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3.5 stars. 3.5 starsIt took me a while to get into this story and it was enjoyable to a point Greg and Danny s relationship for the most part is an interesting journey, they have their ups and downs like most couples only with the added stress of the obsessed, religious mother in law What I really missed was the intimacy between Greg and Danny, the actual wooing and romance I would have thought after their many separations there might have been at least some kisses and tender caresses, a bittogetherness would have been a lovely addition It was a witty, cleverly written story and I loved the provocative take on some of those questionable beliefs My only other niggle was the 180 degree turnaround Vivien had from evil bitch to loving mother in law it was too sudden to be believable. Greg Stephens is happy with his life He s still a young man, gets to visit exotic locations as part of his job as a flight crew attendant, and has great friends He s got a veddy proper English accent, which lands him in as many guys beds as he wants So it s a bit of a surprise when, at the end of accompanying a flight of troops to the Middle East, he walks into a bar and sees a handsome blonde Navy man who hits all his hot buttons.Danny Taylor is out with some fellow officers, having a drink, when he looks up and sees a good looking man walk in When the man works his way to Danny s table with his beautiful female companion, he just has to strike up a conversation with him And while the packaging and accent and smile all float his boat, it s Greg s ridiculous sense of humor and good heart that prompt him to ask Greg out to dinner the next night.So at the height of DADT Don t Ask Don t Tell , Greg starts a circumspect and unlikely romance with the semi closeted Navy man Despite the fact that he s a British citizen, that he s in a different country every week, that he s very concerned about his widowed mother and not over the loss of his father, and that he s really not looking for something long term, he flat out falls in love with the strong, intelligent and sexy gentle man.Oh Then he meets Danny s mother Andthen other shoe drops.Because the born again, church going, Steel Magnolia of a Texas mother takes a very distinct dislike to her son s boyfriend, and begins a well choreographed campaign of quiet terrorism against him.Will Greg maintain his famous British stiff upper lip and try to keep the peace between Danny and his mother, or will he give in to the overwhelming odds stacked against the couple This book is straight up fantastic Greg Hogben doesn t fool me for one minute he snarks, gripes and all but bitch slaps us with funny one liners and droll humor, but what really shines through like the sun in this great big ol Valentine of a book is his huge loving heart.This is a romance, make no mistake Pure and simple romance Sure, there are parts where I had to put my Kindle down because I was laughing so hard, and other parts that choked me up But this book made a direct connection with my heart, grabbing hold of it from the first encounter where Greg and Danny meet The easy and predictable thing would have been to have them meet eyes across the crowded bar and sneak off for a quick romp, then falls instantly in love.No.Mr Hogben takes us on a long, scenic drive in the country instead, showing us all the little things that creep up on a man when we look up and find ourselves in love He lets us see the small jokes, the intimate moments and silly phone calls, the in jokes between two guys that make us giggle snort but that nobody else gets The million thoughts that run through our heads when we meet our guy s family and friends and have those WTH moments.But most of all, he shows us the ups and down, the petty things we do when we are ticked off and regret, then the quiet regrets that always bring us back to the one we love The everyday thing that add up to a month, a year, then five, seven.Most remarkably, he shows us all this care, this love, without opening the bedroom door Oh, there s no doubt these two men are wearing the mattress, sofa, and probably the kitchen counters out with hot times, but we don t need thesedistractions This is a LOVE story, not a sex story.And damn, if that wasn t refreshing.I loved this book At a particularly hard time in my life, this came along like a soothing balm and made me remember how and why love matters I couldn t have asked for .Buy this book.Tom This book made me think about my mother in law A lot Not that she s a Jesus Freak from Texas, she s an 88 year old Southern Belle from Georgia Different brand of crazy, but crazy none the less She will be nothing but gushingly lovely to my face, while telling all her friends what a horrible wife and mother I am Just this morning she came to the conclusion that a watch she couldn t find must have been taken by our son When he visited her last, two years ago You know Crazy hurtful stuff like that And a new episode every week So when you write a book about dealing with a crazy mother in law, you can go two ways You either play it up for laughs or you let the reader share the hurt you ve experienced, because it really isn t funny at all when it really comes down to it I tend to share my stories as funny, because I am 100% sure that my husband would pick me over his mother, if asked In fact, he told her when we got together that if she ever treated me the way she treated her daughter s husband he would never see her again Hence the gushing and the backstabbing Greg doesn t have this luxury Unlike my husband, Danny hasn t long ago acknowledged that his mother is crazy