Author: Mary Calmes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 102 Pages
At a Glance: This novella is another winner from one of my absolute favorite authors.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: 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.
Review: Even though I’m greedy, and I ALWAYS want more of her words, I have to concede what a knack Mary Calmes has for writing novellas. Even with the limited space, she is incredibly good at fleshing out the characters and covering all the bases in the storyline. I fall completely in love with her guys every time, and always wish their story would continue beyond the last page; Boone and Scott in Just Desserts are no exception.
Mary’s fabulous descriptions of her characters always allow me to see them so clearly in my mind. Here, we get to see Scott through Boone’s eyes:
When Scott Wren smiled, he went from being just another guy you’d pass on the street to a movie star. He stood shorter than me, five nine to my six two, leaner with long sleek muscles under golden skin. His eyes glittered a gorgeous shade of silver-flecked gray, his lips curled wickedly, his dimples popped, his nose scrunched up – and you noticed not only was he adorable, but breathtaking as well. All the beauty was topped off with a husky chuckle that made everyone who ever heard it want to follow him home.
And, five pages later, we get a little glimpse of Boone, via some dialogue with Scott:
”What?” I asked, stilling as I frowned slightly.
“How do you mean, you made it like me?”
“Bright, cheerful, warm,” I explained. “Like you.”
His smile was brilliant. “You say the nicest things, Boone.”
I groaned, stepping around him.
“And, for the record, if I had your dimples or your ridiculous jawline or your gorgeous shoulders, I would get all the pretty boys.”
I processed his words, “Ridiculous?” I asked, not sure if I should take offense.
“Only superheroes have your bone structure, buddy.”
I love how those little snippets tell us so much about how they feel about each other – even though they’re too stubborn to admit it – and help set the tone of their relationship.
There was so much to love in Just Desserts. The setting, for one thing – I mean, who doesn’t love New Orleans? No amount of opulence or decadence is too much in a story set there. You’ll especially love it if you’ve been to NOLA, and can even more easily picture the rich culture and vibrancy of the city. Also, New Orleans lends itself perfectly to my next favorite thing about the book, which was the super-fun magical, paranormal aspect. We’ve got a magical cookbook here, folks! And, a persnickety ghost! It really was tons of fun.
Granny B’s magical mousse recipe may have been enough to push the guys together, but Boone’s past life, and love, in Japan have always had a bit of a hold on him, and need to be dealt with before he can fully commit to Scott. I adored this part of the book. Boone is an amazing character, and the tidbits from his life in Japan were so intriguing, and also gave the story the perfect amount of drama. Mary Calmes did a really wonderful job telling his story.
As you can see, this novella is another winner from one of my absolute favorite authors. Do not hesitate to pick this one up!! :)
You can buy Just Desserts here: