Book Reviews

Let It Breathe (Queens Crescent) by Kristian Parker

Genre Gay / Bisexual / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Bob-O-Link on 28-November-2023

Book Blurb

Simon Harrington has two great loves, the first being his son, Luca, and the second, wine. As a premier importer, Simon has built a business that allows him to live on Queens Crescent, one of London’s most exclusive addresses. Yet that life is under threat—one of Simon’s main clients has gone bust.

When Simon’s ex-wife nags him to find a man and stop hiding behind their son, Simon feels change is in the air. And when he meets Rodrigo Costa at a party, everything turns upside down. This man is the most gorgeous hunk Simon has ever laid eyes on. Even better, it appears nightclub owner Rodrigo could be the answer to Simon’s business woes.

The chemistry between them is off the scale from the first moment they meet. However, Simon soon discovers Rodrigo is running from his own demons. Simon will have to let his guard down completely to find the happiness he craves. Is he brave enough to do that?


Book Review

In the imagination of many gay and lesbian readers, special neighborhoods exist among the world’s more prominent cities in which our compatriots exist with freedom, if not prominence. If not science fiction, perhaps at least social fiction. Translate the location into social subgenres and we may imbibe in mythology, murder, comic and/or sexual delight. Well – you get it, we can be the epicenters of our own worlds.


Author Parker once again returns our attention to a particular street in modern London, favored almost exclusively by worldly citizens of bent persuasion, living lives almost to the exclusion of less dull and more common-experienced fellows. Through the author’s imagination, without extensive effort, we pass through a social looking glass into a comfortable and quite familiar universe. In so many ways, Queens Crescent is mindful of many emblematic cinematic English neighborhoods – almost stereotypical, save for that previously noted bent.


We meet Simon, a resident wine merchant. He is quite gay, happily (but convivially) divorced, and the father of a perspicacious (another pleasant stereotype!) seven-year-old. In fact, Simon’s ex is quite determined to see him happily and fully coupled. We readers are given a light gloss to reintroduce us to the Crescent’s populace – noted in earlier volumes. Kudos to Kristian Parker, as the introductions sufficiently season our fictional stew, but without imposing the necessity of over-engaging our memories in anything approaching a saga.


Simon is an outgoing person, quite gorgeous in looks, and of pleasant demeanor – but given to spotty feelings of inadequacy or nervousness. Short of being able to express his desires, Steven seems limited in his abilities to long-term sexual recouplings, just those occasional trysts. His life is focused on his son and his business.


Surpassing a one-note description, Simon is presented to us as a complete person, interesting and engaging. That broadens to novel’s flow and engages us most easily, from brain to lower organs.


The story is easy. Simon meets Rodrigo, an attractive South African preparing to open an exclusive London wine club. Rodrigo, also gay (thus avoiding any pseudo effect at proselytizing!), is attractive and available. The story that follows is interesting, travels to engaging locations, presents characters for us to cheer and jeer. The plot is worth our pennies and the sex won’t disappoint us either. Fulfilling the wants of good authorship, our main personae are multidimensional, worthy of our developing familiarity, and of course, eventually physically engage either other much as proverbial bunnies. (Example of style: “Rodrigo grinned and sashayed over. The swimwear barely covered a sizable bulge that Simon couldn't take his eyes off. This man was a stunning as the view.”)


This review requires almost nothing more to be a recommending encomium. As the good author, Kristian Parker exercises lovely subtlety when balancing Simon’s relationship with his young son, and Rodrigo’s with his own domineering mother.


Read and enjoy. (One more to come in the series!)





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author via GRRT for the purpose of a review.


Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 216 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 12-October-2023
Price $5.02 ebook, $10.75 paperback
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