Friday, August 21, 2015

Book Review: Bitter Taffy by Amy Lane

Bitter Taffy (Candy Man, #2)Blurb:
Rico Gonzalves-Macias didn't expect to fall in love during his internship in New York—and he didn’t expect the boss’s son to out them both and get him fired either. When he returns to Sacramento stunned and heartbroken, he finds his cousin, Adam, and Adam's boyfriend, Finn, haven't just been house-sitting—they've made his once sterile apartment into a home.
When Adam gets him a job interview with the adorable, magnetic, practically perfect Derek Huston, Rico feels especially out of his depth. Derek makes it no secret that he wants Rico, but Rico is just starting to figure out that he’s a beginner at the really important stuff and doesn’t want to jump into anything with both feet.
Derek is a both-feet kind of guy. But he’s also made mistakes of his own and doesn’t want to pressure Rico into anything. Together they work to find a compromise between instant attraction and long-lasting love, and while they’re working, Rico gets a primer in why family isn’t always a bad idea. He needs to believe Derek can be his family before Derek’s formidable patience runs out—because even a practically perfect boyfriend is capable of being hurt.

Todd’s rating:

Confession time. I may or may not have a bit of a thing for Finn from book 1 of this series, so when I heard that the sequel, "Bitter Taffy," was coming out, I immediately jumped on it.

The story picks up shortly where "Candy Man" leaves off, when Adam's cousin, Rico, is abruptly fired and returns to Sacramento months ahead of schedule.

You see, formerly-straight Rico had been caught sleeping with his boss' son, Ezra, who also worked at the at his father's company in New York.

Dear old dad didn't care much for "the gay" that close to home, so he sent Rico packing and pulled his son, Ezra's, leash hard enough to let Rico go, without much of a protest. To quote TJ Klune, " Like an asshole. "

But in former "Candy Man" fashion, Darrin's psychic Pixy Stix foresee Rico's return and he has just the man lined up to solve all of Rico's problems.

Enter entrepreneur Derek from the first book, who had (casually) hit on Adam, then respectfully backed off when he hears that he's taken by (my beloved) Finn.

After licking his wounds for a bit, Rico needs a job, so Adam introduces him to Derek, who is immediately smitten with Adam's look-alike cousin.

This book was extremely slow burn, as Derek makes his intentions to woo Rico known right up front, but Rico's heart is still tender from his first foray into dating another man.

So Derek waits. And waits. And waits, but makes good use of his time as he and Rico get to know one another better and Rico's heart opens to Derek's subdued, patient interest.

Some of my favorite parts of the book were how Finn's (most awesome) family pulls Rico into the fold, the same as they did with Adam, fiercely protecting him when the same 3 women who made Adam's life growing up a complete hell.

Not that the suddenly confident Rico needed much protection when his hot-tempered Latina Mami, Abuela and Tia showed up shouting on his doorstep after coming out to them, then ignoring their calls.
Hola, harpies from hell,” Rico called, feeling his jaw tighten.

Don’t you have small children to frighten? Husbands to please? Dogs to euthanize?

I loved how Rico finally grew himself a pair and that was that.


We also get to see a bit more of an impatient, slightly-bitchy side of Darren in "Bitter Taffy."
And please tell me why you two aren’t moved in together and setting off car alarms with your loud annoying monkey sex every night!” Darrin demanded.

Rico took two flailing steps back. “You know, that’s a little personal—”

You don’t like it? Then resolve your love life and get out of my Pixy Stix powder. It’s irritating how long you two are taking.

I would like to focus on the poor feral little kitten who’s going to walk through my door, but now I’ve got two metrosexuals who apparently can’t find commitment with two hands and a backhoe!
This book was lots of fun, with tons of feels, so I really enjoyed watching the cat and mouse chase between Rico and Derek.

And once they finally got out of the starting blocks, the book was pretty smoking hot in the knocking boots department, too.

But what happens when Darren's newest soon-to-be employee shows up unexpectedly on Rico's doorstep without a job or a place to live, skyrocketing Derek's insecurities through the roof and causing him to retreat home?

It all works out in the end and we get our hard-won HEA, but not without some drama up front. Hello, this *is* Amy Lane we're talking about, so it's not a shock that there's some angst to work through.

My only real wish for this book that didn't come true was that there had been a bit more Finn than what I got. But that's just my 'Finn Crush' talking. : )

So a solid 4.25 *tell-me-it's-after* stars for book 2, as I'm (impatiently) awaiting book 3 in the series.


My copy of the book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

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