By Sean Michael
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Allen Jameson had it all—the perfect house, the perfect partner, the perfect life—until his partner, Gary, died suddenly, leaving him alone in the real world, where life isn’t so pretty and people make mistakes. Now Allen is the owner of Sweet ‘n’ Sassy Cupcake Shop, a cute boutique downtown, where he invents delicious flavors like strawberry and French meringue. Between working long hours and making special orders, Allen barely has time to think.
Then a hunky contractor walks into his shop looking for a treat. Allen and Byron Bannigan are total opposites, but they’re perfect together—salty and sweet like Allen’s signature peanut butter and chocolate ganache cupcakes. But as Allen struggles to juggle his business and his boyfriend, he learns he can only handle so much. He may have to choose between the cupcakes in his store and the cupcake in his bed.
First off, what I absolutely loved about this story was that there wasn’t a predestined breakup that the couple had to endure between getting together in the first place and then their eventual HEA. They stayed together through the “crisis” and worked through it like real people should. Now THAT was refreshing!
The M/M genre ranks among my top three favorite genres, and I have to say this particular story seemed to be a realistic type of situation illustrating how a relationship can evolve and flourish when two people meet one another, fall in love, and accept and appreciate one another. The dialogue and life elements were plausible; they may have fallen in love rather quickly, but so what? It happens. The author did a good job of creating two different characters who seemed right together, the story flow was solid and steady, and the writing was light and enjoyable (and edited really well so no distractions!). The business dilemma that Allen experienced was addressed and resolved, Bit and Allen didn’t have to endure a lot of drama and anguish to reach their happy ending, and it was, well, sweet. It offered a pleasant escape.
“Is it just that easy?”
“Why not?” Bryon shrugged. “I’m not a believer in making things complicated if they don’t have to be.”
“It doesn’t feel okay. I feel stupid.”
“You were trusting. That’s not a bad quality, baby. Stupid would be rolling over and letting the asshole get away with it.”
“You’re trusting, that’s not the same thing as being stupid.”
Damn it, that was the worst part of this, the way Allen was doubting himself.
This doesn’t read like the typical M/M books I’m used to (i.e. Riley Hart, Faith Gibson, Jay Northcote), but damn, it was an easy read, pleasant and endearing. Not everything has to be laced with anguish, desperation and drama. And those cupcakes sure sound tasty!
Original review was posted on Amazon and Goodreads on August 26, 2016.