5 Stars, Genre Romance, Mathew Ortiz, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published

Review: Desdemona Darkly: When Mickey Met Hugh by Mathew Ortiz

Title: Desdemona Darkly: When Mickey Met Hugh

Author: Mathew Ortiz

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 155 Pages

At a Glance: I was completely charmed by this book. It was a win, start to finish.

Blurb: Are we rolling?”

“Yes Mr. Sherwood. Just say the lines as we rehearsed.”

“Got it.”

Mickey nodded and sucked in a lungful of air. Blowing it out, he began. “Welcome to Desdemona Darkly, your premier online site for adult toys and accessories. I’m here to introduce myself and tell you about our site and staff. My name is Mickey Sherwood Co-Founder and CEO of Desdemona Darkly. My staff and I are committed to providing you with only the highest quality intimate products and superb customer service. We have the online site to order from or if you wish, you can speak to one of our customer service team members, if you have questions with your order. You can also call us if you have any questions at all, regarding our products. Our phone lines are open twenty-four seven for your convenience. Making you happy and satisfied is our primary goal, here at Desdemona Darkly. Thank you again for choosing us, for your personal pleasuring needs.”

“And cut.”

Mickey grinned. “Was that good?”

“Excellent Mr. Sherwood.”

Mickey slid out of his chair, grinning. With this new commercial, he was hoping to increase sales for his company. So far everything was a success in his world, except his love life. Phfft, what else is new? Flicking on his phone he checked his messages. He had stopped by the studio to film the commercial before heading to the docks. A customs official, a Mr. Hugh Brannough, was cocking up the shipment of some of their badly needed merchandize. Well, Mr. Brannough, I’m coming for you!

A shiver suddenly raced down Hugh’s spine, as he sat at his desk at the docks. I wonder what the hell that was about? Shrugging, he went back to work…


Review: Desdemona Darkly is decadent and delicious. I have a confession to make: I wanted this book because of its title. I had no idea what it meant, what the story was about, or even if I was going to like it, seeing as how I’ve never read Mathew Ortiz’s work before. I now know that the business Desdemona Darkly is a fine purveyor of quality sex toys. I also now know what the story is about and can say, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that not only did I like it but I loved it. I can also say that it’s made me an instant fan of Mr. Ortiz’s writing, his humor, and the warm feelings he inspires toward his characters.

Mickey Sherwood is only part owner of Desdemona Darkly—the other half is owned by his ex, Dag Jorgenson. Dag is having a bit of a problem with the ex part of their relationship, though, which may explain why Mickey can’t seem to find a new partner. Dag is the dog in the manger in this tale—he didn’t want Mickey anymore, and he wants to make sure no one else can have Mickey either. Or, at least he didn’t think he wanted Mickey anymore. There are complications, but in an odd twist that I didn’t see coming, I didn’t hate Dag, so kudos to the author for making him just that wee bit sympathetic in the end.

Hugh Brannough is the customs official who’s got Mickey’s panties in a twist, and not in the sexy way either (that comes later). Hugh’s holding a shipment of Chinese dildos in customs because of a paperwork snafu, a delay that’s going to affect Desdemona Darkly’s already stagnating bottom line in a negative way, so when Mickey high tails it to the shipping office to tear a strip from Hugh’s hairy Scottish hide, Mr. Ortiz makes several things immediately evident, not the least of which is that sparks are going to fly between the two of them. And och aye, do they ever. Sexy sex is sexy.

What Mathew Ortiz has done in Desdemona Darkly is written a believable opposites attract story filled with delightful characters, comical moments, and the truth about what it’s like to begin a new relationship, feeling things out and making things up as you go along, from deciding whether the toilet paper should roll over or under (and those passive-aggressive little battles to assert over/under toilet paper dominance) to working on their relationship and building a home from a place of equality. There are times when these two men say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing, but then they come to each other from a place of forgiveness, and it’s in those moments the author establishes the foundation for why Mickey and Hugh work as a couple. They know what they’ve stumbled into is worth hanging on to and fighting for. And, in Mickey’s case, it’s worth changing just a little bit for too, not because he’s being forced to but because he’s learned from his mistakes and isn’t bound to let history repeat itself.

The story is told in the first person, in alternating points-of-view, so that first person intimacy is doubled in this book. We get to know both Hugh and Mickey, who they are apart as well as together, and it was a great way to deliver their story because we also get to know, through their eyes, the people and things that matter to them. Mickey’s sister, his employees, and Desdemona Darkly all figure greatly in revealing who Mickey is; while Hugh has his twin teenage sons and ex wife—who, in a pleasant turn, isn’t the villain in the story and works with Hugh to parent their boys even though they aren’t a couple anymore—to ground him as someone other than Mickey’s love interest.

As someone who doesn’t read much contemporary genre romance, I’m always excited when I take a chance on one and it pays off. Desdemona Darkly is a relationship book, at its heart, but what sets it apart from some other contemporary romances is that it’s funny and playful at times; at others, it tugs at your heartstrings and makes you want to go back and start reading it all over again because it’s just that satisfying to cheer Mickey and Hugh on. I was completely charmed by this book. It was a win, start to finish.

You can buy Desdemona Darkly: When Mickey Met Hugh here:

Amazon UK

Amazon UK


5 thoughts on “Review: Desdemona Darkly: When Mickey Met Hugh by Mathew Ortiz

  1. Serena S. says:

    Thanks a lot for the review! I have this book in my TBR list since it was released but the author is new to me so it’s nice to know the book is worth it. Do you know if it’s going to be a series?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As first time experiences with an author go, this one was such a win for me! I’ve seen reviews of his other work, though, so I didn’t feel like it was a huge risk. Our reviewer Lana loves him, but you know how it is–what’s one person’s awesome can be another person’s “meh”. But, I adored Mickey and Hugh. And it doesn’t hurt that Hugh’s a big strapping Scotsman either. ;-)

    To answer the series question, I’m not sure. Going on the title alone, I could see where this might be a book one. There are certainly enough characters introduced for it to be a series. I could definitely see Dag getting his HEA. And the great thing is that even though he tried his best to cause trouble for our couple, I want him to get one, so fingers crossed. :-D

    Liked by 1 person

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