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For a Rainy Afternoon

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Robbie MacIntyre manages a small post office in the old Station House on the outskirts of sleepy Barton Hartshourn northwest of London. He’s stunned when the owner, Maggie, a close friend, bequeaths him not only the post office, but also Station House. The rest of her estate is left to an American writer, Jason Young, and when he moves to the village, Robbie is thrown by t Robbie MacIntyre manages a small post office in the old Station House on the outskirts of sleepy Barton Hartshourn northwest of London. He’s stunned when the owner, Maggie, a close friend, bequeaths him not only the post office, but also Station House. The rest of her estate is left to an American writer, Jason Young, and when he moves to the village, Robbie is thrown by the attraction he has for the man who has more of a claim on the Station House than he does. Then there is a box that holds several rare first editions and a cookbook. Only when the secrets of the ingredients in a particular recipe are finally revealed does everything begin to make sense, and a love cut short seventy years earlier is finally discovered.


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Robbie MacIntyre manages a small post office in the old Station House on the outskirts of sleepy Barton Hartshourn northwest of London. He’s stunned when the owner, Maggie, a close friend, bequeaths him not only the post office, but also Station House. The rest of her estate is left to an American writer, Jason Young, and when he moves to the village, Robbie is thrown by t Robbie MacIntyre manages a small post office in the old Station House on the outskirts of sleepy Barton Hartshourn northwest of London. He’s stunned when the owner, Maggie, a close friend, bequeaths him not only the post office, but also Station House. The rest of her estate is left to an American writer, Jason Young, and when he moves to the village, Robbie is thrown by the attraction he has for the man who has more of a claim on the Station House than he does. Then there is a box that holds several rare first editions and a cookbook. Only when the secrets of the ingredients in a particular recipe are finally revealed does everything begin to make sense, and a love cut short seventy years earlier is finally discovered.

30 review for For a Rainy Afternoon

  1. 5 out of 5

    ~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~

    ~3.25~ I like R.J. Scott's writing, and I enjoyed the small British village setting in For a Rainy Afternoon. The village of Burton Hartshorn, population 300, is as far off the beaten path as one can get. That's why Robbie, manager of the town's post office/bakery/café, is so surprised to see a gorgeous American trying to locate Apple Tree Cottage, which used to belong to Maggie. Maggie was Robbie's friend and surrogate grandmother. She made the best applesauce cake and gave Robbie much needed di ~3.25~ I like R.J. Scott's writing, and I enjoyed the small British village setting in For a Rainy Afternoon. The village of Burton Hartshorn, population 300, is as far off the beaten path as one can get. That's why Robbie, manager of the town's post office/bakery/café, is so surprised to see a gorgeous American trying to locate Apple Tree Cottage, which used to belong to Maggie. Maggie was Robbie's friend and surrogate grandmother. She made the best applesauce cake and gave Robbie much needed direction. Robbie's been bereft since Maggie's passing, but Jason intrigues him. When Robbie and Jason are thrown together, they discover that their meeting is no accident. Even though Maggie is on page only briefly, her presence shines through in the story. We learn more about her past and her connection to Jason and his family. I felt like Maggie was a better developed character than either Robbie or Jason. Robbie is the fist-person narrator, so we are privy to his thought process, but Jason remained shrouded in mystery. Jason is an author, but we never get a sense of the books he writes. He is wealthy, but we know next to nothing about his family and past. Many of Jason and Robbie's interactions are summarized, and the steam/passion is almost nonexistent. This wasn't a surprise to me, as Scott's books are generally low on the steam, but I felt the lack strongly in this story. There is plenty of sweetness here, and I would bill the ending a tentative HEA. I especially liked Robbie's many attempts at recreating Maggie's famous applesauce cake; he only gets it right when he bakes from his heart. However, I wanted more focus on the relationship and definitely more spark between the MCs.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nick Pageant

    Very short and VERY sweet. I may have to see a dentist.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ami

