Alfie Bell is . . . fine.
He’s got a six-figure salary, a penthouse in Canary Wharf, the car he swore he’d buy when he was eighteen, and a bunch of fancy London friends.
It’s rough, though, going back to South Shields now that they all know he’s a fully paid-up pansy. It’s the last place he’s expecting to pull. But Fen’s gorgeous, with his pink-tipped hair and hipster glasses, full of the sort of courage Alfie’s never had. It should be a one-night thing, but Alfie hasn’t met anyone like Fen before.
Except he has. At school, when Alfie was everything he was supposed to be, and Fen was the stubborn little gay boy who wouldn’t keep his head down. And now it’s a proper mess: Fen might have slept with Alfie, but he’ll probably never forgive him, and Fen’s got all this other stuff going on anyway, with his mam and her flower shop and the life he left down south.
Alfie just wants to make it right. But how can he, when all they’ve got in common is the nowhere town they both ran away from.
Sexual content, past bullying (one character bullied the other when they were children), internalised homophobia and internalised toxic masculinity (challenged on page), parent with Alzheimer’s, death of a parent (happens in the past and off page), grieving, euthanasia (happens in the past and off page), homophobic language, homophobia, mild violence.
Praise for Pansies
Simply the best writer I’ve come across in years.
Hall’s sex scenes are a heady mix of hot play-by-play, breathy exhilaration, emotional discovery, and endearing awkwardness.