Review: Boots by Angel Martinez

Willem’s lost his job and his boyfriend, and now possibly his mind when his cat calls him a nitwit.

Willem’s father never approved of his artistic talents, his choices in life, or the fact that he’s gay. When the only thing Horst leaves to Willem is the family cat, he thinks it’s his father’s last insult from the grave. That is, until the cat starts talking to him.

Though Willem’s lost his boyfriend, his home, and his job, Kasha, who claims to be a magic cat, reassures him that all will be well. All he needs is Willem’s trust and a good pair of boots. But giving boots to a talking cat has unexpected consequences when odd events ambush Willem at every turn, such as the appearance of a handsome stranger in his arms at night. While he begins to suspect Kasha’s plans might be dangerous for all involved, how can he distrust such a charming kitty in cowboy boots?

Angel Martinez writes retellings of fairy tales exactly how I like them. They lean a little toward the dark side and the romance is hard fought for the MC’s.

The author does more than just retell a tale too. She gives the characters some real depth so the story stands on its own while respectfully paying homage to a classic. While Boots was set in a contemporary timeframe it read timelessly giving it a fantastical quality that is an absolute necessity for a fairy tale. I like to get a little lost in my fairy tales, as in, I don’t want to be stuck in a time period, the magic should be able to translate to any setting and Angel Martinez makes that work in Boots.

So, Willem has had a real string of bad luck and he’s basically come home out of necessity after his father’s death, but he also has his pride so he’s not taking hand-outs from anyone. He and his brothers are close-ish and the bros were periphery characters, but the dynamics they shared explained a lot about Willem and his more solitary nature. Willem inherits the old Tom cat his father owned, Puss, and has plans to leave the kit kat with his brother as Willem is homeless now, but Puss is having none of it and he sets off with Willem as they look for a place to settle.

Well, the settling comes eventually, because Willem is really pretty lost, cold and is just trudging along when Puss speaks up and informs Willem it’s time to get a move on out of the weather and knows a place where they can crash. Of course Willem thinks he’s probably lost his marbles since the cat is talking to him, but they work that out as they are supposed to do because it’s time to move the story along. Willem has lusty dreams about a beautiful man who is with him at night and HEY, guess who that turns out to be??? You get one guess.

Once the stage is set and the two get to know one another, I fell for the story pretty hard. The characters really did it for me in this one and it made me look up more by this author and I queued up Wild Rose, Silent Snow to read right after this one (review soon on the blog for that one too, spoiler alert, LOVED it.) Anywho, Willem is The MC I like to read about. His basic character is my all-encompassing book boyfriend. Willem is a big, strong dude with rough hands and no clue how appealing he is. He’s also the epitome of a gentleman without even trying, his heart just knows what’s right and his empathy can’t help but rule his actions. He can also be a dirty little minx in the sack and the steamy parts of Boots were so very hot and sweet.

Now Kasha (Puss/Boots) is the perfect, perfect, perfect match for Willem. He’s snarky and strong on the outside, but inside he’s had centuries of loneliness as he serves his series of masters and he’s let his strong will break all the rules and get him in hot water with the Goddesses in charge of all the things. The two of them grow closer and while Willem is a simple man who follows his feels, Kasha has a world of hurt under his belt and he can’t even begin to believe that he could have a forever with Willem. He is convinced that their ending is inevitable so all he wants is to make sure that Willem gets an HEA somehow. Thing is Willem wants an HEA with Kasha but there are all manner of crazy ass battling that has to happen first with nasty ass beings, as is necessary in a quality fairy tale because someone has to be a hero here after all.

The HEA happens and it doesn’t come easy or without sacrifice, but it fit with the story so well and these guys deserved it. Half the pleasure in reading this one was in the dynamics between Willem and Kasha as Kasha adjusted to Willem’s moral nature. It was terribly sweet and also broke my heart as they worked through their moments. Those times were the only glimpses we got into some of Kasha’s painful past and reading Willem’s realizations as he watched Kasha’s reaction to “getting in trouble” killed me to death in the best way. Those were the moments that solidified these two as a forever couple for me.

For more information about Boots by Angel Martinez, check it out on Goodreads.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

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