Shiloh Smart is alone and looking for a fresh start. Convinced he’s finished with love forever, he signs a lease at the Belladonna Arms, a tacky, run-down apartment building situated high on a hill in downtown San Diego.
Determined to turn his back on romance, Shiloh works hard at carving out a life for himself where love doesn’t stand a chance and staying single is all that matters.
Then his drag queen landlord’s nephew, Ben Moss, moves in. Thanks to a rumor Ben has heard since childhood of a fifty-year-old crime and a fortune in stolen money, he sets out to find the loot supposedly hidden decades ago in his uncle’s apartment building.
The minute Ben spots a kilted Shiloh toddling off to work at the Scottish restaurant up the street where he waits tables, he falls hard and fast for the aloof young redhead. Even a hidden treasure can’t compete in Ben’s eyes with the beautiful waiter with the fiery copper hair.
But even while he diligently works to break down Shiloh’s defenses, Ben doesn’t give up his quest for buried treasure. Soon, as their friendship deepens, the two young men join forces in a search for the stolen cash.
As the treasure hunt gathers steam and all the tenants get involved, Ben and Shiloh come to realize the greatest treasure isn’t buried in the Belladonna Arms at all. It’s buried far deeper—in each other’s hearts!
I’m not one to read a series past about the third or fourth book. They simple do not hold my interest. But I do have a couple of authors that I will read as many books in the series as they put out because to me the writing is amazing. John Inman being one of the few, and Belladonna Arms is my first and most favorite not just by this author but of all times.
This time we’ve Shiloh, a guy that just was kicked out of his place he shared with his BF by his BF current BF. So with stuff at his mother’s home he finds himself on the doorsteps of The Arms. Desperate and over love he just wants a place to live that isn’t his mothers couch.
What he finds is the drag queen to beat all drag queens. And a welcome to beat all welcomes! Swept away and not sure what happened Shiloh and we readers are swept into the world that is Arthur. And I simple love it! You just never know what you are getting when you open these books. From the moment we meet Shiloh we know we are in for a treat, the dry one line humor is spot on. The glamour and dazzle that is Arthur never seems to amaze me.
And that just the first few chapters!
Then we meet Ben! Ben is this larger than life nephew of Arthur that finds its time to spread his wings, and move to the city. And Arthur wouldn’t be Arthur without meddling just a little!
These two, Ben and Shiloh, have this perfect chemistry they play off each other. The whit and love just rolls of the pages, the patients Ben shows for Shiloh, so heartwarming.
And of course the way we reconnect with all the old gang. The descriptions of not just the hunt but what we find along the way, priceless! Sounds like all those kittens will come in handy!
Can’t wait to see whose next? Maybe the pest control person?
Ben and Shiloh by John Inman is a romantic comedy, with a dash of mystery thrown in. Shiloh Smart claims he’s done with romance. So he moves into a run-down apartment where he could never bear to bring a potential partner – perhaps as a deterrent? Then the landlord’s nephew Ben Moss moves in. Ben is convinced of two things; he can change Shiloh’s mind about love and there is a treasure hidden in the old apartment building. And he’s out to prove both.
Inman brings a unique voice to m/m romance. His distinctive humor colors every page of Ben and Shiloh. Unfortunately, a lot of it fell flat for me. Despite Shiloh’s verbal and mental insistence that he was done with love, he didn’t put up much of a resistance to his mutual attraction to Ben. Shiloh reminded me of a hungover college student swearing to never drink again. I didn’t even believe that he thought he would keep that promise long. On the other hand, Ben came off as too eccentric for my tastes, though, I’m sure that was the author’s intention. As for the humor, I sometimes felt like Inman was forcing it into places it didn’t belong, like sex scenes. Still, the ending took me by surprise, which I was thankful for.
Ben and Shiloh had a writing style that just didn’t resonate with me. However, I am sure that many readers will feel very differently.