Review: Rebecca Cohen – Not All Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks

Author: Rebecca Cohen
Reviewer: Natalie
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: MM

Rating: ★★★½☆ 


Summary: Neither

of them wants to fall in love, but getting exactly what they don’t want might be the best thing to ever happen to them.

Mark hopes his boredom with his current job will be alleviated by a short stint in Basel, Switzerland. When he meets Steffen, who struck out on his own from an old-money family to establish an IT firm, Mark expects some fun, great sex, and a clean break when his job is done. The arrangement is perfect for Steffen, who has been content with casual after a betrayal—and has a taste for British men after attending university in the UK. But as they explore the city’s rich history and traditions, Mark begins to see Steffen as much more than a tour guide with benefits. If he isn’t careful, the trip meant to break the lull in his career might end up breaking his heart instead….

World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

Review: This was a very pleasant and interesting story, set in the Swiss city of Basel and I really enjoyed learning about a place I’ve never been. Mark presents as a good-looking, intelligent man, trying to regain some interest in his technical job through an assignment in Switzerland. Steffan is very direct, almost businesslike, proposing a casual, sexual liaison with Mark, until he returns to England. Both men have bad memories of exes and are tired of hookups, so it seems perfect. Over a few weeks, feelings deepen but neither are certain if they’re reciprocated. There’s only a few sex scenes, that seem to focus more on physical actions and I didn’t get much sizzle from them. In my view, the characters felt a bit bland. I prefer when emotions developing outside the bedroom are reflected in the sex scenes.

There is substantial dialogue between the men, during the time Steffan shows Mark the features of the city, including Fasnacht, a three day, non-stop carnival, an historical tradition of the city. The informative narration was the best feature of the story, with vividly described locations and activities, peppered with descriptions of traditional foods. It avoided sounding like a travelogue, unfolding quite naturally within conversations, while Mark and Steffan got to know each other better. The author did do an excellent job showing relationship growth, making the reader an active observer, rather than a passive listener. It was well-written story in a rich setting, the plot moved forward steadily, providing easy and enjoyable reading. I would recommend it for it’s simple, straight-forward romance.

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