Just Desserts (Tales of the Curious Cookbook Book 5)
Author: Mary Calmes
Genre: Gay Romance
Warnings: Part of the Tales of the Curious Cookbook series. However, each book can be read as a standalone and in any order.
Length: 103 pages (novella)
Boone Walton has tried hard to create some distance between himself and his past. He’s invested in his new life, his New Orleans art gallery, and his friendship with Scott Wren. Things finally seem to be settling down to normal, and Boone couldn’t be happier.
Chef Scott Wren wants much more than normal with Boone. He wants to raise things to the next level, but Boone is terrified—and not because of the ghost in Scott’s apartment or Scott’s relatives. No, Boone’s past is about to pay him a visit, and the only thing that can get between Boone, Scott, and a hinky recipe for chocolate mousse found in a curious cookbook is the river of pain Boone had to swim across to get to this side of The Big Easy. There’s a secret behind the ingredients, though—one that might reveal the trust and love that have been missing from Boone’s life.
Why I love it?
I am a big sucker for friends-to-lovers stories, because I think that a romantic relationship that develops between two people, who already know each other well, is more meaningful. I loved how Boone was so besotted with Scott, that he moved (and paid) heaven and earth to get him all that he needed. I loved how the distinction of getting your partner something they want (read: has asked for), versus something they need (read: anticipating what would make their life better), was clearly made.
When I read the synopsis, I was a bit worried that Boone’s “past” would heavily detract from the romance between the two main characters, but this was definitely not the case. Boone’s dark past with the yakuza was more for making the readers understand the real reason he hadn’t garnered the courage to tell Scott that he loved him. It gives a lovely depth to the story, good character development, and gave us a glimpse at the amount of dedication and perseverance Boone would put into his relationship with Scott.
I adored Florence the ghost, especially during the scene where she removes the riffraff from Scott’s apartment. I enjoyed how she was a little tribute to all things mystical. Her actions made me laugh, and I really like how Boone and Scott interacted with her.
I cooed at how Scott’s family was into Boone. It reminded me of Dylan’s family responding to Dylan’s intense adoration of Malic, in Mary Calmes’ Cherish Your Name (The Warder Series Book 6). I love the concept of the family feeding of Scott’s enthusiasm and dedication to his relationship with Boone.
I loved this book because it made me go through so many emotions. I was anxious for Boone to man up and tell Scott he loved him; I was sad when Scott got into a serious relationship with Daniel, and when the suffering Boone went through, at the hands of the yakuza, came to light; and I was super excited when Boone and Scott made it through in the end. Even though I shouldn’t (given how much of a tool Daniel was), I am glad that Mary Calmes alluded to a happy ending for him and Justin, as well.
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