The Man In The Blue Flowered Shorts by Susan Lodge

The Man In The Blue Flowered Shorts by Susan Lodge
Publisher: Musa Publications
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (32 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Lyn enjoys reading romance novels, especially when she can combine it with relaxing in the Caribbean sunshine. But when a mysterious stranger joins the cruise ship, fiction and fact become dangerously confused.

When Lyn Redford’s sandal hurtles across the deck of the cruise ship, it makes her first introduction to Henry Matasie rather hostile. It wasn’t just that the man was seriously grumpy; he was a walking wardrobe disaster. Do you really need to wear woollen socks with your shorts in the Caribbean heat?

Following an embarrassing encounter in the cocktail bar with Henry, Lyn and her travelling companion Shona try to find out the reason for his strange behaviour. Later, when Lyn accidentally reads his e-mail, she is convinced the man in the blue flowered shorts is deadly dangerous.

When Henry swaps his awful holiday clothes for a dress suit to attend the gala dinner the transformation sets Lyn’s pulse racing. But she is convinced he still hides a guilty secret and she is intent on discovering what it is.

While Lyn is on a cruise with her friend Shona, a man in a pair of blue poppy shorts and a lime green t-shirt with splashes of yellow and pale, pale white skin captures their attention. Getting off to a rocky start, Lyn isn’t very impressed with the man in the blue shorts. He appears less than thrilled with her, too, as at both their first and second introduction she manages to hurt his previously injured foot. Soon Lyn is hard pressed to understand whether it’s annoyance, or an irritated, curious kind of intrigued that she feels towards the strange man.

This is a fun read, perfect for summer or a day where you wish it were you on a cruise ship in the Caribbean, away from the world on holiday. The author takes us on a lovely trip, filled with vibrant secondary characters, plenty of chuckles and what I felt was a well paced, gradual slide into romance between Henry and Lyn. I’m hard pressed to believe anyone could finish this story and not want to sit back and pretend for just a few minutes they had spent time on a ship, sipping cocktails, getting some sun and having the funny but still sexy interludes with a strange man that stirs your senses.

I found the plot device between Henry and Lyn a little unrealistic, in that I guessed it almost immediately, but it succeeded in adding some tension and mystery into what would have otherwise been a very smooth, too-easy progression between them. Still, the fact Lyn didn’t guess immediately what was really going on, rather than letting her over-active imagination take control, made me feel a bit disappointed in her, especially since she didn’t even pause to question her own leaping to conclusions. It made her seem a bit silly and the plot device contrived, which made me sad as I so enjoyed the rest of the story.

Overall though I thought this is an excellent book, warmly funny with interesting characters and a few laugh out loud moments. While there is plenty of chemistry between Lyn and Henry there is no overly erotic scenes, no sex and nothing to shy away from. While I found the “deception” a bit of a let down this is strongly made up for on the strength of the characters, the excellent pace of the story and the vibrancy of the writing itself. An enjoyable, quick read.


  1. Fern
    Thank you for reviewing my book. I found the feedback both helpful and constructive. I am so glad that overall you enjoyed the story and it made you smile. There is a sequel called ‘The Man in The Buff Breeches’ which tells Shona’s story after they return from the Caribbean. If you have the time and inclination I would be really pleased if you chose to review it.

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