and he isof a stick your head in the sand can t we all just get along kinda guy Greg, naively, thinks he can keep the full extent of mother s nastiness from Danny, because he doesn t want Danny to have to choose Admirable, but in the end untenable, as anyone ever in that situation would know The tension in this book comes from expecting the inevitable blow up While I liked the book, I think it suffered from not coming down on a clear side of funny or tragic Maybe it was meant to betragic, but was it written too Britishly reserved to have the full impact Or maybe the humor was too understated for me All the examples of American ignorance when it comes to other cultures and the irritating overrating of the importance of their own were recognizable to me as Dutch import resident in California, but could have been donescathingly Maybe they reshocking to Europeans who haven t been here and for Americans who don t like to be criticized, but for me it wasof a yeah, and. when these things were mentioned I wish Greg had wielded a scalpel instead of a butter knife throughout the book view spoiler The blow up, when it finally comes, is nicely done However, when Mrs Jesus Freak goes from screaming You are the Serpent at her son in law to acknowledging how wrong she was within 5 minutes, after Danny gives her speech about love and tolerance, that was a major WTF moment for me Irrational mother in laws don t suddenly become susceptible to reason If mine is anything to go by this would have been a farlikely scenario Son tells mom she s gone too far and she needs to knock it off Mother dissolves into tears and claims that no one understands her and son doesn t love her and what has she done that God punishes her this way When this doesn t bring son to his knees she doesn t speak to him for 2 or 3 months Then she calls and pretends it never happened, but tones down the rhetoric considerably For the near future anyway Until it happens again hide spoiler I can t tell you how much I enjoyed this book Not only did it have me laughing out loud, but the serious topics of the novel left me feeling as frustrated as the main character It is a true love against the odds tale, but at the same time is a reflection of our society and the inequality shown towards the gay community With DOMA, DADT and Immigration being addressed, as well as how the Christian fundamentalists wield such power in our country, it is almost impossible as a gay man not to connect to this novel on some level SPOILER The end of the book is rather abrupt The villain of the story comes around at a pace that I found, at the time of reading, a little unbelievable However, on reflection and after re reading the chapter I wonder whether my initial reaction was wrong The reasons for her actions, and her ultimate confession, left the main character with a choice He could either punish her for her behavior, which would have gone against his love for his partner, or he could let it go and not beat her around the head with it I am not too sure whether I would have been so gracious as Greg, and if I was honest, and out of a selfish want of wanting to read , I would have loved for him to have his sharp tongue slice into her evenBut this wouldn t have suited his character Although the turn around was fast, I was pleased that it didn t tint my opinion of him as, up to that point I found him likable and funny as hell After spending so many years attempting to protect his partner of his mother s betrayal, I think anyof a show down would have left me feeling that Greg s protection and love of Danny wasn t as real as it seemed.Overall, this was an excellent story.Highly recommended. I might just be biased but I loved this book lol.Greg is a wonderfully funny character with a sense of humour that had me chuckling out loud.Danny is the best of both worlds, strong and sure yet soft and tender Vivien was the worse kind of hypocrite I hated her with a passion This was a real romance story The love Greg and Danny find and nurture is wonderful to watch unfold The realism of this book was in every page, from Greg s last days with his father, to Craig and Greg trying to one up each other as only brothers can Then there s poor George who loved his wife even though he saw her change from the woman he married Even Tucker, who I found pretty annoying most times, was believable.This book managed to be both entertaining but extremely thought provoking at the same time If I had any complaints it was with the speed of Vivian seeing the error of her ways Out of everything that felt the least real to me I really hope if Vivian was based on a real mother that she was largely exagerated I would also of liked to see a littleintimacy between our two guys I loved that there was no sex in this book Frankly it made a refreshing change to have that go on behind closed doors, but a few kisses would have been nice lol But that aside I recommend this to everyone looking for a real romance. .Download E-pub ♵ The British Devil ☨ British National Greg Stephens Knew There Would Be Challenges In His New Relationship With Handsome American Navy Officer Danny Taylor Long Distance Don T Ask, Don T Tell The Defense Of Marriage Act US ImmigrationBut He Didn T Anticipate His Greatest Obstacle Danny S Born Again Christian Mother, Vivien A Secretary In A Small Town Southern Baptist Church In Texas, She Bristles At Greg S Secular Beliefs Through Passive Aggressive Manipulation, Subtle Deceit, Or Outright Battle, Vivien Resolves To Banish Greg And Return Danny To The Fold, Come Hell Or High Water Greg S Hold On Danny S Heart Is Pitted Against Vivien S Crusade For Danny S SoulAll The While, Greg