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The Buckland-in-the-Vale and Sandstone Tor Gay Book Club (Inaugural Meeting)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  223 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Alternate-cover edition for this ebook is located here: The Buckland-in-the-Vale and Sandstone Tor Gay Book Club

Rory McGrath suffers from a debilitating condition—he caught it from reading too many books. Rory believes in true love. He’s saving himself until he finds it, preferably with Mr Darcy, but definitely not with the arrogant, unpleasant ape Adam Sandstone. Adam is
ebook, 253 pages
Published August 12th 2016 by MLR Press
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☆☆☆~Bev's World of Books~☆☆☆
***Re-read July 2020. God, isn't it amazing to think that we've gone 4 years without a new John Wiltshire story. Yes, we know that John has moved back to the UK from New Zealand...but other than that?? Zilch, zip, nada. He said there would be more Ben and Nik stories, and I can only hope he will honour that promise...maybe his muse has done a runner or life in general is too hectic for any new stories at the mo, but a little more info would give all of us Wiltshire fans a huge boost please John ...more
Ulysses Dietz
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Buckland-in-the-Vale and Sandstone Tor Gay Book Club (Inaugural Meeting)
By John Wiltshire
MLR Press, 2016
Cover by Molly Wright
ISBN: ISBN: 9781944770273
Five stars

I’ve loved old houses and libraries since I was a boy. I love dogs. I’ve loved romance novels since I was a teenager, and have always enjoyed the company of old ladies. I am also a romantic, and for nearly 41 years have lived with a man who is not romantic in the least.

Clearly this book was written for me.

John Wiltshire is not a writ
A.B. Gayle
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
After a reread and loving it even more, I feel better equipped to share in more detail why I like this so much. I don't usually reveal plot in my reviews but will in this case, so beware. Many spoilers ahead.

The book starts off with the luridly, lycra-clad and openly gay school teacher, Rory, seeing a sign inviting people to the inaugural meeting of a gay book club.

Seeing he thought he was the only gay man in a quiet, country village on Dartmoor, he's overjoyed at the opportunity to meet other g
Aug 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars

John Wiltshire proves once again that he's one of the most versatile writers in the world of m/m. This seemed like a big departure from the More Heat than the Sun and A Royal Affair series. I mean, it's about a book club -- in Dartmoor -- with a bunch of "Old Dears" trying to use what they've learned from reading m/m romance to matchmake for our two MCs. So yes, very different. But yet, this does still have his trademark humour, a great sense of place and, of course, a lovely romance with
♣ Irish Smurfétté ♣
Full review on Prism Book Alliance®

Rory saw the handwritten sign posted on the village hall notice board as he flew silently past on his bicycle at the end of the first day of the new autumn term. It was his favorite part of the ride home, coming off the moor with its seductive scents of bracken and dung, down into the pitch dark of the green tunnel lane that wound through the tiny Devon village of Buckland-in-the-Vale.

Opening paragraph and I was already grinning. Talk about setting the scene an
Aug 23, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, annoyed-me
From the reviews, I'm out of step on this one, but the more I think about the book, the crosser I get.

Tiny stuff first; some inexcusable typos, sadly standard for this publisher. Discrete/discreet, chord/cord caught my eye along with sentences so long and convoluted I couldn't make sense of them without rereading.

This author is new to me. I loved the blurb and started it expecting humor and some in-jokes. I got it at first, then everything turned sour.

The women set up the club to discuss a new
Aug 15, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
I'm angry about this book. I highlighted so much of the misogyny and mocking, but I don't know if I feel like typing it all and getting angry all over again. The book made me wonder if *I* just didn't have enough of a sense of humor, and no. No. There's nothing wrong with me. There is, however, a whole helluva wrong with an author writing a book where the feminist lesbians are made into caricatures of social just warriors. This wreaks of so many types of privilege, it's boggling. Meanwhile, I fe ...more
F**king stellar !!! The old dears are lovely. Adam is ridiculous but I'm in love regardless. Rory....~ sigh. Rory. I just loved this story so much. ...more
Aug 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I don't know if Buckland-in-the-Vale is a real place, but if it is, I want to go and live there. I want Gertrude and Ivy and Jane and Hilary and all the old dears in this book to be part of my life. I want to join the book club. And that puzzles me, because I also want to be part of Ben Rider and Nikolas Mikkelsen's life--the terror, the mayhem, the killing, the passion of those two previous main characters of John Wiltshire's novels. I guess that's the power of this author's ability to create a ...more
Tamika♥RBF MOOD♥