    3.5 stars This is an enjoyable little novella! I am quite familiar with Ms. Scott’s writing (although I haven’t read any of her stories for a year). It doesn’t mean that I don’t have any discontents, though. I’ll focus on those first. I thought that Jason as a character wasn’t developed enough. Probably because the story was narrated from Robbie’s perspective and somehow it made me miss who Jason really was. It said that Jason was an author but I didn’t really get to know how successful he was, wh 3.5 stars This is an enjoyable little novella! I am quite familiar with Ms. Scott’s writing (although I haven’t read any of her stories for a year). It doesn’t mean that I don’t have any discontents, though. I’ll focus on those first. I thought that Jason as a character wasn’t developed enough. Probably because the story was narrated from Robbie’s perspective and somehow it made me miss who Jason really was. It said that Jason was an author but I didn’t really get to know how successful he was, what kind of books he loved to write. Just the fact that Jason was writing something historical at the moment. Jason was also said to be very rich, that money was not a problem for him, but again, I didn’t get that from the story. There was one summarized paragraph on how Robbie and Jason connected and they talked about EVERYTHING. And all I could do as a reader was … “Say what?!? What is EVERYTHING??” I also felt like I was missing the idea of this series – a tale of the curious cookbook – uhm, is it only because Robbie found that mysterious cookbook of Maggie’s? Will this be the kind of cookbook that is shared by different couples written by different authors? Is there something magical from the cookbook or is it stated as “curious” simply because the recipes there are written for different types of situations? I wish Ms. Scott explored that, especially since this is practically the first story of the series. It would be nice if there was a footing of it somehow. Even if the stories are meant to be stand-alone. But despite those issues, I still found that there was something comforting in reading about two men in a quiet British village setting. I loved the relationship building – I loved that Robbie (with his red hair!!) always wanted someone who was quiet and could appreciate those rainy afternoons. And Robbie never thought he would find it in an American! Plus this little novella came to me right after I rated a book with 2.5*. So it felt like a wonderful remedy to my heart and soul. Final thought, that lovely cover! Isn’t it a breath of fresh air, not having to stare at naked torsos? Or any facial expressions to be honest? I always love it when the MM romance covers don’t feature any men at all. So this one is just pretty for me and it’s actually the reason why I decided to read the whole series. The ARC is provided by the publisher for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jewel

    3.5 Stars Sweet as applesause cake and falling in love.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Fernanda Parente

