Erryn reviews Oz (Finding Home Book 1) by Lily Morton. Published November 20, 2018, 274 pages. The audiobook was released April 30, 2020, is 9 hrs and 6 mins and is narrated by Joel Leslie. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read it: Lily Morton and Joel Leslie? Count me in.
What happens when temporary becomes forever?
Oz Gallagher does not do relationships well. Bored and jobless after another disastrous hook up, he decides to leave London for a temporary job in the wilds of Cornwall. Surely managing a stately home on a country estate will be easier than navigating the detritus of his relationships at home. Six months there will alleviate a bit of his wanderlust and then he can come back to London as footloose and fancy free as the day he left it.
However, when he gets there, he finds a house in danger of crumbling to the ground and a man who is completely unlike anyone he’s ever met. An earl belonging to a family whose roots go back hundreds of years, Silas is the living embodiment of duty and sacrifice. Two things that Oz has never wanted. He’s also warm and funny and he draws Oz to him like a magnet.
Oz banks on the fact that they’re from two very different worlds to stop himself falling for Silas. But what will he do when he realizes that these differences are actually part of the pull to one another? Will falling in love be enough to make him stop moving at last and realize that he’s finally home?
From best-selling author Lily Morton comes a romantic comedy about two very different men and one very dilapidated house.
This is the first book in the Finding Home series but it can be listened to as a standalone.
When I got to the end of the Mixed Signals trilogy, I was bummed. No more witty banter, insane situations and, most of all, no more Henry. Don’t get me wrong, I loved all the men of the series. But Ivo and Henry were my favorite couple and Henry was my favorite character. There was something charming about his bumbling attempts at finding his forever mate, all the while Ivo was right there. They finally figured out they were right for each other and the series ended. I had a bit of let-down, but I survived.
Then I heard about Oz. Now, I really don’t read many books, so until I found the audio, I wasn’t aware of the subsequent series. An off-shoot, so to speak. I vaguely remember Henry’s brother Silas, and I definitely remember the closet incident between Henry and Ivo, but it took me a bit of time to put two and two together, so to speak. And suddenly my whole world brightened. That Ivo and Henry appear in this book made it all the more special.
Seeing as this is a Lily Morton book, I had certain expectations. Witty banter, awkward situations, plenty of humor, and a few touching moments. Oz did not disappoint. I provide you with the following example where Silas is speaking to Henry over the phone:
“Okay, very quickly I need you to list the worst examples of partners I’ve picked from the beginning.”
“Since the beginning of time?” He says doubtfully.
“I’m not that old, Henry, just the twenty odd years of dating. Pick out the gems.”
“How can I do that? They were all bloody awful. That’s like asking me to pick between Darth Vader and Donald Trump – both terrible but for different reasons.”
“Well, I know I’m a bad picker, but I’d never have gone for Trump. That orange instant tan would have messed up my Egyptian cotton sheets.”
He laughs and I hear his pen tapping. “Okay, how about Rupert? He drank all of father’s port and then passed out in his study and we had to hide him behind the curtain when father came home early.” He pauses. “Or Katy who got so drunk at Mother’s third wedding that she threw up over the wedding cake.”
I think hard, trying to conjure up their faces. “Okay, this is good. Although the latent theme of alcoholism in my dates is slightly worrisome. Keep going.”
“Philippa, who you dated for a couple of weeks, she came for a weekend and left wedding brochures lying around everywhere. Beatrice, who didn’t leave any wedding brochures around because she was already married and whose irate husband made such a wonderful addition to my birthday weekend. Or the charming Freddie who took out a credit card in your name. If spending was an Olympic sport, you’d have actually been able to claim you slept with a champion.”
I laugh and he pauses for a second. “Why am I doing this?”
There’s a stunned silence and I know he’s going to come to the correct conclusion.
When he speaks again, his voice has gone high. “You’ve met someone. “
“Oh shit. How bad is it?” He coughs. “Should I come down there and help? Wait. Wait. Don’t let them meet mother until I can witness it, I need a good laugh.”
As with Ms. Morton’s previous books, I giggle-snorted my way through this one, grateful I’m on my own so much these days – no transit mishaps or sideways glares. I laughed. I was touched. I enjoyed myself thoroughly and plowed through it in just over a day. I’ve spoken a lot about Silas (and Henry and Ivo), but I want to take a moment to touch on Oz. The fabulous Oz. He’s brazen. He speaks his mind. He is never faced with a situation he won’t tackle head-on until he meets Silas’s mother. Fortunately, he sees the light of day before it’s too late. He’s such a wonderful and special character. I man I would love to know. A man whose sense of retribution upon being wronged is truly epic – I dare you not to chortle as you listen to the first scene.
The book was perfect, the ending suited the two men, and I was so very happy. I see Milo’s book is next and I can’t wait.
I’ll now move on to narration. Joel Leslie is a favorite of mine and he met and exceeded my expectations. He’s brilliant and funny and his timing is always perfect. I can see Silas and Oz (and all the other characters) in my head because Ms. Morton writes them so brilliantly, and Joel narrates them into life. I’m not British and can’t speak to the accuracy of the accents, but I loved that Oz’s was so clearly different from Silas’s. Anyway, I’ll be very excited to hear the next book in the trilogy.
10/10 Pots of Gold – Compares to 5/5 Stars
Lily lives in sunny England with her husband and two children, all of whom claim that they haven’t had a proper conversation with her since she got her Kindle.
She has spent her life with her head full of daydreams, and decided one day to just sit down and start writing about them. In the process she discovered that she actually loved writing because how else would she get to spend her time with hot, funny men?
And finally, she believes that love conquers all. Except the heat index in July. Nothing can conquer that bastard.