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Spires Universe #2

Waiting for the Flood

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People come as well as go.

Twelve years ago, Edwin Tully came to Oxford and fell in love with a boy named Marius. He was brilliant. An artist. It was going to be forever.

Two years ago, it ended.

Now Edwin lives alone in the house they used to share. He tends to damaged books and faded memories, trying to a build a future from the fragments of the past.

Then the weather turns, and the river spills into Edwin’s quiet world, bringing with it Adam Dacre from the Environment Agency. An unlikely knight, this stranger with roughened hands and worn wellingtons, but he offers Edwin the hope of something he thought he would never have again.

As the two men grow closer in their struggle against the rising waters, Edwin learns he can’t protect himself from everything—and sometimes he doesn't need to try.

106 pages, ebook

First published February 21, 2015

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About the author

Alexis Hall

51 books10.8k followers
Genrequeer writer of kissing books.

Please note: I don’t read / reply to DMs. If you would like to get in touch, the best way is via email which you can find in the contact section on my website <3

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5 stars
1,156 (33%)
4 stars
1,389 (39%)
3 stars
767 (21%)
2 stars
143 (4%)
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34 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 678 reviews
Profile Image for Julio Genao.
Author 9 books1,988 followers
December 17, 2015

that was my thought when i finished—"oh."

because formulaic genre convention teaches you, as a reader of romance, to expect certain things, and to take them for granted, because that's how it's always been done in the past, to achieve the end we all, ostensibly, crave.

so when you read a thing that gets you to that end by some means you didn't expect, you go:

"oh. oh!"

and so i did.

an imperfect, terribly true, and gorgeously subversive novella of surpassing ambience.

that's what this is.

and as someone who has read it many times in my capacity as beta reader, i can tell you that the finished product—the one not released to advanced reviewers (an uncorrected proof)—is its truest form.

the version you buy, in other words, is better than the version the earliest reviewers saw.

and i would know. because i saw all the versions.

four stars, loved it, and recommend with no reservations, to anyone who loves a quiet, beautiful, and lovely story of a new beginning, from the ashes of an old ending.
Profile Image for Baba  .
859 reviews3,836 followers
February 27, 2015
2.5 stars. Review posted February 27, 2015

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Me before reading Waiting for the Flood
I couldn't even make it past the sample of Glitterland. Yet every author deserves a second chance. That's why I'll be giving this one a try.

Me after reading Waiting for the Flood
My motto: Waiting for the story to be over. It just happens that a story won't read itself, so I had to bite the bullet and read it myself. Although if it had been a full-length novel I would have DNFd the book.

I tried. I really did and managed to finish the novella, yet it was futile. Unfortunately, Alexis Hall and Baba will have to part ways because Hall's writing style isn't compatible with Baba's reading flavor.

It’s not the accent (no Essex accent in this one anyway)
It’s not the asshole-ish character (it’s not Glitterland)
As it was, I couldn’t even focus on the characters (what characters?) because of…

Tad writing. Here's a bunch of examples:

"She appreciates ornamental young men in their natural habitat." And I remember, un-faded by time, a streak of viridian on his inner wrist. A curl of purple madder at his throat.

And I sat there, electric-bright and honey-sweet, staring at my hands, undone in all the ways by a single word.

I think I also like secret. The way it hinges on its central c, like a box opening.

Fascicule, from fasces (a bundle of authoritative rods), then fasciculus, meaning part of a work published in instalments. The technique was invented here, back in the seventies,…
blah blah blah

I just didn't care about all those historical references.

And my words would stick to my tongue, fighting their way to freedom clumsily, if at all.

There was silence now. Worse, somehow, than the noise. A dragon, open-mouthed, waiting for me to speak, only to devour me.
I swallowed. Twisted my fingers together. Looked nowhere.
Mustered…anything. Courage. Defiance. Desperation.

Even in remembering, slipping between the consonants, my tongue tastes the softness of the vowels.

The sort of laughter I like best, laughter that isn't really at anyone. Laughter that's just there, for its own sake, like the touch of a friend, or a lover.

Mrs. P. withered him, but I knew what he was getting at. I grabbed a word and shoved it at him. "Tragedy."

Tonight there was something different. Something both deeper and shallower than friendship. Familiarity, perhaps, the sudden realisation that we lived our sealed-up little lives in closeness to each other.

When I did my MA in London, I'd been allowed to see the original manuscript of the York Mystery Plays in the British Library. Medium: ink on vellum. I have never forgotten that bold script, defying time with its aggressive downstrokes, its occasionally sensuous curves. I'd wanted to touch it, run my fingers over the shape of the words, the way one learns the sweep of a lover's spine. The way I had once read Marius. I remembered now, with peculiar vividness, the lines, "he schall, and he have liff / Proue till a praty swayne." So dashing, the swish of the s, the loop of the y, the unflinching certainty of letters.

I wonder, sometimes, if it's a strange occupation, this semi-obsessive preservation of the transitory. But, whereas for some people history is a few loud voices, declaiming art and making war across centuries, for me it's a whispering chorus of laundry day and grocer's bills, dress patterns and crop rotations, the price of tallow.

