Veronica Sloane = Sweet As Chili Pepper

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Author: Veronica Sloane
Reviewed by: Mandy
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: M/M Contemporary
ISBN 13: 9781610404150

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Summary: Meet Theo, an art teacher looking to start over. An accident has robbed him of his sense of smell and taste, not to mention ended his long term relationship with the melodramatic Ian. At a diner on the way from his old life to his new one, Theo will meet Jude, a busker, looking for a ride that will take him away from past mistakes. The two of them share one steamy night that will change them forever.

Review:  Theo had a horrible accident six months ago, he spent four months in the hospital and is still recovering. He was an art teacher but because of some residual issues from his injuries he had to find a new job and used the move as a start in a new life away from all the loss and painful memories.

One of the things Theo has had to deal with is his loss of taste and smell, everything tastes the same, like dust. He is in a slump and feeling a bit sorry for himself during the long drive to his new home, he stops at a diner and a young man comes in and joins him at the counter. Theo likes the the look of the young musician and decides to offer Jude a ride as far as his new place.  During the hours they spend together they share their stories and open up and we get the most important information about these two damaged men. I liked the title of this book even before it became clear exactly how it came about.

They share a lot, not just a great night but something more, I really liked how instant Love /lust was incorporated into the story. Jude really is a romantic, even if I didn’t agree with how he went about doing what he thinks he needs to do.

Theo lives and heals and really gets comfortable in his own skin, he enjoys his new job, new home and he forms a good friendship with Audrey, a psychic and owner of the eclectic shop “The Happy Pagan”. Theo really did have to move on, from what he tells Jude it is clear that he really needs this change, all of his relationships actually benefit from it.

I did miss Jude’s growth and his making peace with himself, since this story is told from Theo’s POV and because we don’t find out what Jude did in the interim, that and the shortness of the story are my only complaints.

This sweet and poignant short has two men meeting at the right time in their lives to find themselves and find each other. It definitely left me wanting more.

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