    Just because it's too small

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    I have a love of books set in the English countryside. I don't care which part of England, actually I like books set in the countryside anywhere in the UK. There is something about the romance of books with rural villages as their setting that make my heart sing. They are purely indulgent for me and I enjoy them unashamedly. Gossipy knitting circles, the pub that is the heart of the village, families that have known each other for decades or longer, newcomers, village schools...whatever stereoty I have a love of books set in the English countryside. I don't care which part of England, actually I like books set in the countryside anywhere in the UK. There is something about the romance of books with rural villages as their setting that make my heart sing. They are purely indulgent for me and I enjoy them unashamedly. Gossipy knitting circles, the pub that is the heart of the village, families that have known each other for decades or longer, newcomers, village schools...whatever stereotype is involved it's pretty much guaranteed I'm going to love it. I don't care that I've pretty much always lived in small English villages and know many of it to be er, shall go with, not entirely accurate (these days) I still love it. This book was no exception, like others of its ilk it warmed the cockles of my heart. Take one local dealing with the death of an elderly neighbour, friend and bequeath-er (is that a word??? it is now), throw in an un-met American relative, a little bit of old lady magic and watch the sparks fly. I can't say how much I enjoyed this little gem, it's the perfect Sunday afternoon book, whether it be read lazing in a sunny garden with a nice glass of wine or curled up in front of a roaring fire with a cup of tea. As well as watching Robbie and Jason fall in love we learn about Maggie's own lost love from seventy years prior. RJ Scott does a wonderful job of weaving the threads together. I have to say Maggie is a wonderful character and I love how her meddling ways set up Robbie and Jason - even though she is no longer with them. I would say that to anybody who enjoys a good old fashioned love story then this is a story for you. Warm, moving and romantic, it is a beautiful little read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    A perfect afternoon read. No angst with charming characters. My only wish is that there were more. I would gladly read an extended version of this story.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    I’m a sucker for anything with a WWII subplot.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    3.5 stars rounded down to 3 because still no 1/2 stars here on GR. Things are looking up... While 'Tales from the Curious Cookbook' is a series there really doesn't seem to be an order to how the stories are read. The connection from story to story is the cookbook but other than that the order is really flexible which is a good thing for me since I've just been clicking play on whatever title is next on the list. 'For a Rainy Afternoon' is R.J. Scott's contribution to this series and as with pret 3.5 stars rounded down to 3 because still no 1/2 stars here on GR. Things are looking up... While 'Tales from the Curious Cookbook' is a series there really doesn't seem to be an order to how the stories are read. The connection from story to story is the cookbook but other than that the order is really flexible which is a good thing for me since I've just been clicking play on whatever title is next on the list. 'For a Rainy Afternoon' is R.J. Scott's contribution to this series and as with pretty much anything R.J. Scott, I very much enjoyed this one and I was treated to a new narrator. Ian Gordon was the narrator for this one and while I'm normally a sucker for a good British accent and there was definitely one or two of those. It was the voice of Jason Young the American that totally enchanted me and like Robbie MacIntyre I was more than happy just to sit back and listen to Jason talk. good story + good narration = WIN!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tara♥ {MindforBooks}

    I'm all about the sweet and fluffy lately but I didn't really like this one all that much. I know this series is supposed to be about the fluff and now I'm worried it might be too much for me. This had potential but it kind of lost that potential about halfway through and became a little sickly sweet. There was also something about Robbie and Jason that was a bit meh, again at the start I was excited about them but they seemed to become very one dimensional and everything felt rushed. I found th I'm all about the sweet and fluffy lately but I didn't really like this one all that much. I know this series is supposed to be about the fluff and now I'm worried it might be too much for me. This had potential but it kind of lost that potential about halfway through and became a little sickly sweet. There was also something about Robbie and Jason that was a bit meh, again at the start I was excited about them but they seemed to become very one dimensional and everything felt rushed. I found them to be very disappointing. Yes, it's only 60 odd pages but I have read shorts with a lot less pages and more rounded characters so I don't think length has anything to do with that. And do not get me started on the Applesauce cake. (view spoiler)[ He used jars of applesauce? Are you fucking kidding me? I know this is not a life or death situation but if you are having trouble figuring out why the cake isn't working I'm pretty sure that would be the first thing most people would change. This might have bothered me more than it should and I may have unfairly taken away a star because of it. I'm a bitch like that. (hide spoiler)] I did very much like the picture of an english village this painted in my mind though. Pretty!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Really lovely short story <3

