Alfie Bell is . . . fine. He’s got a six-figure salary, a penthouse in Canary Wharf, the car he swore he’d buy when he was eighteen, and a bunch of fancy London friends.
It’s rough, though, going back to South Shields now that they all know he’s a fully paid-up pansy. It’s the last place he’s expecting to pull. But Fen’s gorgeous, with his pink-tipped hair and hipster glasses, full of the sort of courage Alfie’s never had. It should be a one-night thing, but Alfie’s never met anyone like Fen before.
Except he has. At school, when Alfie was everything he was supposed to be, and Fen was the stubborn little gay boy who wouldn’t keep his head down. And now it’s a proper mess: Fen might have slept with Alfie, but he’ll probably never forgive him, and Fen’s got all this other stuff going on anyway, with his mam and her flower shop and the life he left down south.
Alfie just wants to make it right. But how can he, when all they’ve got in common is the nowhere town they both ran away from.
I think I’ve only read two books by Alexis Hall, including Pansies. For Real was also part of the Spires Universe. I liked both stories, but if I had to choose one over the other, I think it would be Pansies and that’s mainly because of the characters. Granted, the reunion between Fen and Alfie was a little rocky. I totally understood Fen’s hesitance to give Alfie a chance, but the more I got to know the ‘real’ Alfie, the more he grew on me.
Speaking of these two characters that I fell in love with, Fen kinda broke my heart. I can’t tell you why, because that’s a big part of the build up in the story, but I can tell you that I honestly don’t know how someone deals with the circumstance he was put in and comes out totally okay. I respected Alfie for being there for him and doing what he could. Of course, I also got mad at both him and Fen for almost losing everything.
In case you were wondering, there were tears, but there was laughter too. There was at least one character that I had a hard time forgiving, even if their heart was in the right place. He’s almost forgiven though. As for the other characters, they were great. Both Fen and Alfie had friends who were witty and fun and made me laugh out loud more than once.
After reading Pansies, I’m thinking I need to take another look at some of Alexis Hall’s other books.