A fluke accident puts Perry in a coma. When he awakes, his scrambled synapses have given him a talent; he can tell truth from lies simply by their flavour. This, plus the new client who is far too attractive for Perry’s peace of mind, the client’s contentious family and the dilapidated old mansion Perry has to restore for him – not to mention anonymous threats which escalate to attempted murder – all ensure that Perry’s life will never be the same again!
Chris started creating stories not long after she mastered joined-up writing, somewhat to the bemusement of her parents and her English teachers. But she received plenty of encouragement. Her dad gave her an already old Everest typewriter when she was about ten, and it was probably the best gift she'd ever received – until the inventions of the home-computer and the worldwide web.
Chris's reading and writing interests range from historical, mystery, and paranormal, to science-fiction and fantasy, mostly in the male/male genre. She also writes male/female novels in the name of Chris Power. She refuses to be pigeon-holed and intends to uphold the long and honourable tradition of the Eccentric Brit to the best of her ability. In her spare time [hah!] she reads, embroiders, quilts and knits. In the past she has been a part-time and unpaid amateur archaeologist, and a 15th century re-enactor.
She currently lives in a small and ancient city in the south-west of the United Kingdom, sharing her usually chaotic home with an extended family, two large dogs, fancy mice, sundry goldfish and a young frilled dragon (Australian lizard) aka Trogdorina.
So I was very excited to read this one, and I was not disappointed. I found Aloes refreshing, super sweet, emotional and sometimes downright hilarious. The idea behind it I found very original, you might think the story line could become cheesy, but that never happened, Miss Quinton keeps it fresh from beginning to the end. Throw in a romantic love story, a cheating bastard, interesting characters and a bit of a attempted murder mystery and you have yourself, one very exciting read.
Peregrine Latimer, prefers to be called Perry and who the hell could blame him. Perry thinks he has got it made, a wonderful job as an architect, and equally wonderful life partner. The man he thinks is the love of his life and why wouldn’t he be, they have been friends since the 4th grade, a friendship that progressed to being lovers and their lives seems pretty much perfect. Until he gets home and catches his lover with a *twink*, then his foundation takes a tumble for the worst. The man he thought he knew and loved betrays him in the worst way possible and what felt perfect a few moments ago, has now become the very thing that might destroy him.
So with this new reality, Perry is facing a series of emotions; the sadness, anger and guilt. Could this possibly be his fault, and how long has the cheating been going on. All this is churning inside him which causes him to become a bit stressed, that leads to the mother of all headaches. So hoping to escape in some hard medication, Perry takes some pills without realizing it’s the wrong meds. He has an allergic reaction, passes out, bumps his head in a few places and almost bleed to death. Luckily he was on the phone with his boss, who pulled a quick rescue and got him to the hospital just in time. Perry awakens in the hospital with a hairline fracture, a new project and a neat little gift.
This is where the story became interesting for me, Perry’s little gift leaves him able to distinguish lies from truth. With lies the taste of aloes appear on his tongue, and aloe is known for its very bitter taste. So now Perry has to figure out if he is crazy, or is this trick a side effect from hitting his head a few times too many or could it possibly be something more serious. This new trick helps him figure out how long his partner was cheating and how sincere is his apology, well… this makes Perry decisions easy, its time to move on from the only man he has ever known.
This is all told through Perry’s POV, and we watch him has he grows as a character. How he throws himself into his work on a restoration on a house and the feeling that the new client is stirring inside him. Its almost poetic the feelings that Perry expresses, how does one move on from a bad break-up and find the will to trust again. Well Miss Quinton makes it a little easy by introducing two love interests, both very likable and all man, Joe and Drew. Who he will choose is pretty much clear, but it was fun to watch him struggle with his desires. Plus the mystery aspect of it all was a nice little twist that created a few finger biting moments. It added a little something special to the storyline and used Perry’s gift to the fullest. Someone wants him to stay away from Drew and they are pulling out all the stops to see that it happens. With threatening letters, creepy phone calls and attempted murder, now Perry and Drew has to figure out the whys and who.