  12. 4 out of 5

    Serena Yates

    This first book in the ‘Tales of the Curious Cookbook’ collection definitely worked its magic on me. Warm, gentle, and with some delicious mentions of wonderful recipes, it is an excellent representative of what I would call “comfort food of the mind”. While Robbie and Jason are the focus of the story, Maggie and the slightly mysterious selection of recipes she passes on to them are characters in their own right. As the blurb for the collection says: “Food created out of love casts a spell all i This first book in the ‘Tales of the Curious Cookbook’ collection definitely worked its magic on me. Warm, gentle, and with some delicious mentions of wonderful recipes, it is an excellent representative of what I would call “comfort food of the mind”. While Robbie and Jason are the focus of the story, Maggie and the slightly mysterious selection of recipes she passes on to them are characters in their own right. As the blurb for the collection says: “Food created out of love casts a spell all its own, but Granny B’s recipes add a little something extra.” Robbie is a bit of a lost soul. He is an artist at heart, but scared to show his drawings and paintings to the world. He lives in a charming small village in the English countryside, far away form the hustle and bustle of bigger towns and cities. The quiet life suits him, and since he manages the local post office/bookstore/café, he sees enough people to feel part of the community. When Maggie, the woman who made his life possible by offering him this job, dies and leaves him the building, he is shocked not just because he will miss her friendship, but because she made it possible for him to keep his means of making a living. Then Jason appears, a young American author who is somehow related to Maggie, and now the owner of her cottage. Robbie likes him from the very first, and as they maneuver their way through s small disaster at the cottage, the discovery of some of Maggie’s belongings, and the secret of one of her favorite recipes, Robbie slowly falls in love. As gentle as a summer rain, the relationship between Robbie and Jason was wonderful to watch. If you like stories set in small villages located in the countryside, if two men from opposite ends of the world coming together and finding common ground is your thing, and if you’re looking for a food-centric and very tasteful romance with lots of discoveries and significant but understated passion, then you will probably like this novella. NOTE: This book was provided by the author for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer☠Pher☠

    That was lovely. It made me feel very happy. Recipes very easily can be just like a magic spells. I am definitely reading the others.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    Perfect story for a rainy afternoon. Sweet and romantic with a touch a mystery.

  15. 5 out of 5

    llv

    Rating: 2.5 stars This book was just meh for me. The whole book was pretty blah. Of the two MCs, Jason seemed the most interesting but unfortunately the story was told from Robbie’s perspective. There just wasn’t anything to his personality that made him interesting. It set the tone for the whole story. Really there wasn’t anything memorable about the story at all. I have already forgotten most of it and I just finished it five minutes ago.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Barb ~rede-2-read~

    ARC provided by the publisher through Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words in exchange for an impartial review. The first book in the new series, Tales of the Curious Cookbook, this story takes place in England where Robbie MacIntyre manages a small post office-slash-bookstore-slash-coffee-shop-slash-art gallery in the old Station House owned by his good friend Maggie Simmons. He’s been doing this work for about ten years—ever since Maggie offered him the position to help ground him when he was at ARC provided by the publisher through Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words in exchange for an impartial review. The first book in the new series, Tales of the Curious Cookbook, this story takes place in England where Robbie MacIntyre manages a small post office-slash-bookstore-slash-coffee-shop-slash-art gallery in the old Station House owned by his good friend Maggie Simmons. He’s been doing this work for about ten years—ever since Maggie offered him the position to help ground him when he was at loose ends after he graduated with a degree in art. He’s devastated when Maggie passes away and even more shocked when he finds out that she’s left the Station House to him. But more intriguing is the fact that she left her home, Apple Tree Cottage, to an American. Jason Young is the great grandson of Maggie’s sister who immigrated to America after the war. He’s a writer who happens to be gorgeous and in need of help when the water tank at the cottage rusts out and floods the place. Robbie offers him a place to stay and a shoulder to lean on, and the two become friends. While the cottage is being worked on, they retrieve a box holding several rare first editions of one of Robbie’s favorite mystery writers and an old handwritten cookbook, Recipes for the Heart: Mystical Meals and Dangerous Desserts, by Granny B. The book is organized by sections and marked by emotions. For example, there are recipes for foods that are for sadness, or finding what was lost, or inspiring passion. The one Robbie most likes is for applesauce cake because it was Maggie’s favorite, and he hasn’t been able to match it exactly even though she had given him the recipe. This cake is for finding love. The mystery in this story is what happens when the guys stumble upon information about Maggie’s past which includes a lost love and a separation from her sister and her family. There’s humor and heartache, romance, and adventure to be found. And when the new recipe for applesauce cake, aka the recipe for love, is followed, the boys finally find their way to their HEA. This is a sweet short story, perfect as the kickoff for the new series. RJ Scott’s style is very evident throughout the story up to and including the building of a wonderfully matched pair of MCs. I recommend this to all who enjoy a bit of a history mystery and a little whimsy with their M/M romance. 3.5 stars