"And each other." He smiled at me, letting the words hang there in the rain between us, and then went on.

I knew it was nothing more than the vaguest sense of connection, the kite-string tug of an intriguing stranger. But I simply wasn't ready to feel these things again. To gather up the dust of my heart and scatter it again on the winds of hope.

How cheesy.

Sometimes other fantasies, more urgent, less domestic ones, of being pressed against the pantry door or hoisted onto the washing machine to be taken in a rush of heat and need, as sweet as the scent of the herbs--coriander, thyme, and parsley--blooming on the windowsill.

Sorry but I don't equal hot and passionate sex with the smell of coriander, thyme and parsley.

It was waiting with a purpose, with an outcome, and it felt different. It was a waiting that danced with me, and on my skin.

"Adam?" I liked his name in my mouth, the d so safely buttressed by its vowels.

It was so soft, this fire I could hold in my hands, and I'd been wanting to touch him this way from almost the first moment I'd seen him. This beautiful man, all warmth and smiles and petal, waiting in the rain.

Speaking of dreaded endearments… petal might have jumped at the top of my personal list of horrifying endearments.

"I'm sorry, petal."


Of course I did focus on the characters after awhile and what I saw wasn't to my liking. One character has an obsession with sandbags and the other male lead overindulges obsessively in his former boyfriend who left him. Marius here, Marius there, Marius everywhere. Dude, get over it already and move on! Though quite suddenly he's oh-so ready for Adam. Uh-huh.

I liked the premise of a stutterer and stories about disabilities usually appeal very much to me. Though the build-up was lacking and I couldn't understand why Adam would feel attracted to such a whiny wuss like Edwin. If anyone wants to live in the (sad) past then so be it but don't drag me down with you. He was so hung up over Marius I just lost interest and couldn't take him seriously anymore. No connection with the lead characters usually equals a bad reading experience for me which was even more accentuated by Hall's unappealing attempt at being poetic. That was the problem: the writing made me cringe so many times and deflected from the characters. As it was, it bored the ever lovin' daylights out of me.

I’m aware it’s not nice to talk about another author in a review but I can’t help it. I recently read Black Iris and since I devoured Unteachable, I inhale Leah’s writing like I would a delicious dessert. She’s one of those authors who doesn’t need to try to write flowery or lyrical prose because she can and she does it masterfully.

In any event, don't let my opinion put you off. I just happen to be the strange reader who doesn't connect with Hall's style. Fact is, a huge majority of readers soak up his writing and that's perfectly fine.

My update was wrong when I said I'm going to read four books written by favorite authors in March. There are at least five books. I'm already doing a little happy dance here and it seems to me that I'm definitely movin' on to better things. I'm not quite there yet but…soon.

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Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,861 reviews5,637 followers
February 22, 2015
I really struggled with this one, and I think I have to face up to a hard truth that I've been denying for some time:

Maybe Alexis Hall isn't the writer for me.

It really pains me to admit that likely reality because I loved Glitterland, but the three books of his that I read after Glitterland have all been misses for me. This one is no exception.

I liked the idea of this book: A lonely, geeky stutterer finding love and a connection again after his last long-term relationship failed. I have a weakness for stutterers (my brother is one, and it runs in my family), so you would think this book would be a huge hit, right? Unfortunately not.

Though it might sound harsh, I found this book to be really pretentious. I got the fact that that the author chose to use a lot of obscure words to emphasize the main character's voice, however it made for a choppy and difficult reading experience. In addition, the purplish writing combined with the historical references were difficult for me to slog through.

I wonder, sometimes, if it's a strange occupation, this semi-obsessive preservation of the transitory. But, whereas for some people history is a few loud voices, declaiming art and making war across centuries, for me it's a whispering chorus of laundry day and grocer's bills, dress patterns and crop rotations, the price of tallow.

Aside from the writing style, I didn't love the MC, Edwin. He obsessively thought about his ex, and seemed emotionally unavailable to me. I'm not sure what his appeal was to Adam. They had an insta-lovey chemistry, and I just wasn't buying it.

Though this book did have some bright spots where I was able to look past my difficulties with the story, overall it was a trying reading experience. I didn't quite enjoy it, which was a huge disappointment for me. I think I'll be much more cautious before trying another Alexis Hall book in the future.

**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for Noah.
178 reviews43 followers
April 12, 2023
Despite being written in a dreamlike prose with a melancholic tone, this is a deeply uplifting story about second chances. And while it might be played out, I will always love a weather-based metaphor. And and and… not to be hyperbolic, but this is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. I kind of want to scream it from the rooftops, but I’ll settle for writing this review. Here’s some parts I liked:

“This is the story of my life: standing on the edges of things and worrying, when I’m supposed to just walk through them.”

“He laughed, and suddenly summer did not seem so very remote.”
Profile Image for Alexis Hall.
Author 51 books10.8k followers
September 10, 2022
Some notes:
- WAITING FOR THE FLOOD is book 2 in my Spires series, with there being 6 books in total.
- Each story is loosely connected and will be about a different couple—so you can read them in any order you like.
- GLITTERLAND, FOR REAL, and PANSIES will also get the same new covers and extra content, and their rereleases will be staggered.
- After PANSIES you can expect a book for Niall & David (who appear in GLITTERLAND) and one for Dom the Dom (who you meet in FOR REAL).