I enjoyed that Perry didn’t just jump into bed with the first available guy, he actually had thoughts and decisions on how he wanted to progress, no rebound sex was going to make anything any easier, so he thought about it before moving on to anything sexual. The sexual aspect of the book is not very sexual, where there is actual sex scenes its not very explicit but very sweet. I found that it only made the book that much better, not all the time do we need a play by play of where all the parts goes.
Overall and entertaining read with engaging characters and one hell of a lead male, I loved Perry and I also love the guy he chooses. A well thought out story about new beginnings and finding love in the most unlikely places. Plus you get a mini education in house restoration, that was not boring at all. The ending threw me for a loop, I kept looking at my computer saying “this can’t be it, where’s the rest of it”. I am hoping the ending might lead to a sequel or something because I am curious as to what will become of Perry and his new lover. So Quinton please hook us up, I want more.
I had already noticed from the previous books I read by the same author, that Chris Quinton is no a “common” author, and Aloes is another proof of that; a mix between thriller, romance, paranormal and even a bit of gothic, Aloes changes shade at almost every page.
Perry is a successful thirty years old architect with a perfect life, perfect home and perfect boyfriend; they met in fourth grade, were together since then and now they are paying the mortgage of a nice suburban home in a nice liberal small town. Then in a blink of a moment Perry looses home and boyfriend: coming back home sooner than expected, he finds Cray, the perfect boyfriend, cheating him with a much younger man. First reaction is to throw both of them out, then instead he decided to let off some steam driving, and when he goes back home, with a migraines as companion, he decides to take a pill… from the wrong prescription. 4 days later he awakes in the hospital with a bad cut on his forehead and a strange sensibility to recognize true from false from the taste they left in his mouth, bitter aloes for false, sweet apple for true.
Here is the first turn, from a contemporary (and sweet romance) gone bad to a paranormal story with supernatural power. Being Perry an almost virgin, Cray was his one and only lover, and boyfriend, and man, the reader maybe will expect from Perry to take a swing on his life, to become some type of superhero, to fight for justice in a world of ugliness… and instead basically Perry uses his new ability to find a good apartment, skipping the dishonest realtors, and to decide if the next boyfriend / lover is worth his time.
In the meantime, he is assigned a new project, the restoration of a huge Victorian mansion in Pennsylvania for a multimillionaire hi-tech guru, Drew, who happens to be gay and quite interested in Perry. So the second turn is on a Cinderella type of story? Perry will be swept away by wealthy Drew and they will live happily ever after? Wrong. As soon as he is back home from hospital, Perry starts to receive threatening calls and letters, and when he moves to Pennsylvania to do an inspection of the huge mansion, the almost abandoned house is the right place to add a bit of mystery to the story. There are no actually ghosts who come out to visit, but the place would be right for them.
Between trying to understand who wants to kill him and building a new life (if that someone will not kill him before), Perry finds also time to dodge his time between Joe, former friend and candidate as next lover without strings, and Drew, who is actually the favourite of Perry’s nightly wet dreams, but who doesn’t give to Perry the same security old pal Joe does. Said that Perry will have the chance to “taste” both, one time, and to decide who is better: in this case, Perry can’t use his sense of taste to do that, there are more enjoyable way to do that (and not, no pun intended), but in a way or the other, it’s always a thing of tasting to understand what is true and what is false. And if in the end, both of them are true, Perry will have to decide who is better for him.
I’m not sure of the end of this story, I had the feeling that the author wanted to tell more, maybe she is thinking to a sequel? For example, Perry and Drew spent a lot of time deciding how to convert the mansion in an living museum, but then, at the end of the novel, we don’t know if they will really do it, and if yes, in what way; true, it was not the main purpose of the story letting us know, but after all the anticipation, and the excitement of both men for the project, I felt a bit deprived for the interruption. There is also another particular that is pending, but I will not say more to not spoil the story, but I’m sure that, when you will arrive to the end, you will have my same question in mind: and then?
