The Rainbow Connection - Volume I - B.J. Sheppard
Oh dear. Huge sigh! I love this series. I do. It is so rare that a collection of stories can leave me positively teary-eyed and weak from laughter but The Rainbow Connection: Volume 1 by BJ Sheppard does it every time. I can only say that this author’s humor strikes something within me and truly leaves me shaking my head in giddy wonderment at the way he twists a phrase to wring every ounce of hilarity from it. Having reviewed the first three short stories in this collection already (find those reviews linked at the bottom of this review), I will be focusing on the fourth and latest installment: Blasts From the Past and Plaster Casts. For those of you unfamiliar with this series, this would be the moment when I tell you to stop reading this review and go to the first one listed below as none of this will make a bit of sense without having read the series from the beginning.

Lourdes, Liam’s gin-soaked boss, is doing her stint in rehab and the CEO’s erstwhile son, Rory, has taken over. Rory is quite notably a bit of a whore by anyone’s standard, as well as a pain in the proverbial arse to work under. Never one to back down from a challenge of an opportunity to screw over Liam, Rory manages to home in on the fact that Manny is Liam’s boyfriend, and makes it his business to seduce said mail room worker. As his article deadline approaches, Liam begins to realize he and Manny knew less than they thought they did about each other. Now the question remains, will Manny still be there when the deadline is past, or is there relationship about to crumble?

Oh, BJ Sheppard, what have you done? Once again, the characters in this ongoing saga crash and bumble their way through life with such genuineness it makes your heart hurt to see them suffer the pitfalls of life we all must endure. I really wanted to wrap Liam up and take care of him, particularly as he watches the man he loves being drawn away from him piece by piece. But Manny, so stalwart, so loyal, surely he can be strong against the horribly vile and smarmy machinations of Rory? The sheer genius of this story is the author’s ability to give us this unique window into Liam’s troubled and oft times hilarious inner dialogue. With a keen eye to human behavior and its foibles, the author adds emotional layer after layer to the life story of our dear Liam, and we watch with both compassion and delight as he continually screws things up and yet continually manages to come out on top. Well, almost.

As always, the secondary characters in this story provide more than just comic relief. Indeed, it is in this segment that we are made to realize just how much his co-workers are really looking out for Liam and have his back. We grow to love Lourdes even more, if that is possible, and the scene at the rehab center nearly left me in a puddle of tears—and not from sadness! So, back to that little sentence above, dear Mr. Sheppard, what have you done? I cannot say more other than to remark, if you have been a fan of this series, this one will rock you to the core. If perchance, this is your first dance with the delightful BJ Sheppard and his stunning crew of misfits, then read them all, each one, and savor them! The reviews for Parts, I, 2 and 3 are listed in order below! Enjoy!!

Note to Author: I NEED part 5!!! Please!