Expected (re)release: sometime in 2023. https://quicunquevult.com/book/waitin...
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,448 reviews7,549 followers
June 1, 2015
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

“Life is so full of rough edges – small tasks and expectations that scratch you bloody and remind you that you’re naked and alone.”

I held off on reading anything by Alexis Hall for a loooooong time. No offense to all of you superfans, but sometimes you get really rabid over REALLY shitty authors. When I saw Waiting for the Flood available on NetGalley I figured, what the hell . . . and guess what????

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Poor me a big ol’ tumbler of that, Mr. Kool-Aid Man, ‘cause I’m ready to drink it up.

When Edwin bought his house with Marius, he thought it would be the place where he lived out his happily-ever-after. When Marius left two years ago, that dream shattered leaving Edwin in a shell of a home, haunted by memories of a past he can’t let go of. As a flood encroaches on the neighborhood, a stranger arrives to help prevent as much damage as possible – and possibly repair some of the damage that was done in the past.

Waiting for the Flood was just kind of perfect for me. I don’t know if it was right place/right time with the 72 straight days of rain or what, but whatever the reason I loved it and read it from start to finish without taking any kind of break.

To begin with, the story contained the right kind of angst. No teenagers boo-hooing about how horrible their perfect lives are – this was believable, palpable pain. Secondly, while I’m sure there will be complaints about Hall’s writing style being pretentious (and maybe I’ll find it to be that way in other stories too), I thought for this one it worked amazingly well. A main character who makes his livelihood from words, but who stumbles through them in real life might very well think of the “unflinching certainty of letters” that he cannot pronounce clearly. The flowery prose and pining away for lost love is something that can drive me absolutely batty, but this time around???? It made me question whether or not I’m really a cyborg . . .

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Lastly, I’m fairly certain (but not positive) Hall writes about the sexytimes in some of his stories. This one did not include any tearing off of each other’s underdrawers culminating in a mad, passionate, throwdown. Instead, it ended with me wishing I had a little Weasley all of my own : )

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ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!
February 22, 2015
Just A Smidge under 4 Stars

Quintessentially Very British

I smiled at him, wondering if it was acceptable practice in suburban Oxford to climb a man like rampant honeysuckle.

Edwin Tully spends fairly much most of his time in solitude, in the house he shared with his ex-partner Marius.

Two years have passed, but some memories are still hard to forget.

When bad weather hits, salvation comes in the form of a very unlikely character Adam Dacre from the Environment Agency.

Everybody else I know is so use to me. I don't think I bore them - at least, I hope I don't - but I'm everyday,....and in some very small way he was making me feel like Sunday best

Ok, so the story didn't blow me away.... but the words....the words are what Alexis Hall does magic with. It's all in the words and how he uses them. Truly.

If your a fan of Alexis Hall I'm sure you'll enjoy this very British affair.

So pour yourself.....

and don't forget the Hobnobs.

~Arc provided by Riptide Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for honest review~
Profile Image for Lois Bujold.
Author 185 books37.7k followers
October 23, 2016
Goodness, I enjoyed this, mm (also m/m), novella I think. Read in part of an evening, and the story was well matched to its length.

A short contemporary romance between a book conservator and an engineer (yay, my fave) in an Oxford winter flood. The flood provided the necessary mild menace to get our blokes together, man against nature, so no need for villains. Edwin, the narrator-protagonist (and rather the uke of the pairing, to import terminology from another medium) was written with a fine voice, in both senses. The mode is more romance than erotica, and the story had a refreshing lack of cruelty of any kind. I would read more by this author.

Ta, L.
Profile Image for Mel.
648 reviews78 followers
March 25, 2019
Still so touching, quiet and beautiful.

I’m trying a new approach here and hope that after this short moment of fan-girling, I can speak rationally about this wonderful book ;-)

Serious mode is on now:
Do you know why Alexis is my favourite author? Because he—like no one else I know—is so versatile in what he writes, but is amazing in all of it. To quote Elena here: His stories may be different but you always know they are his. He can write Contemporary M/M, Paranormal F/F, the queerest and most fascinating Steampunk, achingly beautiful Short Stories, but they all make you a little bit more, a bit more human, they all connect with you on a personal level. Me and these pieces of lives, linked, for a little while at least, in quietness and time.
In my experience, it all comes down to two things: his ability to see life and humanity, capture it, and bring it on page for us to experience, and his use of language to underline it. These two things on its own are already great and valuable, but combined, they take my breath away.

Getting more into Waiting for the Flood:

This is the story of my life: standing on the edges of things and worrying, when I’m supposed to just walk through them.

This is the story of Edwin’s life, but like I wrote above, also of mine and also of many.

I smiled and thought of my house, too full and too empty of memories and things, half wishing the water would come and ruin it all, wash it away, and make me start again. Half-wishing, but mainly terrified.