Aloes is a decent story with some good characters, a bit of mystery, some romance, and an uncertain ending. For the most part it’s cleanly written with only a few awkward prose/tense problems. It’s told in the first person from Perry’s point of view and he’s a sympathetic character. His romance with Drew is understated and not a main focal point until the near end. There is a hanging ending in which we’re left to wonder if Perry and Drew will even be together so I can only imagine the author intends a sequel.
Perry’s a cute character with his new talents of “tasting” lies. If someone is telling the truth, he tastes apples. If he someone is lying, he tastes aloes. It makes for some interesting situations, although the murder mystery portion is kind of weak. It reads a bit like a Scooby doo mystery where Perry and Drew refuse to involve the police despite 3-4 serious attempts on their lives and do almost everything against common sense. A couple of times I rolled my eyes at them and wanted to smack them but the quick pace of the story kept me reading.
Ultimately I liked it alright and wish there had been fewer exaggerated scenes regarding the mystery. Other than that, a decent and fun story.
The first scene was so hilarious that I simply had to see how things turned out for hero. The story was interesting enough, with the main protagonist having the uncanny ability to sort out truth from lies and even progressed to being able to sniff out if an object was used with malicious intent just by focusing on it.
Plot wise, it had unique aspects and poignant moments, however, I felt like Perry and Drew didn't have a very strong connection which didn't make me emotionally invested in their relationship. I also felt the architectural terminologies should have been toned down to a minimum because it just felt like reading a lecture most of the time. The suspense part also could have been amped a bit since Perry's ability was a perfect vehicle for a good mystery.
The story was entertaining overall but I'm just sad that the potential was there but it wasn't fully maximized in order to make the book a phenomenal read.
Talented architect Perry breaks up with his boyfriend and manages to have an allergic reaction to medication and crack his head open on the floor. While in recovery, he meets Drew who wants to restore an old Victorian family mansion. Due to his accident, Perry can now tell unerringly between truth and lies, which comes in handy as he falls in love and a deadly web of treachery.
Excellent book, well-drawn believable interesting characters, good writing. Enough suspense to keep you turning pages, not enough to make you wonder why these people don't live in a bunker. I do have to admit that the story was too short: I wanted either a full-length novel or a sequel. Well, can't get everything you want. :(
This was a wonderful story with a very appealing narrator - a stubborn, unforgiving, strong man who still managed to stand in his own way with his inner insecurities. Right down to the end, unfortunately...it was so open it felt incomplete. I sincerely hope the author will favor me with a sequel!
3.5 stars. Would have rated higher, since the writing was great, the plot was interesting, the characters engaging...but the ending left much to be desired. (I'm really not a fan of open ending like that)
3.5 stars. Super-sincere love interest, but why the insta-love on Drew's part? And why such yearning for Drew on Perry's part? It felt like it wanted to be a supernatural bond, but that wasn't an aspect of the story. The murder attempts and threats were spooky, but I thought the police should have been a lot more involved, despite Drew not wanting police when someone attempts to murder him. (What?!)
Perry was too generous to people sometimes. I was like, okay, you can be nice, but that nice? To people who clearly don't deserve it? The way Perry's power to tell lies from truth worked was quite interesting to me. Another person's lies left a bitter taste in Perry's mouth. The truth tasted sweet. Some statements surprised him with their truth, and some surprised me, too. It seemed tied in to whether the person believed what they were saying when it was subjective.
As other readers have noted, the ending was left open.
This book has a lot of flavors, just like the odd ability that the narrator, Perry, develops after a concussion as consequence of a domestic accident.