Devotes Himself To Keeping Danny Happy While Negotiating The Cultural Differences Of His Life In America Danny S New Career As A Lawyer Takes Them From His Native Texas To New York But With Vivien Testing Greg S Stiff Upper Lip At Every Turn, Something Has To Give The British Devil Is A Semiautobiographical Novel Exploring Culture, Religion, And Love In A Bi National Relationship I really enjoyed this book The dry humor was well done and I especially liked the dialogue Because the growing relationship between the characters was so well done I didn t miss the sex scenes at all These characters had so much depth I felt like I knew them and wanted to see good things happen for them kept me reading The conflicts are realistic and not overdone angst If I have one criticism, it s the abrupt change in attitude of the mother at the end Thought the resolution came a little too easily, I loved everything else I like this author s voice and style and will be looking forward tofrom him. 4.5 stars.The blurb captures the essence of the book without giving away the whole of it.The author has created a very real plot with fully fleshed out characters Some if the scenes were too realistic for me as they were too close to home There were times when reading this that I actively sought out other books to read I was that uncomfortable The climatic scene was written well with its arguments on both sides It was probably over the top for real life, but made for a great stage moment Actually this could actually make a great stage play The flight attendant s situations, their thoughts and work life rang very true to me I have over 20 long haul flights a year and can vouch for this I grew up in a very conservative evangelical family so I know where Danny and his family were coming from My husband of 34 years has not ever come out to his parents, but very early in they knew For the longest time I was dreading a scene like in the book, but apparently his parents have made peace with this There are still times when they want a family photo of just Tim and them, which still hurts that they don t really consider me to be part of their true family Obviously thus was one of the tough moment in the book that was very real and hard to read for me personally In my own family I have had to fight for acceptance, which was grudgingly given at times by parents and siblings Yet my brothers kids haven t had a problem with us at all, nor surprisingly my grandmother who immediately considered Tim one of the family I chalk it up to generational differences I have also grappled with the jealousy of past boyfriends and sometimes still deal with those issues My Tim teaches at university and is surrounded by cute college twinks Hard to take when one perceives oneself as aging My companies home office is in Dallas, TX so I know some of what that is about in the book When I joined the company in 1990 I made sure that the owner knew I was gay and in a relationship as I didn t want any issues Internally there weren t any Externally a gay man I was work with on a project in Japan said I had to pretend to be straight for our client I did so at first, then decided I couldn t hid that part of me and the client was very accepting So the closeted gay sentiment by conservatives in the book also rang very true for me as well.Summing up, I very much recommend the book I think some of the scenes are over exaggerated Mostly very real. Greg Stephens and Danny Taylor s relationship reads as a very heartfelt story, full of insights of what love at a great distance must be the physical distance that is, as well as across the great divide of culture The writing is assured, mixing angst with wit, conflict with humor, and all under layered with the sort of descriptions which are usually only gained through observation rather than only research.The culture language clash between the very secular British Greg and the Texan Danny from an ultra conservative Southern Baptist family sits at the novel s core and it is their enjoyment in the discovery of cultural differences and similarities which gives it so much heart It is hard to avoid some wonder at Danny s long suffering tolerance toward his mother, but whenever it feels like a break up must be coming between he and Greg, Danny smooths it over In another probably M M novel this would have been the cue for a Big Misunderstanding and the fact that it wasn t underlines that this is a real gay man s story and one, however, with no explicitly erotic scenes at all.Hogben creates a fine cast list of characters, from main to secondary and tertiary, and weaves an aura about Danny s fanatically religious mother Viven that she comes to rival Cruella de Vil which predicates the culmination of the social religious clash between she and Greg and this is the weakest element of the novel not for what it represents or even how it s expressed, but in the unconvincing suddenness of her bid for redemption The turn around from her seeing Greg as Satan stealing away her son to accepting their gay relationship is so abrupt one is led to suspect a sneaky plot device to shock, like the ending of Friday the 13th or many other horror movies But being the book it is, this isn t the case, simply a writer running out of space to make aconvincing change of heart Perhaps the coda would have beensatisfactory had Vivien been only grudgingly accepting of her son s relationship with Greg but then it wouldn t have been such a happy ending.Endings are always a difficulty and maybe authors should not be excoriated when they opt for a full scale happy one, but the naming of the adopted boy view spoiler as Christian hide spoiler