Erryn reviews Nachos and Hash by Brandon Witt (Published May 19, 2020, 150 pages) The audiobook version of this novella was narrated by Gerrod Larkyn, on July 29, 2020, and is 3 hrs and 29 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: Brandon Witt audiobooks are a must for me.
A Mary’s Boys Novella
Darwin Michaels is living his dreams in the Mile High City. While Denver offers the perfect job, scrumptious dining, and whirlwind dating options, Darwin is losing hope he’ll find the right man to spark his interest for more than a one-night stand – until he sets eyes on Cody Russell.
Cody has just accomplished his life’s goal – get the hell out of Kansas. In one fell swoop, he lands a job at Hamburger Mary’s and gets a newfound family and the chance to be with other gay people! All that’s missing is someone special. But when Darwin shows his interest, Cody is sure it’s too good to be true. After all, what can Darwin possibly see in the high school dropout serving him nachos?
As Darwin falls in love, Cody struggles to realize his worth. When his past threatens the fragile life he is building, Cody spirals into a moment of dark desperation. But Darwin is determined to show Cody that love and family and home are there for him…will Cody accept what is offered?
When this book was released on audio several years ago I listened to it. The narration wasn’t great but the story grabbed me. When I saw the book was being rereleased with a new narrator, I leapt at the opportunity to grab the book. And I’m so glad I did. Gerrod Larkyn was perfect for this series. He had great voices for all the characters including the ones from the south whose accents were important to the story. I enjoyed the book far more with this narrator and plan to dig into the entire series.
Here’s my original review:
Ever since I listened to The Shattered Door, I’ve been waiting to hear Darwin’s story. Being gay in the small town of El Dorado in the Ozarks was really tough on him. He found someone who supported him during a crisis, after which his parents became supportive. He’s been in Denver for a while now, working in a great job with some audacious twin women who are a hoot.
Cody is also a newcomer to Denver, but his story is quite different. This big and accepting city can be overwhelming for a sheltered small-town boy, but he’s landed a gig at Hamburger Mary’s as a bartender. He’s gay, and being around such accepting people is wonderful for him. Other members of the staff are protective of him, so when Darwin shows up and catches Cody’s eye, he has to prove himself worthy of the younger man’s affection. Add in Mandonna the Drag Queen, as well as Steve and Pat, the owners, and it is quite a cast of characters.
This is a novella, so the insta-love is more noticeable, but it’s clear very quickly the two men have more in common than just coming from small towns.
Both men are easy to love. One wants a husband, children, and a family – believing himself worthy of those things. The other would like more than one-night stands. He isn’t sure he is worth more than a quickie, though.
A crisis bonds these men together as Darwin has an opportunity to step up and prove his love for Cody while Cody is finally able to see and accept the truth about his life.
I won’t lie – my heart was with Cody because I know that dark place. I was so glad he had Darwin and, in the end, a family he didn’t even know he had. Since I enjoy all of Brandon’s books, I can’t wait for the next one in the series. Novellas are hard to write, but this one was wonderful.
Brandon Witt’s outlook on life is greatly influenced by his first eighteen years of growing up gay in a small town in the Ozarks, as well as fifteen years as a counselor and special education teacher for students with severe emotional disabilities. Add to that his obsession with corgis and mermaids, then factor in an unhealthy love affair with cheeseburgers, and you realize that with all those issues, he’s got plenty to write about…