I'm not sure what more can John Wiltshire do. I've been dreading this review for a few days. Before this book was written, I was super desperate to see if Wiltshire can write a pure contemporary romance without any of the exceeding reality situation from the More than Heat the Sun Series. He did write a humorous, contemporary romance. Why the head bang? Because I wasn't satisfied. I like how in my mind he's writing for me. I'm not happy, and he's probably thinking like what more do the
Bellbomb Bellbomb

I had so many LOL and some hiccupping moments while reading this book. So rich with delightful story and endearing characters, and all the literary references make me want to recommend this book to my college English professor. Rory reminds me of him so much since he was also English, very intelligent, gay, and had misgivings about the mandatory syllabus but tended to express his misgivings with temperament that would rival Adam’s at the beginning of the story (much to us Thai student
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Everybody NEEDS to read this book because it's the most heart-warming, tongue-in-cheek, yet nuanced and well-written book I've read this year.

If you've been hearing about John Wiltshire and are curious but find his other books too heavy for you. This is the one to start. Because it's really sweet and light, but not vapid.

Please. Do yourself a favor and buy this. Because it's an amazing read.
A gentle parody that while playfully mocking the mm romance genre, succeeds in paying wonderful tribute to books and romance at the same time.
This hopeless romantic (I have the DVDs of every Austin movie/tv series ever made) loved it.

Sep 24, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm deeply saddened by this book, not because it's badly written, but because it's poisoned by the disappointing social views of its author. I liked the story, felt sympathy for its protagonists, found the writing engaging. I even related to the frustration of dealing with a so-careful-not-to-offend-that-it-avoids-education school curriculum. But to have a character's internal thoughts write off the entire faith spectrum of a quarter of the world's population as a "murderous psychosis"? To dismi ...more
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another winning m/m romance by Mr. Wiltshire. Rory is sweet, naive and utterly adorable, and I loved how he negotiated Adam into a relationship. The "old dears" were just lovely, too. I thoroughly enjoyed this. ...more
Aug 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
Due to lack of punctuation, Rory, an English teacher and Adam, pretty much the only gay guys in a small English village, are intrigued by the announcement of the inaugural meeting of a Gay Book Club. The club is actually started by a group of older women who have discovered the joys of reading Gay Romances, and they immediately plot to try and create a real life romance against all odds.

Adam is not a happy guy, having left a career in the military to help his injured father on the family farm.
Nov 30, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

I really thought I was going to love this book, simply because everything about it should have been wonderful: the gloriously ridiculous mistake that led to the MCs' first proper meeting; the gorgeous backdrop of Devon countryside; the interfering and misguided yet lovely gaggle of old women... and yet, this book left me so angry I wanted to punch something; preferably, the author.

First of all, the author was very obviously trying to make a point that the vast majority of m/m readers are silly s
Not unenjoyable, but lacking the edginess, wit and passion of Wiltshire's More Heat than the Sun series. This is a cosy sorta-romance, with the self-named Old Dears of B-i-t-V conspiring to bring Adam and Rory together. Other than the fact they are the only two gay men in the village, it really isn't clear why they *should* be together, and as a love story there's something missing. But go with the cosy flow and it's a perfectly acceptable way of spending a couple of hours. ...more
Aug 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Once again ........ Made me laugh out loud ! Love this author!
Aug 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A delightful romp with some of the best comedic lines I've read in any book. I'm hoping there's a sequel. ...more
Arch Bala
I’m not entirely sure yet on how to permanently place this book on my like-o-meter because there are parts of it that I really, really love whilst some scenes (mostly from the insufferable Adam Sandstone) makes me want to hurl my e-reader into someone or something. Preferably against my nosy neighbour’s flower garden. Or my neighbour himself. Truth.