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    This was sweet, although not my favorite of this series. I was worried the guys weren't gonna do ANY cooking! I don't feel like the recipe (spell) played as integral a role in this book as in some others. I enjoyed this as a short and sweet audio, and liked the little mystery side-plot about Maggie's life. I thought that Ian Gordon did a nice job with the narration, he had a nice British accent and was able to pull-off an American one without sounding constipated. There weren't really highs and l This was sweet, although not my favorite of this series. I was worried the guys weren't gonna do ANY cooking! I don't feel like the recipe (spell) played as integral a role in this book as in some others. I enjoyed this as a short and sweet audio, and liked the little mystery side-plot about Maggie's life. I thought that Ian Gordon did a nice job with the narration, he had a nice British accent and was able to pull-off an American one without sounding constipated. There weren't really highs and lows in emotions in this story( as there are in some others from this series) so I wasn't 'wowed. But it was nice. Received audio version from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, reviewed for Hearts On Fire Part of the Tales of the Curious Cookbook anthology, I liked 4/5 of the stories.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Morgan Skye

    Robbie is a rootless artist who is gifted a benefactor in the form of 80 year old Maggie. She and her ladies read and drink tea at the Post Office/Library she sets up in an old train station. Robbie runs the place and lives in the apartment above it – giving him time and space to paint. This works excellently for 10 years until Maggie dies. She then gifts the entire place to him in her will along with some enigmatic papers and instructions. Jason, an American, is a long lost distant great-grand-n Robbie is a rootless artist who is gifted a benefactor in the form of 80 year old Maggie. She and her ladies read and drink tea at the Post Office/Library she sets up in an old train station. Robbie runs the place and lives in the apartment above it – giving him time and space to paint. This works excellently for 10 years until Maggie dies. She then gifts the entire place to him in her will along with some enigmatic papers and instructions. Jason, an American, is a long lost distant great-grand-nephew to Maggie. He’s gifted her house and the other half of the enigmatic papers and instructions. Under suspicious circumstances the house he inherits needs massive renovations and he’s forced to seek shelter with Robbie. Well, it’s a match made in heaven… literally? The two get along great and end up solving Maggie’s “mystery” and living HEA. ** RJ is a great writer and this short little story is a wonderful example. It’s sweet, very British: full of tea, cold weather and old things! Though the romance between them is quick, and I wish that there was more character development and maybe some more smexy times, but I enjoyed the setting and the sentiment very much.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lidia

    Sweet story, I liked Robbie very much. Sure it is a short novel but it is lacking of structure. We deduce a grand love and mystery story and Maggie is a fascinating character, but all is so sketchy; Jason's character, for example seem a spook seen how little we know of him. However I enjoyed the reading.

  20. 4 out of 5

    ⚣Michaelle⚣

    3.5 Stars

  21. 5 out of 5

    Idamus

    Story 3 stars Narration 1.5 stars

  22. 4 out of 5

    Janeylou

    Good start to the series

  23. 5 out of 5

    Christi Snow

    My Quickie Review: Overall: 3.5 Performance: 3.25 Story: 3.5 This was a quick, quirky little story. Robbie lives in a tiny little English village where he runs the local post office. When his benefactor dies, her death brings some interesting changes...most notably his new neighbor, Jason. This one was different from the other two stories that I've read in this anthology in that this one is set in England. Having lived in England for two years where I remember the tiny little villages just like this My Quickie Review: Overall: 3.5 Performance: 3.25 Story: 3.5 This was a quick, quirky little story. Robbie lives in a tiny little English village where he runs the local post office. When his benefactor dies, her death brings some interesting changes...most notably his new neighbor, Jason. This one was different from the other two stories that I've read in this anthology in that this one is set in England. Having lived in England for two years where I remember the tiny little villages just like this one with fondness, reading this book was like a little mini-vacay back there. I loved that aspect of it. It's a quick story, a sweet romance, and a fun diversion for a couple of hours.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)

