Saturday, January 31, 2015

ARC Review: The Burnt Toast B&B by Heidi Belleau and Rachel Haimowitz

The Burnt Toast B&B (Bluewater Bay #5)
From the blurb:
After breaking his arm on set, Wolf’s Landing stuntman Ginsberg Sloan finds himself temporarily out of work. Luckily, Bluewater Bay’s worst B&B has cheap long-term rates, and Ginsberg’s not too proud to take advantage of them.

Derrick Richards, a grizzled laid-off logger, inherited the B&B after his parents’ untimely deaths. Making beds and cooking sunny-side-up eggs is hardly Derrick’s idea of a man’s way to make a living, but just as he’s decided to shut the place down, Ginsberg shows up on his doorstep, pitiful and soaking wet, and Derrick can hardly send him packing.

Not outright, at least.

The plan? Carry on the B&B’s tradition of terrible customer service and even worse food until the pampered city-boy leaves voluntarily. What Derrick doesn’t count on, though, is that the lousier he gets at hosting, the more he convinces bored, busybody Ginsberg to try to get the B&B back on track. And he definitely doesn’t count on the growing attraction between them, or how much more he learns from Ginsberg than just how to put out kitchen fires.

Heather's rating:

I really wanted this book to be a home run. Like SO badly. I've read a few stories about transmen or dealing with trans-topics but this is the first where being trans just... was. It was a part of the story, not the WHOLE story. I wanted to kiss these authors for making being trans just another aspect of Ginsberg and not EVERYTHING about him.

I'll talk a few moments about the trans content. I am very comfortable reading erotic romance with a transman MC. In fact, I find many transmen to be really hot. I don't quite get the psychology behind the reason that I'm not at all attracted to lady parts on a woman but a "bonus hole" on a transman? Yeah, I can get down with that. For those of you that are squeamish about the lack of typical male anatomy or think that you won't be able to keep an open mind, I think it's best to just skip this one. I've done some... ehem... research... on this topic, and I think that the way that Heidi Belleau and Rachel Hamowitz depicted the more intimate aspects of Ginsberg was spot on.

Ginsberg was also just an all around lovely character. I really enjoyed his mix between vulnerability and self-confidence, and I connected to him in a lot of ways. I also think hipsters are hot, so there ya go!

Where the authors dropped the ball a bit was with Derrick. I didn't understand him at all. He was a really strange mix of effeminate-phobic and completely okay with all things trans. He was this combo of open-mindedness and close-mindedness that just didn't come together for me. I didn't get him as a character. He has a fear of being abandoned and a fear of being seen as girly, I guess, but it came across as grating rather than endearing. I thought he was a complete dick to his ex and I wasn't sold on him for Ginsberg.

I also wish the authors would have made this book steamier. I wanted to see some more scenes in DETAIL, like Ginsberg topping, which was a fade-to-black. I also just wanted more scenes in general! Like I said, I think Ginsberg was a hot character and I wanted more sex scenes with him. It was a missed opportunity, I think. These authors usually don't shy away from explicit content so I felt the lack here.

All in all, I think this book does some really great things but I still had some issues with it. I hope we get more books with trans MCs because I'm proof that there is an audience for them.

**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

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