About Happy World
by Kiernan Kelly and Tory Temple
193 pages / 54200 words
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Kyle Forester likes rules and schedules, and he loves his janitorial job
at Happy World. The gigantic theme park has strict regulations that Kyle
knows are in place for a reason. After all, life just runs more smoothly
when there are rules in effect, and Kyle is going to make sure his new
trainee is fully aware of that. They’ll both get along fine, Kyle is sure.
Anyone working at Happy World must be a good employee.
Rory Stafford doesn't like policies or regulations. Unfortunately, getting a
job at the world's most popular theme park comes with a handbook full of
both those things. Rory is pretty sure his new job at Happy World isn't
going to work out, especially after he meets his trainer, Kyle Forester.
Kyle is definitely a rule-follower and makes no secret of his contempt for
Rory's rule-breaking. However, after just a few shifts together, Kyle and
Rory discover that they can’t keep their hands off each other. The two of
them find themselves on a wild roller coaster ride of heat, emotion, and
not-so-hidden lust as Kyle and Rory try to find common ground in the giant
hamster ball known as Happy World.
Jane Davitt, author of Hourglass, writes: 'Happy World' by Kiernan Kelly
and Tory Temple is perfectly named. This delightful romance is pure
fairytale in plot, but with the bonus of very real and endearing
characters in the shape of two Happy World employees, the experienced
Kyle, yearning to be more than a groundskeeper, and his new trainee,
I have to confess, a theme park would have to pay me to get me inside
its doors, but that doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy visiting one in a
book. The authors capture the atmosphere so perfectly that in many ways
Happy World becomes a character in its own right. I loved the snippets
we get of the employees' handbook (protein spills? That made me grin),
and how earnestly Kyle adheres to every single one of them -- and Rory
doesn't. LIke the park, a perfect, sanitized fantasy for the guests, but
only able to be that because of the intense hard work of the employees,
whose smiling helpfulness is as fake as the fantasy, Rory and Kyle
represent extremes, one too rebellious, the other too law-abiding. The
way they influence each other for the better gives their romance a
Of course, no fairytale is complete without a villain, and here it's the
man playing the hero, another nod to the theme of the book, namely that
appearances can deceive. Rory's own deception is easy for the reader to
guess, but that just adds to the delicious anticipation of the reveal.
If this book were a ride, no matter how long the line, I'd be waiting in
it -- and I'd want to ride it twice.
Solicitors weren’t allowed inside the apartment
building, but that didn’t always stop the occasional, over-enthusiastic
entrepreneur, or Girl Scouts selling cookies. Kyle went to the door fully
expecting the person on the other side to be one or the other. He peered
through the peephole, and gasped.
Rory stood outside the door, looking slightly distorted through the
peephole’s fisheye lens. He was still dressed in his white Groundskeeping
Kyle glanced at the kitchen wall clock, visible from the front door. Their
shift ended a half-hour ago. Rory must have come straight to Kyle’s
apartment from work.
Kyle unchained and unlocked the door, and flung it open. “What are you doing
here, Rory? How did you get my address?”
“Hi, Rory. Good to see you. Come on in and sit a spell,” Rory said with his
usual sarcastic tone. He leaned against the doorjamb, arms folded across his
chest, his cheek hitched in a lopsided grin.
Kyle frowned. “How did you find me?” he asked again.
“I asked a couple of the other guys if anyone knew where you lived. Said you
forgot your cell phone, and I was going to drop it off to you.”
Rory nonchalantly lifted a shoulder as he walked past Kyle into the living
room, just as if Kyle had asked him in. “Sort of, I guess, if you want to
get technical. But if you didn’t run off like you did, I wouldn’t have had
to track you down. Nice place, by the way. You gonna ask me to sit down?”
“What do you want, Rory?” Kyle was in no mood to be hospitable. He was still
angry at himself, and more than a little annoyed at Rory for following him
home. He was also feeling embarrassed over his earlier outburst, and from
leaving work early. Nice example you set for the new guy, he thought.
Rory turned to face Kyle and the full effect of Rory’s handsome face and
gray eyes stopped Kyle cold. Somehow, while at work at Happy World, with
Kyle’s mind consumed by the rules and regulations, he’d been more or less
oblivious to the fact that Rory was gorgeous. In the small confines of his
apartment, with nothing to distract him, Kyle was suddenly keenly aware of
Rory’s good looks. He felt a stab of desire rip through him that went balls
His annoyance forgotten and embarrassed by his body’s reaction, Kyle tore
his eyes away and looked toward the kitchen in an effort to distract
himself. “So sit,” he said. “Do you want a glass of water? Soda? I have tuna
salad.” He knew he was rambling, and bit his lip to stop himself.
Rory laughed, and the sound did funny things to pit of Kyle’s stomach.
“Okay, a one-eighty. I can live with that. Water is good, and tuna salad
sounds fabulous. I haven’t eaten anything since lunch, and I’m feeling a
Funky? Kyle remembered Rory’s medical alert bracelet, and diabetic
condition. The last thing he needed after the day he’d had was Rory going
into shock or whatever it was that diabetics did when their sugar dropped,
especially not in the middle of his living room. “Are you okay? What can I
“Feed me, Seymour,” Rory said.