Midsummer (Love’s Labours #1) by Racheline Maltese & Erin McRae ~ Book Review by Brandilyn

MidsummerLGTitle: Midsummer (Love’s Labours #1)

Author: Racheline Maltese & Erin McRae

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Publication Date:

Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)

Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance


Love’s Labours: Book One

John Lyonel, a long-time theater professional and teacher, heads to Virginia to play Oberon in the Theater in the Woods’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, intending to focus on his work. John is recovering from the tragic loss of his family and needs a break. The last thing he expects is to become captivated by Michael Hilliard, the professional actor playing Puck, especially since John has never been attracted to men, let alone one so much younger.

They rush headlong into an affair, which falls apart dramatically over secrets that John and Michael are keeping from each other. A steep learning curve, the gossipy cast of the show, and the sometimes sinister magic of the woods conspire to keep them apart. But stage lights and stars might work their magic and help them define a new future.

My View:

Midsummer is my first book from either of these obviously talented authors. It this haunting tale, they gave us characters we couldn’t help but love while not truly understanding their motivations. John is a straight, middle-aged recent divorcee. Michael is a pixie of a man who has too many quirks to take them all in. Somehow, however, they come together through the magic of Summer Stock theater.

When they are together, it is explosive. When they are at odds, it is equally so. They are both mysteries wrapped in conundrums wrapped in tissue paper all holding together fragile centers.

There are a few subplots involved, like the mystery of the skull, that I just never understood. As for the secondary characters, none of them really pinged my radar as all that significant. Yes, they all had opinions (both positive and negative) and the main characters and their relationship, but they were inconsequential in my eyes. This is a story about Michael and John and how they fit together under the magic of the forest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Please note, Midsummer ends with a happy for now ending. John and Michael have a long way to go to get that happily ever after you will want for both of them. I am looking forward to book two in the Love Labours series and the continuation of Michael and John’s story.


Midsummer (Love’s Labours #1) on Goodreads
Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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