    Part of that one star is for me-the-reader because it took me far too freakin' long to realise that this was a romance between two guys. Totally not for me. DNF, and not apologising, so spare me.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    ****Reviewed for Prism Book Alliance®**** 3.5 Stars For a Rainy Afternoon was exactly what the title promised – a sweet, short story that was perfect for curling up in a corner on a rainy afternoon. Very low angst and mellow, set in the idyllic English country side, we see two people brought together by the love of a special old lady. The mystery of Maggie’s one true love was definitely in the background, and I had figured out the secret to the recipe long before Robbie did. Maggie is a wonderful ****Reviewed for Prism Book Alliance®**** 3.5 Stars For a Rainy Afternoon was exactly what the title promised – a sweet, short story that was perfect for curling up in a corner on a rainy afternoon. Very low angst and mellow, set in the idyllic English country side, we see two people brought together by the love of a special old lady. The mystery of Maggie’s one true love was definitely in the background, and I had figured out the secret to the recipe long before Robbie did. Maggie is a wonderful character! For all the hints in the cookbook, I didn’t feel it was given enough of a presence in the book. The recipes stating they were for sadness or clarity – I would have liked to see if they actually worked. Especially as that is what the series is all about. The apple sauce cake didn’t seem to be necessary and therefore did it actually work? If I hadn’t read the blurb for the series, I wouldn’t have known that there was supposed to be something magical about the book and recipes. I also I felt the story, though lovely, wasn’t long enough to get a real sense of who they were as a couple. We are told they fell into a pattern and that it worked, but aren’t really shown. It was all just so easy. However, it was nice and comfortable and sometimes that is what you want in a story. If it is, I recommend you give this a read!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Pete W

    3.5 stars round up. I do felt that we need a half stars rating on Goodreads. It was a sweet light story to read. I felt though that it was too sweet and there was no tartness to round out the story, unlike that applesauce cake. Despite being less than 70 pages on my Kindle, the story felt somewhat fulled when I read it. Unlike Ami, I felt that both Robbie and Jason were both not fleshed out. Both of them *appeared* to be... with no specific motive or lack thereof to explain the why. (view spoiler 3.5 stars round up. I do felt that we need a half stars rating on Goodreads. It was a sweet light story to read. I felt though that it was too sweet and there was no tartness to round out the story, unlike that applesauce cake. Despite being less than 70 pages on my Kindle, the story felt somewhat fulled when I read it. Unlike Ami, I felt that both Robbie and Jason were both not fleshed out. Both of them *appeared* to be... with no specific motive or lack thereof to explain the why. (view spoiler)[Especially Jason, who seems to rush to UK, basally at a drop of a hat. Even though he said that he couldn't wait after hearing the story? That made me wonder if he was running from something. Jason didn't seem to interact with his families at all, aside from his uncle. Which made me wonder about his situation with his family. (hide spoiler)] All in all, this was like a focused look of the MCs. Almost as if how you would tell the story of how your parents met for the first time. A few pieces here and there were missing but it wasn't something that was glaring while you read the book. For me, this couple could use a sequel or an expansion.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Wicked

    I liked the characters and the story but my problem is that I wanted more. I think I would have been more satisfied if this was a full length novel that explored the story that was being weaved in and around the novella. I think this may have been my first read of this author but I'll definitely check out more of her work.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Didi

    2.65 stars A sweet story set in small village in England. Cute Brit and the American love interest, loved the small village and its old historical buildings picturing, though I didn't felt drawn to the MCs as a couple. Too little sparks there.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

    I liked this soft story very much, particularly the relationship of Jason and Maggie, which you only see from the past but the love shows there. "...maybe she just saw that I needed somewhere to make a life." Sometimes that's all it takes to make all the difference.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Robi

    so. very. sweet! and I was trying to cut sugar out of my diet... loved it :)

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