It would be easy to lay all the glory and praise at Adam’s feet, that he made Edwin give life another chance, and of course there is an impact here, but I love even more that Edwin walks this path on his own. Adam is, by chance, just present, and just that helps Edwin to confront his fears, and finally do something about it. He risks life, he risks love again.

I couldn't help myself, I leaned against him, just a little, just enough to soak up some of his heat and some of his strength, the heart he had opened to me when I'd shown him the wounds of mine.

While I think every reader should read this or a book by Alexis, I beg all authors to do it, because if you want to learn something about how to create real-life characters and a dense and vivid atmosphere, all crafted so very subtly and just wrapping around you, this is the place to look.
And this statement was all me. Alexis would blush and deny and get really uncomfortable about this arrogant declaration of mine ;-)
But, for example, the way Alexis describes how Edwin and Adam get to know each other, their first conversation, their first shared tea, is just stunning. It is so real life, so subtle, so full of truth.

Profile Image for Dia.
534 reviews136 followers
December 1, 2016
4,5 rounded to 5 stars

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Another deep and soul wrenching story by Alexis Hall.

There is no secret that I am absolutely in love with this author's writing style. His lyrism made me enjoy each and every book written by him. He has an amazing talent! He makes you live the character's story, be in his mind and get to experience his happiness or sorrow to the fullest!

This book was mostly sad because it was about letting go of the past, accepting it and moving on. It was about learning to heal and trust in something new.

Edwin was such a lonely and broken man. At 31 he was struggling to accept his 10 years relationship with Marius - his first and only love, was over. For good.

Alexis really has a unique talent with words! I highlighted so many passages in this book and each bled with sadness and sorrow. Edwin was still relieving his memories with Marius. His house, the one they shared, is now full of broken dreams reminding him of what they had, but will never happen again. He feels abandoned, lost. It broke my heart over and over again, and made me want to sooth his suffering.

Then, in the middle of a flooding, unexpected kindness from a sweet man brought him a glimpse of hope. But he was too afraid to accept it. At first.

I really liked this story! It is amazingly written and I adore Alexis Hall's choice of words. Always! Even the small talk had its beauty and many times I found myself thinking about Edwin's broken heart, his tears and his despair, wanting him to be happy again.

“Life is so full of rough edges—small tasks and expectations that scratch you bloody and remind you that you’re naked and alone.”

I wish we'd get to read more about Edwin and Adam, but I was glad Edwin decided to take a chance with Adam, and by the way Adam responded to him, I can only hope they found exactly what they needed.

“Beneath his body, touched by his hands and his lips and his breath, I found words and set them free. They were wild words, rough words, raw and full of passion, the sort of words I’d never imagined I’d have the courage to say.”
Profile Image for Duchess Nicole.
1,258 reviews1,527 followers
January 13, 2015
I just love this author's voice. I love that his characters are so imperfect, and in fact tend to have some weighty problems. They are human. They're not all drop dead gorgeous with brilliant white smiles and they don't walk around leaving a trail of broken hearts. They're just real.

I think what I love most about Alexis Hall (this being only the second book I've read by him) is how easy it is to fall in love with the love interest in his books. When I first "met" Adam, I couldn't help but picture a scrawny, freckly redhead with a big goofy smile. But as the story wears on, I noticed those big, rough, callused hands, his soft, smiling lips, and he became so much more.

The main protagonist, Edwin, is a somewhat reclusive, lonely guy living in the house that he and his ex bought together. It's obvious he misses being a part of a twosome and still hasn't come to terms with their breakup. How depressing, right? And it is depressing.

"I closed the door.
Crouched on my ruined carpet, and cried again.
Because Marius had left me. Because my house was flooding. And because the universe had dropped a wonderful man into my lap right when I felt least worthy of having him."

But I think that was the whole point of the story. Edwin is at a low point in life, and I guess the only way to go is up for him. Adam just happens to show up, and this is the first blush of their relationship. I love getting those butterflies, reading about the first shy looks and the goofy feelings, and being surprised when I figured out that Adam is a little more manly than I originally expected.

"Edwin." Adam's low growl cut through the still air. "Get back here."
"Because I need to kiss you, right the fuck now."
I got back there and he kissed me right the fuck then, and it was sweet and rough and so needy, and all for me."

I really think this could have been a full length novel. I was left kind of disappointed that we only get a smidge of the story. I suppose it was Edwin's healing process, but it was just the tip, and I did not put this book down with a happy sigh. I put it down feeling a little lost and let down. Therefore, no five stars :(

One other thing that is notable is how very British Hall's books are. I love it. It's rare that I get to read a book that's not so Americanized that I don't have a moment to question where the setting is. I knew this wasn't in the US...wellies and tea and other small things made it obvious, and as ethnocentric as this may sound, it made it slightly exotic for me.

I kind of went into this book having no idea what to expect, and I'm glad I felt that way. Had I had expectations of another Glitterland, I may have been disappointed. Although it did have the same tone, it did not give me the sense of finality that Glitterland did. But it was a lovely read. If you go into this expecting a typical romance with a beginning, middle, and ending all wrapped up with a pretty bow, you may be disappointed. To me, the focus of the story was Edwin's slow realization that he's ready to move past Marius, that in fact, his life has a lot more to offer. Starting with Adam.

