Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Waiting for the Flood by Alexis Hall

Waiting for the Flood* * * * *

People come as well as go.

Twelve years ago, Edwin Tully came to Oxford and fell in love with a boy named Marius. He was brilliant. An artist. It was going to be forever.

Two years ago, it ended.

Now Edwin lives alone in the house they used to share. He tends to damaged books and faded memories, trying to a build a future from the fragments of the past.

Then the weather turns, and the river spills into Edwin’s quiet world, bringing with it Adam Dacre from the Environment Agency. An unlikely knight, this stranger with roughened hands and worn wellingtons, but he offers Edwin the hope of something he thought he would never have again.

As the two men grow closer in their struggle against the rising waters, Edwin learns he can’t protect himself from everything—and sometimes he doesn't need to try.


In all the years that Edwin has lived in his Oxford home, he has been lucky enough to avoid any of the flooding that is common in his neighborhood.  But his good fortune is about to end as he is helpless to stop the continuous rain.  Nothing to do but to check in and help his kind and feisty elderly neighbor, Mrs. Peaberry, and then go on with his day as usual.  Fortunately, workers have arrived to help the residents prepare for the imminent flooding. 

One of those workers is a civil engineer, Adam Dacre.  He’s super kind and friendly and loves chatting up the residents while helping them.  The chatting he does with Edwin is obviously more flirtatious than it is with anyone else.  Unfortunately, Edwin doesn’t quite recognize that flirtatiousness.  He does, however, recognize the kindness and is completely enamored with it all.  But Edwin has a lot of insecurities to overcome.  A breakup with his long-time partner, Marius, has left him feeling unwanted and emotionally adrift.   On top of that is the stutter he has had since he was a child.  Although, he has lived with it forever and knows himself well enough to adapt, it still makes him self-conscious. Fortunately, Adam is quietly persistent and Edwin is not completely shut off that he doesn’t realize he needs to finally let some things go in case there is a possibility of something greater between him and Adam.

I’ve made it no secret that romance novellas are hit or miss for me.  Often times I get frustrated because the character development is lacking which doesn’t allow me to identify with the hero or heroine (or both) enough to make their relationship believable.   There are, of course, exceptions to this and Waiting for the Flood is one of those.  Hall manages to flesh out a complicated character in a short amount of time while telling a very believable and inviting love story. 

One of the many, many things I love about reading is seeing how authors know their characters so well that it affects the actions that take place on the page.  In Alexis Hall’s Glitterland, the sex/love scenes are unabashed and sometimes even rude.  That’s because the main character, Ash, is more than a little shameless and more than a little bit of a prick.  But in Waiting for the Flood we have Edwin Tully who is kind, sensitive and self-conscious.  He would never let anyone else into the bedroom which means that the one love scene in this book is a beautiful and hypersensitive moment that quickly fades to black.  I refuse to confirm or deny the rumor that it left me sighing over the romance of it all…

I became a huge fan of Alexis Hall when I read Glitterland.  Hall manages to take beautiful lyrical prose and seamlessly insert it into everyday conversation.  It’s ridiculously beautiful AND believable and I wish everyone spoke and thought this way.  The only comparison I can give is if you have ever had the luxury of hearing David Levithan speak.  It’s both comforting and emotionally engaging.   

“But when he spoke, there was only warmth, deep as his eyes, and the velvet-rough edge of laughter.  The sort of laughter I like best, laughter that isn’t really at anyone.  Laughter that’s just there, for its own sake, like the touch of a friend or a lover.”

If you are looking for a short romance with a great main character and a healthy dose of British humor, I can’t recommend this one enough. 



  1. Aww, what a lovely review of a such a beautiful, touching book! I would give your review 5 stars if I could :-) Couldn't possibly agree more, about this book & Alexis Hall's writing, in general.

    Pam/Peejakers (pjfaste)