Kumquat by Jeff Strand

Kumquat - Jeff Strand

I’ve only read three books by Jeff Strand.  In case you were dying to know, they were Casket for Sale: Only Used Once (best book title ever), Dweller and Stalking You Now. I’d love to read more but there’s that godforsaken tbr pile that won’t stop breeding when I leave the room. Those stories were all horror or horror-ish and all had a dash (or more) of the same oddball, quirky humor that I’ve come to expect from this author. I heard from some of my GR friends that this story was pretty much a comedic road-trip romance so I had to claim a copy. I like romances but I am picky with them. Some say I’m just a grouch. They might be right. Either way, I know I’ve read more than my share of crappy, sappy and boring as hell romances but this wasn’t one of those.  Now I’ll give you 10 reasons why you might want to read this because I can be sweet once or twice a month despite rumors, and a kid or two, who may say otherwise.

10. It ends just as and when it should. 

9. It wasn’t sappy or crappy or ever boring. 

8. It surprised me. Crazy, seemingly random, things happen but it all ties together in the end. I love when an author is able to do that.

7. It was genuinely funny in a snarky, nutty sort of way. Todd & Amy are on a 22 hour road trip to buy a hotdog that may be awesome or may make them beg for a quick death. 

“Any woman who would want to go on a road trip with me this soon after meeting me must have dismemberment on her mind.”

6. There are no stupid misunderstandings. They call each other out before that ever happens. 

5. Both characters use snark naturally. They are like two cute little misfit peas in a pod, perfect for each other from the moment they first open their mouths. It’s easy to see why they get along from their conversations.  See here:

“No, wait, what's the funniest thing you've ever seen?" I ask.

"Oh. Sorry. Once, when I was with my parents at a magic show, I accidentally walked in on two clowns having sex."



“No, they were doing it humorously."


"Every time he thrust, he honked his nose."


"I swear to God. I am not making this up. He was taking her from behind, and he honked his big red nose every time he thrust. Honest truth.”

4. It was touching. This surprised me but it shouldn’t have seeing as I read Dweller. The monster book that will make most anyone get all bleary eyed over a man eating beast! Unless, of course, you are truly heartless. 

3. They have sexy times that don’t make me cringe (I love some of your stuff but I am looking at you Dean Koontz). 

2. The characters are terrific and aren’t perfection personified. They are strangers when things start. Just two lonely, goofy, geeky types who meet at a Con, bond over some bad films and impulsively decide to take a road trip together.  I’m tired of reading about beautiful, wealthy people falling in love. Give me two socially awkward misfits or two Bigfoots, and hell you can even throw in a troll or two and I’ll buy that. (Note to anyone still reading: there are no sexy Bigfoots or trolls here but I loved it anyway.)

And the #1 reason I adored this book: THEY TALK TO EACH OTHER!  They talk and talk and talk and I never felt the urge to tell them to shut the heck up already. They are open and honest and sarcastically funny throughout the entire story.  They become friends and things grow naturally from there. There are no lame-ass insta-love hijinks happening here.

It’s silly, sweet and fun with some seriously dark undertones which I won’t spoil. If you enjoy oddball humor give it a go.