Coddiwomple by S.E. Harmon
Coddiwomple is second-chance, M/M romance done right!
And thankfully, the preface contained an explanation to the title and its meaning. “To travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination”. It wasn’t just good for my non native English speaker self to learn the meaning (and that it wasn’t a commonplace word), but it also captured the mindset of one of the MCs to a tee.
Synopsis: Journey (JJ) is a photographer, travelling the world. But when he gets a call that his father’s had a stroke, he returns home to his hometown to help out. Only, it’s not only his family he’s returning to, there’s also his ex fiancé, Cameron. The guy he left behind years before to travel and follow his dreams. Cameron never did get over Journey. But he’s not stupid enough to give his heart away – again – to someone who’s bound to leave as soon as the mood strikes. An even though Cam isn’t a fool-around type of guy, when Journey suggests a time-limited fling, would it really be so bad to take him up on that offer?
I’ve read all of Harmon’s M/M books, and I’ve got to say, she writes the best characters. I don’t know how she does it, but they’re always insta lovable. Usually, there’s also snark for days – which is practically what I live for in a story (apart from the dicking of course) – but Coddiwomple wasn’t like that. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of D to go around, but the whole read is sweeter without that one sarcastic MC (that Harmon does so well and that I adore!).
Despite the softer tone of this book, however, it was still awesome in all the ways.
At first, when Journey came back and started his campaign to get Cameron to be his neighbour with benefits, I wasn’t so sure if I’d like where the story was headed. But I needn’t have worried. Because of course it was all a front. There were feelings. And it was also hilarious in true Harmon fashion.
“I couldn’t believe Journey was serious about going home with me for a quick round, or two, of hot, sweaty, headboard-banging sex. I mean, he didn’t use any of those adjectives, but I could connect the dots. Right now, those dots looked like tiny dicks, which was probably not normal. “
Apart from Journey and Cameron’s it’s-only-a-fling thing, the flashbacks to Journey’s childhood were intriguing AF. That backstory gave the story so much more depth and upgraded the read from just a romance to something more. Journey’s family dynamic and the complicated relationship to his father and brothers were captivating and heart-breaking in equal measure. I would have liked to learn more about that. And more of the present-day acclimation to having Journey home again.
I was super frustrated at Cam towards the end, though. About how stubborn he was and the way he couldn’t see what was right before his eyes. And yes, I might have sniffled just a bit at one point. But generally, this was simply a delight to read. And I’m hoping Harmon will revisit JJ and Cam in the future. 5 stars!