Advance copy provided for review
Profile Image for Kaje Harper.
Author 75 books2,514 followers
March 29, 2016
This is a quiet, contemplative book about a man who has cut himself off from life. Edwin had thought he and his boyfriend Marius were building a lifetime together, while Marius was slowly falling out of love. They ended two years ago, not with a bang but with a whimper, leaving Edwin alone with the obscure old books he restores in the house they bought together. Edwin hasn't been able to move on. After two years, his lost relationship still dominates his thoughts and moods. But when an impending flood threatens his home, one of the men who comes to help the neighborhood cope turns out to be just what he needs to shake loose from the past.

The writing here is excellent (if a bit erudite, but that fits the MC whose passion and occupation involves old books.) The mood is slow, bittersweet at first, and very British in flavor, which I enjoy. There are no huge made-for-TV moments, just a series of small events bringing two men closer together, combined with a neighbor who adds warmth and flavor to the mix. I enjoyed the contrast of characters, some of the quirkiness of their conversations, and Edwin's initial fears and melancholy which were deeply recognizable. My only issue was that I wasn't completely drawn in to their relationship, a fast connection which by the end still felt a little superficial. But if you like quiet, lyrically written books about moving on, this one is worth savoring. I put it on my shelf to reread someday.
Profile Image for Sheziss.
1,331 reviews434 followers
August 3, 2016
First of all, this was a very believable story, it being so short, and that is amazing.

There were sentences that really nailed it for me.

This is the story of my life: standing on the edges of things and worrying, when I'm supposed to just walk through them.

It’s hard to like someone when they care more about how they come across than making you feel comfortable.

“Sometimes I even get to see the sun shining on it.”

“In England? Are you s-sure?”

My problem is the style in it’s written. I have the impression I’m reading a British Góngora: saying many beautiful words and a total display of original syntax but whose meaning keeps being concealed from the normal person. It’s a very characteristic style, and an effective one at that, except for the small detail that I get lost in it… and not in the good sense.

It’s not that I dislike flourish language. In fact, I read a book translated from French, Vino y miel, which showed off one of the most grandiose and epic vocabulary I have ever seen. But it was hypnotizing and compelling. I couldn’t look down, I just wanted to absorb every word, every feeling, every awakening of senses. That’s the only example that comes to mind, but there surely have been others before and after that book. I’m more a fan of books with a simpler style and a wide meaning displayed to full force. I’ve always been a Quevedo girl, that witty, agile and significant idea that travels behind the inked words. Góngora is obscured, convoluted and makes me scratch my head more often than not.

I love logic, I really do. But the logic I like is the well known theoretical “p → q” sort of problem. The argumentative sort. The one that charismatic people use in order to lead people’s minds to the direction they want them to. Logic games give me headaches and here there were plenty of those. Logic games. And headaches. The author simply assumes you know what it’s all about and that frustrated me to no end. The erudite perspective was believable but it tended up being a little tiresome after a while, too.

I know some engineers and none of them start and spend the whole conversation discussing logic problems. I found that idea a little forced, like “he’s an engineer, and that says it all about his obsession with logic problems”. And the MC decomposing every single word into the Latin/Greek/whatever roots because he has a British degree or similar. It works once or twice. But all the damn time? Just no. I would have liked it to be something inherent in the MC's personalities, but it sounded a bit too arrogant and I couldn't digest that very well.

A friend points out in her review this book was pretentious and I can see why she’d say that.

Maybe he’s not the writer for me, but I can still appreciate the quality. Let's say I don't LOVE him but I LIKE him just fine.

In the beginning, Edwin doesn’t remind me of the character I met in For Real. But then both pictures overlapped and I was relieved I hadn’t been cheated into a different character’s story.

Adam was adorbs.

So different from Marius, but so right, at the same time. It may be a little forced and rushed to have them together in such a short spam of time. Someone may call it insta-love. But somehow, Alexis’s days are stretched into years, it’s as if every minute holds a whole soliloquy of someone’s inner conflicts. It’s true that in RL we don’t exactly leave our lives in stand-by in order to have these complex thoughts about love, life and our own self. However, this book is really an stand-by of sorts. Edwin’s routine is truncated by the threat of flooding. His house and his neighbourhood is in the “danger zone”, and Adam is the one who comes to help, without a white horse but with a yellow raincoat.

So in the end, their story-in-its-infancy was credible and solid. That little voice inside my head telling me this was too much to handle was muted with the promising future they would have together.


I read this with my twin monster Josy!


More pics...
Profile Image for Elena.
770 reviews58 followers
January 1, 2023
RE-READ: Oct 2022

Still lyrical and beautiful. This time I focused more on Edwin's job... Those bits and pieces that he reveals seem truly fascinating.
The only downside? This time I chose the audiobook and I really didn't like the narrator much...

4.5 stars rounded up.
Beautiful, lyrical and magical!

Let's be honest here... Although I've got a few of Alexis Hall's books on my TBR (and on my computer for that matter), Waiting for the Flood was actually the first I've read. And boy, was it gooooood!!!

