patrick's accountant and best friend, with his accounting skills starts planning on ways to help financially. Brian’s partner, Phiz, and his former roommate Curtis, get busy making posters and getting the word out about the shop being closed temporarily. Eddy, the actor, has lots of connections and starts planning fundraisers. His partner, Nuri, a law student, helps with the legal stuff, while enlisting his many relatives who are carpenters and tradesmen of all sorts, to pitch in as well. Mic and his boyfriend Rob are there to offer their assistance; Rob brings his entire hockey team with them. David and Stan, and Riley and Curtis, are there too along with lots of other helpers, some of whom Patrick didn't even know. Even with all the help, it's a struggle to get everything done.
During the renovation, Patrick and Lee's relationship becomes even more strained. Gone are the days of laughing and joking, easy touches and smiles. Everything is stiff, uncertain, and up in the air. In the name of doing what Patrick thinks is best for Lee, he is oblivious to how much he's hurting him with his thoughtless words and actions. Lee keeps hoping Patrick will open up and let him know how he really feels, but he doesn't. All their friends can see that Patrick and Lee obviously care deeply for each other, but they can only stand by and watch, hoping they will eventually confront the “elephant in the room”. Otherwise Patrick and Lee will miss out on what could be true happiness.
I've been waiting for Patrick and Lee's story although I feared there would be problems. I wanted to knock some sense into them both. Patrick whose reasoning about being too old and not right for Lee was ridiculous, and Lee, although he tried to take the first step, should have demanded to know what Patrick was feeling. Bringing all the previous characters together to help Patrick and Lee created a great opportunity to review relationships between them. For those who haven't read the series, I suggest starting at the beginning and reading all the way through. Thanks, Clare, for finally getting Patrick and Lee together and for all the other eccentric, zany, wonderful characters contained in the 'With a Kick' series. A special thanks, as well, to Sue Brown for your outstanding contributions to the series. For awesome stories with humor, sex, angst, entertainment, and love, I can't imagine a better writing team than Clare and Sue!