by Posy Roberts
Publication date: December 17, 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance
He fell from his ivory tower and landed in the gutter.
But Sebastian would rather be homeless and hungry than clueless.
On his way to the food pantry, a guy on his cell phone runs into him and triggers his prickly side. As a sign of goodwill, Louis offers to cook for him. But all Sebastian sees is the privilege he used to have.
This isn’t a fairytale. Louis isn’t Prince Charming. And Sebastian can make it on his own.
But it’s been days since he’s had a hot meal. And a blizzard is coming.
Will Sebastian’s pride be his appetizer?
Socks for an Otter is a heartwarming riches-to-rags MM romance brewed with hurt/comfort, comedy, a second chance at love, age gap, millionaires, and men from different worlds who will give you all the feels.
Sebastian & Lewis chat at the food pantry, where Lewis is dropping off a donation and Sebastian is trying to find food to get him through a blizzard. Sebastian is prickly, defensive, and not at all making this easy for the kind, generous Louis.
Louis peered into the meager supplies stashed in Sebastian’s cart. Sebastian wanted to hurl his body over it so Louis couldn’t see what he’d subsist on for the next few days. He nearly did.
Damn pride was one of those things that was still held over from his Upper East Side days.
But he resisted, even if Louis may have witnessed the slight flinch.
Louis smiled, warm, in a way that made Sebastian really look at him for the first time. He was graying at the temples, just a bit, but he looked young. Like he’d just walked out of a spa. Everywhere but around his eyes, that was. There he looked older. He’d lived through some shit, and it had changed him. He’d earned those crow’s feet and that crease between his brow.
“Look, I clearly fucked up with you. I’m on my own this Christmas. It’s the first holiday I’ve spent alone since . . .”
“I’m spending Christmas trying not to freeze to death in this hellish storm that’s coming through,” Sebastian admitted, much to his chagrin. Deflect. Make a joke. Do something so you don’t seem pathetic! “But the cold is bound to make sleeping outside a workout. Hence the protein in my cart. I’m protein loading. It’s the new diet. I might gain five pounds of muscle if I’m lucky.” He finished with a chuckle, a little nervous but genuine.
This time when Louis smiled, it was with his whole face, like he thought Sebastian was adorable or funny. Maybe this interaction would end up on Louis’s Instagram, a photo of canned food lined up on the pantry shelf, a gritty black-and-white filter with a smoky vignette, and he’d get a thousand likes for sharing his story about his encounter with a homeless kid. Maybe that’s all this was to him. A game.
“You’re funny,” Louis said. “I like your dark humor. It’s necessary when times are shit, but few understand that. But it gets us through, lets us know we’re not going fucking crazy.” He licked his lips, and Sebastian couldn’t help but track the movement. He even mirrored it.
What the hell is happening?
“And you’re cute,” Louis continued. “Really cute. You remind me of one of my first kisses, actually. I’ve never forgotten his face.”
Not at all what Sebastian expected. Louis was pinging straight, straight, straight, but apparently that wasn’t right.
“And if I didn’t know your answer would be an absolutely not, I’d invite you home with me where I’d cook my dad’s famous blue crab recipe for you. And no, I’ve never offered this to anyone in my entire life.” Louis shrugged. “But alas, I bid you adieu, Bash. Eat up.”
Sebastian was speechless. And when Louis took his thick, warm, made-for-cold-winters coat off and wrapped it around Sebastian’s shoulders, the world blinked out for a second.
It even had a hood.
And in the blink of an eye, Louis was out the door, leaving only frozen wind in his place.
4 of 5 Stars
After my initial stumbles with this book, I had a hard time putting it down. This story deals with some very powerful and poignant issues and the bathtub scene at the beginning (trying not to give away spoilers here) was almost enough to put me off this book. I didn’t want this book to have ill-placed sex scenes used to garner sales (and yes, that’s what I feel authors do sometimes). Thankfully, Sebastian’s actions are explained in a way that makes sense (although I’m still a bit leery of Louis’ reaction) and I was able to stick with the book as I loved the story and surprisingly, the message.
I typically don’t care for books doused in agenda but this one was so well written and the message so integral to the story I actually felt compelled to action instead of forced to listen to preaching.
Both characters tug at the heartstrings; although Louis is a bit sweeter where Sebastian is prickly, I couldn’t help but love them both.
There are a few outstanding supporting characters as well as a couple who I suppose redeem themselves, but I still don’t care for at the end.
In the acknowledgments, Ms. Roberts mentions this is the first book she’s released since 2016. All in all, I’d say this is the perfect way for her to get back in the swing of things.
Author Guest Post
What is an otter and why is that in a romance title? An otter is a lean and hairy man in the gay tribe. Not as hairy as a bear, not as lean or boyish as a twink, but somewhere in between. In Socks for an Otter, Sebastian is an otter and also the cover model. And socks actually means socks. Sebastian is homeless, and the number one requested donation at homeless shelters is socks.
Sebastian is fairly new to living on the streets. He used to live in a penthouse on the Upper East Side, but he was turned out and cut off. Riches to rags. Now he’s living on the streets of Washington DC and trying to find a way to make it through his first blizzard.
Louis, the other man in this story, is a widower. His wife died three years ago, and he’s a very sad, lonely man who tries to find meaning in his life by doing things he and his wife used to do like donating to the food pantry. On his way there, he literally runs into Sebastian. It’s a Meet Ugly that looks like it has no hope of redemption, but Sebastian swallows his pride and takes Louis up on his offer of a home-cooked meal that leads to so much more.
This is a story about kindness, respect, and falling in love when you least expect it.
About the Author
Posy Roberts started reading romance when she was young, sneaking peeks at adult books long before she should’ve. Textbooks eventually replaced the novels, and she somehow existed without reading for fun. When she finally picked up a romance years later, it was like slipping on a soft hoodie . . . that didn’t quite fit right. She wanted something more.
She wanted to read about men falling in love with each other. She wanted to explore beyond the happily ever after and watch characters navigate the unpredictability of life and create a happy home. So Posy sat down at her keyboard to write the books she wanted to read.
Her stories have been USA Today’s “Happily Ever After” Must-Reads and Rainbow Award finalists. When she’s not writing or editing, she’s spending time with loved ones and doing anything possible to get out of grocery shopping and cooking.
Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
$20 Amazon gift card
2x ebooks (winner’s choice) from Posy’s backlist