It has a touch of paranormal, because Perry can literally taste truth, lies, malevolent intent, desire at the back of his tongue. After coming home and finding his partner in bed with another guy, Perry gets a migraine, takes the wrong medicine, to which he is allergic to, and goes into a coma. When he wakes up, he finds out that when he tastes apples, the people in front of him are telling the truth, when he tastes aloes, he's being told lies.
There is a touch of suspense, because Perry finds himself the target of menacing phone calls and incendiary mails. At the beginning he thinks he is targeted by his ex-lover's flings, but slowly it gets clear that it depends on the restoration job he has just accepted from the fascinating Drew Connors.
What I liked the most was the contemporary romance part, and this little touch of paranormal sort of got in the way. After the discovery of the cheating, Perry has to rebuild his life, to find a new house, to get over the insecurities that the betrayal arose in him. I liked seeing how he interacts with friends and family, to see that he is not going to forgive his ex Cray, but he is not trying to take a revenge on him. Perry is very talented and dedicated to his job. Working for Drew is a dream for an architect, but Drew is also an extremely fascinating and seductive man. Perry doesn't know if he should surrender to Drew's seduction, because of the client-consultant relationship and because Perry feels Drew is too much above him.
Maybe because I was really invested in Perry's re-birth, I felt the suspense plot with Perry's ability got a bit in the way, it's as if the different flavors are not well-balanced. I didn't dislike the ending. I wish I could read what happens after the last page, but in a sense I think the guys will work it out. I hope there'll be a sequel.
It's my first book of this author, but I'll check out other titles.
After breaking up with his long term boyfriend, architect Perry Latimer has an allergic reaction to medication that almost kills him and leaves him with the ability to tell lies from truth. Assigned to a project to renovate an old house for a rich and extremely attractive client, Perry finds himself the target of a hate campaign. Is it his ex or something to do with his new client?
I enjoyed this but it is pretty slow paced for a book with a mystery element. The development of Perry's new romance is also very slow and sometimes I had trouble believing that Perry would really hold back as long as he did. OK so he's hurting from his previous relationship but many times that makes guys more eager to get into something new, and as far as the client situation goes, it's not like he's a doctor or something, it's not illegal for an architect to get it on with a client! Also all of the description of the house became a little tedious for me, although I see that other reviewers really appreciated that. So those are the reasons for 3 stars rather than 4 or 5.
I liked the writing style in other respects and I enjoyed the slightly paranormal 'aloes' element. I would like to read more from this author.
Aloes started well enough. It isn't written in alternating two-person point of view, thank God. I found the camaraderie between Perry, Victor, and the rest of the office to be adorable. I loved how Quinton wrote Perry's family life as well--how she managed to show how his relationship with his sister had changed over their lives. His friendship with Joe was also nice to read, though it developed far quicker than I thought to be realistic. I was afraid for a bit that it would devolve into a love triangle.
Unfortunately, I felt that Perry's relationship with Drew and, to some extent, Cray were handled extremely heavy-handedly throughout the book. Perry's feelings seemed like rebound to me (with respect to Drew) and Cray's outburst that Perry repeats to himself throughout didn't quite seem natural.
My biggest complaint, though, was the perpetrator of the mystery subplot (which was unnecessary, in my opinion). 's remorse and new view of his father came too quickly and unbelievably. All I could do at the end was roll my eyes, really.
It could have been better. It was like the character was trying his darndest not to do anything too interesting with his psychic abilities. No, this is a building renovation story, not a story about a psychic. Also, the ending wasn't what I thought it would be. Leaves a romantic question unanswered, and I'm too pessimistic to assume everything doesn't turn out for the worst. Still, readable until the end and so not a waste of money.
Very good m/m romantic suspense about an architect who wakes from a coma with synesthesia - he can taste truth and lies. As he begins to work on a major restoration for an intriguing new client, he starts to get threatening anonymous phone calls and mail. I enjoyed this, even though the suspense plot was easily figured out. However, the book ends quite abruptly, as if a sequel was planned - but there's not a sequel at this point. :(