Review: Count the Shells by Charlie Cochrane

Posted November 8, 2017 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 6 Comments

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Review: Count the Shells by Charlie Cochrane
Count the Shells

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: Porthkennack #6
Genres: Historical Romance, M/M Romance
Published by Riptide
Released on October 16, 2017
Pages: 253
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The Delight

A post WWI era, summer holidays with the family, and a chance to face down the past and get on with the future were all tantalizing elements of a story told by an already favorite author.  It was irresistible.  I was delighted by the way the author could surround me with an authentic feel of the era and situation for her little cast of characters.


As the Porthkennack book six, Count the Shells only shares the locale with other books from the series so functions just fine as a standalone.  In fact, this innovative series that pulls in a handful of solid British authors doesn’t even stick to one era which I thought was a great thing.

Count the Shells is not a dynamic story nor is it a swift moving one.  It’s tremendously contemplative.  This is not a book with a crisp, clean plot either particularly with that fuzzy happy for now ending.  I don’t reveal all that to say that I hated the book.  Actually, far from it, though yes, I wanted a more swoony tied-up ending rather than the appropriate one for the times and the situation.

Speaking of the times, this is post-war, waning years of the Edwardian era Cornwall.  The author nailed the whole feeling of the setting, culture, society, and the people of that era.

Michael is the narrator and he is the main figure in the story, but really, this is the story of two families.  Michael reminisces and tends to get broody.  I enjoyed him most of the time.  Though, there were a few moments when he let his anger and resentment get the better of him and he ‘shoots the messenger’ making me want to kick him in the pants to get over himself.  But, it was a very significant shock he receives that changes everything he thought so I guess I’ll cut him some slack.

My one niggle is that as Michael reflects back, I did get distracted and felt the story dragged.  I wanted things to get moving.

The romance was not exactly a full romance.  It was more the beginning of one.  The past had to be dealt with when it came to Thomas’ ghost and Michael’s feelings for Thomas.  He was attracted to Harry, but the author carefully made it clear that he distinguish between the brothers and distinguish between his feelings for them.  There were fun banter, passion, and then emotional conflict.  I would have loved an epilogue maybe even a year or two in the future to see something more solid between this pair.

So, all in all, it was moderately enjoyable.  I wasn’t as vested as I wanted to be, but didn’t actually dislike anything.  Its a lovely, gentle and emotional m/m historical romance.

My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.


Romance Roundabout #275 LGBT
New Release #161


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About Charlie Cochrane

As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes. Her favourite genre is gay fiction, predominantly historical romances/mysteries, with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes, MLR, Riptide and Lethe.

Charlie’s Cambridge Fellows Series of Edwardian romantic mysteries was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet for readers/writers of GLBT fiction. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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4 years ago

it’s too bas that it wasn’t just a bit more but in a whole it looks like a good one

Sophia Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

Yes, exactly, Melliane. I enjoyed it, but was left still wanting a little more. 🙂

4 years ago

This sounds good overall despite a few issues.

For What It’s Worth

Sophia Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  Karen

It was very good. She’s a great writer and I love her historical mystery series.

4 years ago

It’s been so long since I’ve read M/M romance! Despite some few issues, I’m glad you enjoyed this one Sophia Rose 🙂

Vanessa @ Blushing Geek

Sophia Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

Thanks, Vanessa! Yes, it wasn’t my favorite by her, but it was still a very good story.