I absolutely loved the writing style! And I'm definitely going to read other books by this Author. If they're similar, then Mr. Hall will get to my "must-read authors" list, and fast!

I loved the slow burn, I loved the imperfections of the MCs, I loved Edwin's devotion to his job and his books and Mrs. P and Adam's calm and strong demeanour in managing the crisis and his absolutely brilliant attitude to Edwin and his bashfulness.

Though Waiting for the Flood is short, it has the depth that many much longer books lack. The MCs are flesh and blood and Mrs. P is just adorable.
I just wish it was longer!!! I even survived the lack of steam, guys ;)

Highly recommended!!!
Profile Image for Nazanin.
1,075 reviews609 followers
May 21, 2018
2 Stars

DNF @ 22%

I didn't like the writing!
Profile Image for Mare SLiTsReaD Reviews.
1,135 reviews68 followers
January 30, 2015
Oh Alexis Hall does it again.
This book was sublime, it was vivid.
The words. My god I highlighted so many words!!!

Poignant and deep.

People leave and people stay.

Gah made my heart hurt and burst and hurt and burst

Loved it

Profile Image for ☆ Todd.
1,350 reviews1,484 followers
January 16, 2015
The premise of this one is that Edwin, a heartbroken introvert with a speech impediment, lives on a floodplain in the UK, and the waters are rising.

In his search for sandbags for himself and his elderly, widow neighbor, he meets Adam, who works for the Environment Agency and is helping the neighborhood control the flood damage.

The beginning of the book felt a bit strange to me. The flow felt a bit odd because every few pages of $1 words, there would be this strange $20 word plopped onto the page. It was very "one of these things is not like the other" and I found it unnecessarily distracting.
Yes, you know a big word. Yes, I know that one, too. That's nice. Do you know the word "incongruous"? Can we proceed now? *Thesaurus-Quietly-Closes*
Fortunately, after the first few chapters, the word flow was pretty "congruous". (Sorry, I couldn't resist.) *wink*

The story overall wasn't bad at all, but instead of feeling as if there was a heart-felt connection between Edwin and Adam, it felt a bit more 'desperate for love' to me.
You think I'm cute, I think you're sort of mildly attractive *and* you actually listen to what I have to say. I've been really lonely for a long time and you're *here*, so you'll do.

Yes, I'm exaggerating (a bit), but I really didn't see the development of a deeper bond at a truly meaningful level. They spoke briefly, maybe 5 times over 3 days, then shared a cuppa and some bread, Edwin snapped at Adam, then the next day slammed the door in his face.

Then a few pages later, Edwin is calling Adam his "boyfriend". And they hadn't even kissed yet. Not once. And a few pages after that, Adam states how he feels about Edwin (no question asked) and Edwin gasps out, "I do. I do." Like he's mentally picking out frilly, lace wedding dresses to match his purple cowboy boots in his mind. WTF?

Insta-love read number 2 of 3 for me this week and, sadly, I really don't care that much for them. If you don't even know the person's middle name, you don't know them well enough to be in *lurve*...

3 1/2 stars for the writing, less 1 star for my above grievances, so 2 1/2 stars.
Profile Image for Tina.
1,658 reviews1 follower
March 4, 2015

4,5 stars

Waiting for the Flood is a quiet and beautiful story of a man and his fear of loss, a story of healing and acceptance. A tender story of a man who is struggling to find back into his life after years of loneliness and sadness, a glimpse into a relationship that is starting to blossom, sweet and tender.

This engaging story is about letting go the past and letting it rain until the worst of the flood is over… until the sun comes out again.

I doesn’t always has to be epic or dramatic… sometimes it’s the soft-spoken, quiet, elegantly written story that is giving much more away than action-packed novels with plenty of hot sex.

"Beneath his body, touched by his hands and his lips and his breath, I found words and set them free.
They were wild words, rough words, raw and full of passion, the sort of words I’d never imagined I’d have the courage to say."

I just love Alexis Hall’s lyrical prose, his writing style is elegant, it’s beautiful yet powerful. I highly recommend this deeply moving reading experience to everyone who is looking for something more than the usual mainstream stuff.
Profile Image for Vanessa North.
Author 44 books510 followers
February 22, 2015
This quiet little story is the story of a man who finds the self he lost when his longtime partner left him.

It's more a story of discovery than of love--of the way a setting and a circumstance can close a person off, or open them up again.

quiet. thoughtful. lovely.
Profile Image for Karen Wellsbury.
822 reviews38 followers
January 18, 2015
I sometimes feel that to get the feeling of romance in a book an author has to write a big dramatic explosion, an upset followed by a declaration of love. While this works really well at times, sometimes I want to read something that make me glow inside from contented warmth.
That was this book.
Edwin is one of the most British of all characters that I have read about, self depreciating and stuttery -his life defined by a relationship that didn't work out. As a result he is melancholy and his closest relationship is with his elderly next door neighbour.
Edwin's defences are up.
Adam, who calls Edwin petal is so full of life and exuberance, the sunshine to Edwins misty rain.

WftF is a a novella that gives you a small perfect delicate glimpse into a relationship that is just beginning. The writing is elegant and understated.

