Monday, May 4, 2015

LGBT Monday: Just Desserts

Just Desserts (Tales of the Curious Cookbook)Author: Mary Calmes
Series: Tales of the Curious Cookbook
Released: April 29th 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 102 pages
Buy: Amazon

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.

Hello, my name is Maja and I’m a Mary Calmes addict.

It’s clear by now that Mary Calmes sprinkles crack cocaine between the lines of her books. I’ve read countless M/M books by now, but none were as addictive and utterly captivating as hers. There’s just something about her over-the-top romances, her insanely possessive couples with eyes only for each other, that makes you want to reread her books until your brain rots or you drop dead from exhaustion.

To make matters even more strange, I rarely give her books more than 3 stars, but I’ve been known to sit by my laptop, impatiently waiting the stroke of midnight just so I could download her latest release. I don’t think I’ve ever been more addicted to an author and more embarrassed by it at the same time.

Lately, Calmes has been very fond of the friends-to-lovers trope, and she’s been using it well. This story is no exception. Two best friends, Boone and Scott, have been dancing around each other for several years. It’s obvious that they can’t find love with anyone but each other, but neither one of them dares to take the plunge. Boone has a painful past, linked to the Japanese mafia, and Scott has the worst luck in love as he always falls for the wrong people.

Mary Calmes always tells her story from a single perspective, in first person. This time, we see the events through Boone’s eyes. The romance is pretty light-hearted, but Boone’s past is there to make the story just a bit harder to handle. The thing about Boone’s past was that it’s more than a little over the top, which isn’t at all unusual for Calmes. One particular event made me especially uncomfortable because it changed how I saw the main character. Other than that, the story was typical Calmes, albeit one of her least memorable.

Generally speaking, Calmes may use and reuse the same tropes over and over again, but she does it extraordinarily well. Being addicted to her work is the best and worst feeling in the world. If I don't get my fix regularly, I frantically hide behind closed doors to reread her novellas and her full length novels. Of course, I would never admit to such a thing publicly. This must be my evil twin typing.

Just Desserts is one of five stories in Dreamspinner’s Tales of the Curious Cookbook anthology. The other stories were written by Amy Lane, Marie Sexton, Amber Kell and RJ Scott. Having read them all, I can tell you that Amy Lane’s story is the only one (besides this, of course) that’s actually worth reading.


  1. Your opening paragraph was genius. ;)
    Sorry this wasn't quite up to her normal work but glad you still enjoyed it.

  2. That cover totally confuses me ;)

  3. "There’s just something about her over-the-top romances, her insanely possessive couples with eyes only for each other, that makes you want to reread her books until your brain rots or you drop dead from exhaustion."

    YES! *stands up* My name is Jenny, and I'm a Mary Calmes addict as well. I'm just like you Maja - I'm always waiting for her newest release, but they're largely hit or miss for me depending on how over the top she gets with her couples. They're like crack as you said though - I can't miss one! Have you read Frog? That's one of my favorites:)

    1. You bet I have, many, many times! My favorite is Mine, but Frog is a close second. I also love What Can Be. It's such a fabulous story.

  4. I love that you love this author so much, Maja! It's always amazing when you have that kind of favorite author.
    While this one doesn't seem to be as strong a book for you as her other books, I'm glad that it still had a sweet romance to it.
    I'll have to check this author out.
    Wonderful review, Maja!

  5. Ha! I have a lot of authors that I keep reading that are consistently 3 stars. I don't necessarily love them but they have an addictive quality that keeps me coming back for more.

    This is sad but I have to go check if I've read anything by her before. The name sounds familiar but my books are starting to blur together. lol

  6. She must be one heck of an author if you follow her releases like that! That takes dedication to wait until midnight just to read their next books as soon as possible. The only author I've ever come close to do that for would be Brandon Sanderson, and I haven't even read his latest books yet (haha... I suck as a fan, but I truly do love your work Mr Sanderson!). Although I am disheartened for you that the quality here wasn't up to par with her usual works. I'm sure she'll make her next one even more spectacular ^^

    Faye at The Social Potato

  7. I have never even seen a book by this author? How did I miss that? So many books and so little time. I adore a good cozy read with food and romance so I know I would like this one especially since it is friends so lovers. I am glad you are doing this feature as it is opening my eyes to a lot of reads.

  8. I might have seen your reviews for previous Mary Calmes books, but I cannot recall them! O_o

    At the very least the cover makes me crave some dessert for sure!!

  9. Well, at least you're open about it, lol :))) I think we all have our guilty pleasures and things we read just because they push the right buttons somewhere inside us. I think that's perfectly acceptable. Something to cleanse the palate between main courses, right? This sounds attractive, the love-to-friend plot devise has been gaining a lot of traction lately. A wonderful review!

  10. As they say, if It's not broke, don't fix it. I've never read one of her books but if they excite you that much maybe I should try one.

  11. "I don’t think I’ve ever been more addicted to an author and more embarrassed by it at the same time." <-- :D I've had this experience before with other authors, and while I haven't read anything by Mary yet, but I have a feeling once I do I'm going to be addicted too! It's wonderful that you can be so engrossed in her stories, even when they aren't her strongest.

  12. I love this post! Not giving it above a 3 but addicted to the writing. See authors! You don't need to write 5 star consistently to get us addicted. I usually end up rating these kind of books higher just because of my excitement! :D I do think I need to pick up a book by her.

  13. OMG, MAJA! ME TOO. And I'm not ashamed to admit it. Lol! I had one week of Mary Calmes binging last week, but after a while, her characters seems to blur into another. Heck, I don't mind it at all. Have you read her A Matter of Time series? Gah.

  14. *stands up* I am ashamed to say I have never tried Mary Calmes..but vow to give her a go. What book should I try?

    1. If you want just a small taste, I'd start with Frog, like Jenny said. But if you want to jump right in, go for her Matter of Time series. It's what she's known for.

  15. I don't remember hearing of this author before but I find it interesting that you're so addicted to her but yet the books are more 3 stars than anything. Hmmm... I don't think I have any authors like that but maybe I tend to rate a bit high? I'm not sure. I may have to look up one of her books though!

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