I loved Rory because I can totally relate to him and geez, he’s basically me (minus the model-pretty look, lol!) He’s funny, incredibly charming and
I really enjoyed this book. Slightly different to what I usually read.
A group of oldies thrying to set up the town gays to become a couple.
I liked ROry and Adam together . I wish the suthor might make this a series there seems to much more the old dears and Roray and Adam could do.
Jun 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: my-e-things, queer, nz, lgbtq
Mixed feelings. I think I didn't "get" this book. For some reason (blurb and cover, perhaps), I thought this would be a lot lighter and cheerier than it was, but it's John Wiltshire, and I probably should know better than to expect a charming and cheery and light small-town love story from him. There is charm and humour and small-town loveliness here, but it's matched with really cutting commentary and an almost too-harsh mocking of pretty much everything. I think I'm not quite sure what the aut ...more
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this novel so much (just what I needed as a break from complex Scandinavian crime and my WWII obsession) I was reluctant to finish reading, and would be very happy to hear John Wiltshire plans to write more books set in Bucklands-in-the-Vale and Sandstone Tor (the ending certainly gives hope).

What can I say to add to the many great reviews here? A wonderfully positive, life-affirming read with a sweet, though not angst-free, romance between two men, Rory and Adam, who are very
Joyfully Jay
Oct 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: camille
A Joyfully Jay review.

3.25 stars

So, John Wiltshire. On the one hand, I am wholly enamored of his A Royal Affair series. On the recommendation of a blog commenter, I gave his More Heat Than the Sun series a try—it was less awe inspiring for me. Batting 1 for 1, I wasn’t sure what to expect with Buckland-in-the-vale…unfortunately, I didn’t get utterly absorbed by the characters like I did with A Royal Affair. Overall, I didn’t really feel a sense of connection to the characters. Adam I just plum
Feb 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars

It started out great, but at some point my mood fell. I'm with several other reviewers that I didn't like the way the women were portrayed. Then the whole scene at the Sandhurst academy was just too bizarre.
The ending was nice but in the unlikely event that there will be more books following this one - I'll give them a pass.

ETA: Although I'm more with the 1*-reviews, I'll stick to my rating as for quite some time I had fun with this book, it just then went down.
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended for all m/m romance readers!

Very sweet, funny, there's a few "awww...let's hug Rory!" and some "wtf, let's punch Adam!" but together Rory and Adam are one of the sweetest couple I've read (and I read plenty, believe me. )

So yeah, one of the best for 2016!

(I'm still smiling while writing this. So good.)
Nicolas Chinardet
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amusing, charming read even if some of the phrasing is sometimes a little odd and jaunty.
Orchard Lady
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really should not read other people's reviews. I was getting worried about this book. Was it a new Camp of the Saints? Ann Rynd of little England? LOL. Nothing of the kind. This is the sweetest tribute to graciousness and politeness in life I've read in a long time. Centered around nine women, all in their eighties, who discover a passion for gay books, the story cuts between their attempts to found and run a sensible book club to discuss gay literature, and two young men in the village who wa ...more
Aug 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was not expecting this book. I'm slightly stunned. It's totally immersive. Within a few chapters we're introduced to the most delightful old girls you could wish to meet and swallowed whole by this lovely plot. It was like reading a Joyce Grenfell, jolly hockey sticks romp mixed with a compelling, subtle love story between two mismatched men. I use the words subtle and love very deliberately. This isn't a hardcore gay sex book by any means. But if you like stories where attraction builds slowl ...more
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John Wiltshire is the fictional persona of the author of the More Heat Than The Sun series. After spending twenty-two years in the military perfecting the art
of looking busy whilst secretly writing, John left as a senior officer
when a hastily dug tunnel was ready for use. Now living in New
Zealand (at least until enough money can be raised to leave) John has no plans to return to the army. Unless t

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