It also features Deddington, a village that holds a special place for me.
Profile Image for .Lili. .
1,169 reviews260 followers
February 25, 2015
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This book was kind of "eh" for me. Although the writing had a quiet beauty to it, I had a difficult time with the relationship development between the two main characters. When we meet Edwin he still has not moved on from his previous relationship- and it's all he talks about- non-stop. I found being in his head very depressing and tiring. I did like Adam, but I didn't find his attraction nor feelings toward Edwin believable. Sometimes insta-love works for me and sometimes it doesn't, unfortunately, this one doesn't.

2.75 Stars.

ARC kindly provided by Riptide Publishing via Netgalley for an honest review.
Profile Image for LenaRibka.
1,427 reviews416 followers
May 15, 2015

2,5 stars.

Since Glitterland I was longingly waiting for a book from this author that I could like if not more, if not the same, but at least close to my liking of his début novel(though liking in this case is a huge understatement). And Waiting for the Flood seemed to be able to fulfil my high expectations.

I wanted really BADLY to like it. But...
It looked really promising to me at the beginning,

but all my enthusiasm faded away toward the end.

The characters...I wasn't convinced that Adam and Edwin were determined for each other. Good for them that they themselves WERE, and pretty presto. Well, I just couldn't buy their strong gust of sudden attraction to each other, and I didn't find them as characters very interesting to follow their artificial dialogues and this melancholic pace of telling.

The writing... A joyful spell, the very special charm of Alexis Hall's writing has been broken, and don't work for me any more. No one could doubt his real talent at writing, but all the finesse of his wording didn't touch me and left me emotionally indifferent. And it felt like writing. And not like something that came from the heart.

It saddens me to say this but I'm afraid I have to delete Alexis Hall from my "authors-automatically-to-buy-list". I haven't posted all my DNFs of him, because I always thought, maybe I would come back to them, some day, when I would be ready.


357 reviews138 followers
January 28, 2015
~Arc provided by the Riptide Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for honest review~

"How had I forgotten? How had I become so careless, so cruel, so locked inside my own uncertainties? I had allowed hurt to gain such ascendancy over me. Given it so much power. But I had come, at last, in the middle of a flood, to some fresher, deeper truth which was simply this: love is stronger than grief."

Alexis Hall certainly has a way with words, making it so easy for me to fall in love with his stories.

Everybody who expects something like Glitterland- stop right there, because this story is different. It was less intense, light on the drama and heavy issues, but nonetheless it was still very good. When you think about it, the plot of the story isn't something unique or never written before, but what makes it special and outstanding for me is the elegant, evocative and captivating writing style of the author and how vividly he delivered the story.

Hall's characters aren't one of those crazy rich super models, but ordinary people with flaws, insecurities and real life problems, characters you'll find charming in spite of those flaws. Characters with whom you can relate to.

The plot is in fact quite simple- about a guy in his mid-30ies who is still trying to deal with a breakup with his ex-boyfriend of 10 years and who finds love again when he least expects it, but the question is- is he ready or willing enough to yet again put himself out there, to put his trust and heart in the hands of a stranger?

This is one of those right in the feels story which will hit close home every reader who has ever experienced a heartbreak and the struggle to move on. Rare authors have this impact on me- to make me completely immerse myself in the story, to connect with the characters on a deeper level and to find myself in almost every second quote. I usually feel like this while reading books by Megan Hart who is one of my favorite authors nowadays, but A. Hall is slowly climbing up on that list.

The book's only flaw for me was its shortness- around 95 pages. Such a shame it wasn't a full length novel.

Glittterland remains my favorite book by this author, but this one definitely comes as a close second. Recommended to every mm romance fan who has a soft spot for bittersweet, emotional and at the same time heart-warming stories with realistic, relate-able and endearing characters.

This review is posted on Way Too Hot Books
Profile Image for Cristina.
Author 28 books94 followers
July 28, 2018
This is the second book I've read in Alexis Hall's Spires series (the first one being my adored For Real ) and I've found it delightful, romantic and with an undertrack of melancholia that rounded things up giving them weight and substance.

Edwin Tully works as a book conservationist in Oxford's Bodleian Library and lives a small, semi-isolated life since the break-up with his long-term partner Marius. When, however, his home is threatened by a flood, he meets Adam Dacre, an environmental engineer working to prevent serious damage from the surge of groundwater.

Although Waiting for the Flood is only a brief novella, I really loved the way Hall manages to build up a story made of small gestures and short conversations that, although being seemingly about game theory, and pirates and even logicians walking into a bar, conjure up deeper meanings and needs that neither character is immediately able to articulate openly.

Edwin, in particular, is still stunned by the void left in his life by Marius' absence. His tender care of old ephemera - pieces of anonymous lives left adrift in time and space - speaks volumes about his caring and gentle nature.

Adam is also a carer, but his mind works on a larger scale, on scenarios , plans, strategies and his interest in Edwin is immediate, unfiltered and genuine but is stifled by Edwin's reluctance to imagine the possibility of a second chance in life or love.

But, then, the surging of love and attraction, just like that of floodwater, is seemingly unstoppable and the delicate way Edwin and Adam finally come together was a total delight to read.

