Audio Review: Mary Calmes – Just Desserts

1788939Author: Mary Calmes
Reviewer:  Sandra
Publisher:  DreamSpinner Press
Genre:  M/M Contemporary
ISBN: 9781632168610

Rating: ★★★★½ 

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.
Mary and I have a tumultuous relationship. I tend to have difficulty relating to her characters and I think her books go on a bit long for me. But I absolutely adored this! I think it’s the perfect length Mary Calmes book for me at a little over 100 pages because it really forces her to pare down to the nitty gritty of the story, yet allows room for a full and satisfying friends-to-lovers with an emotional and integral history.

The first half focuses on Boon and his unrequited love for his BFF of 2 years, Scott. It’s sweet and a bit sad, because obviously we know Scott would be all for it it Boon would only grow a set and tell Scott how he feels! There is alluding to a lost love of Boon’s and a dark past, yet not much is revealed. We get a fabulous meltdown from Scott about halfway through and some super satisfying HFN/HEA business. It could have ended there and been a solid 4 star, but thank goodness Ms. Calmes doesn’t take my advice, because the second half is even better!

After Scott’s amazing explanation of Boon’s unknown-to-him psychosis regarding letting himself love again, and getting the yummy feels, I was a happy camper. But I like seeing the after also. I loved how Scott took control and informed Boon how things were gonna be. I like that it wasn’t just the couple in the end, but friends and family and lovers together, because that’s what we all want. And I was glad that we got all of Boon’s background sorted. That was good closure without being tied-with-a-bow perfect, and that gift had me crying.
I thought that Greg Tremblay did a wonderful job with the narration. He has a very nice and soothing voice, so it is generally enjoyable to listen to. The appropriate emotion was injected when necessary, although Scott’s sex voice was very on the breathy side. But he also did an amazing job with the Japanese, or so I thought.

I’ve listened to several books from this collection, and think that it lends itself very well to audio book, due to both the length and the subject (light, whimsical, and sweet love stories). But this was actually tied with Amy Lane’s Food For Thought as my favorite so far. The recipe book played an important role without taking over the story, and I loved the addition of the allusive yet friendly ghost, Florence. The love story was beautiful and complex, and I kind of need a follow up from these guys.


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