The novella is so beautifully written, with all the small touches and sideways reflections that I'm growing to expect from a greatly talented writer such as Alexis Hall. His writing style is always rich and nuanced, funny at unexpected moments, deep without ever being affected or pretentious. I really, really love it.

It goes without saying, but: highly recommended!
Profile Image for Barbara.
433 reviews87 followers
March 3, 2015
#Arc provided by Riptide Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for honest review#

A story about putting the past firmly in the past, overcome a lost love, accepting new love in a melancholy perspective just like the rain makes me fell.

It's a very British read, written in a sweet charming way, but I wanted a little more interaction between Edwin and Adam.

This is a good rainy day read.
Profile Image for Maya.
282 reviews69 followers
May 14, 2015

A tender and beautiful story of a man and his fear of loss.

Edwin restores damaged books but can’t heal his broken heart. Adam wants to save the world but can’t stop the flood. When they meet there’s genuine kindness, flirting, freckles, blushing, and jokes. And the fear slowly melts away.

I loved that the house and all its rooms were Edwin and all his memories, and that once the sofa was moved and the carpet was peeled there was room for new memories.

I loved that Edwin found the words and set them free.

I loved that family is whoever sticks around.

I always connect with the stories Alexis Hall writes and Waiting for the Flood was no exception. Also, stories where the characters get undone by kindness are my favourite.

Many good quotes to pick from but I loved this one the most:
“I don’t know where love ends and habit begins.”
“Who does?”
Profile Image for Lenore.
596 reviews372 followers
April 21, 2015

This is the story of my life: standing on the edges of things and worrying, when I'm supposed to just walk through them.

Life is so full of rough edges—small tasks and expectations that scratch you bloody and remind you that you're naked and alone.

I knew how to make someone feel cherished and seen and listened to—everything I had myself always so desperately wanted and been afraid I might never have because I was so used to being overlooked.

People make choices, and sometimes they just leave. And, afterwards, we gather up our hearts, pick up our lives, do the best we can with them, and see what comes.

What if I'm unbeable with?

In other words, few authors manage to speak as profoundly to my heart as Alexis Hall. With so few words.

This is a new favourite.
Profile Image for Denise H..
2,929 reviews209 followers
May 19, 2018
**** This is a charming, quiet, very British, sweet M/M romance. ****
Edwin is a geeky book restorer who is still reeling from his break up two years ago. He's insecure because he stutters, but trying to get on with life.

Alone in his home, he needs to prepare for the coming flood. Red-headed Adam is an engineer working to control the flood and help people be ready to protect their property. Adam and Edwin meet and Edwin is oblivious to Adam's flirting.
This engaging story is funny, heartwarming, and has a sprinkle of sad, and a huge heap of hope. There is delightful characters, a snarky old neighbor lady, and it's filled with anticipation. There is no sex, but lots of sexy kissing.
We get vivid descriptions, and it's a perfect bedtime or rainy day cuddler.

Profile Image for Laura.
1,375 reviews208 followers
April 27, 2023

Waiting for the Flood is a sparkling GEM of a book. A story I find myself already revisiting just a couple of days after finishing it. Everything from the pace, words, characters, and emotion spoke right to me. Fit right inside my world and heart.

A small, English neighborhood preparing for a flood is where we meet two of the sweetest men on record. Edwin is trying to protect his home from the water. Sealing and walling up his home, but Edwin’s heart has been shut away and protected from hurt and love for far too long. With a little help and hope, perhaps Edwin can open up and share his life again with someone new. Someone like Adam with all his dimples, smiles, and hope!

”W-what if I’m unbeable with?”

Edwin’s heartache and quiet ways coupled with Adam’s smiles and freckles were so much fun to watch spark off each other. The ebb and flow of their attraction was beautiful to see and be a part of. Conversations filled with hesitation, laughter and clumsiness. I adored Edwin and Adam at word one! And OH!...How the words charmed me.

Alexis Hall has a lovely way with words. He holds them in the palm of his hand and makes them his own. Sounds and letters feel as if they mean or move so differently in these pages. Words were tripped on, shared, and given. And I could feel them in the room with me. Feel how hard they were to say at times. Feel how important certain words were to Adam and Edwin. Hell…the word made me shiver all the way down to my toes! Edwin’s stuttering and difficulty with some words and syllables was spelled out perfectly for readers. His fear of opening up and speaking to someone new lived under my skin at times. There is really no other way to say it—Edwin and Adam squeezed my heart to bits.

This small, temporarily closed off world felt warm and safe to me. It sparkled! Stolen days away from the world, waiting for something to happen. I feel like that most days. Like I’m waiting for something. Edwin inspired me to wade through, reach out and smile. Hearts need time to heal, but we can’t stay walled in and closed off forever.

Thank you for the words, Mr. Hall.

Profile Image for Papie.
652 reviews119 followers
December 24, 2022
This one was not for me. Very British, to the point where I often had no idea what was going on because I misunderstood the accent or some expression. Very short. Instalove AND super slow. Just a very weird vibe overall. Again, I think it just wasn’t for me.
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