Review: Just Desserts by Mary Calmes

Just DessertsRating: 4.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
Length: Novella


Boone runs a successful art galley in New Orleans. He is content with his life there and he built the business from half a world away from where he started. His past is just that, the past. When Scott opens a restaurant in the area, Boone is attracted to the man, but Boone figures a local business ally would be better than a one night stand. Scott and Boone become the best of friends, with Scott always cooking for Boone and Boone taking care of renovations at Scott’s restaurant. Scott bides his time with one man after the other because the man he really wants, Boone, is still trapped behind the pain of his past.

When Granny’s B’s cookbook appears and Scott makes the chocolate mousse recipe which is labeled “for sorting,” Scott and Boone’s relationship, along with Boone’s past, are fair game for what exactly needs to get sorted. When events involving the feisty ghost that lives in Scott’s apartment and Boone’s haunted past collide, Boone may just realize what he has been missing all along.

This last entry into the Tales of Curious Cookbook series is my favorite. Set in New Orleans, it offers heartbreak and loss, friendship and love, an interesting ghost, some regional food descriptions, and some laugh out loud moments along the way.

Boone is our first person narrator (bonus points for well done first person) and while he is attracted to Scott, he just can’t take a chance on ruining their friendship. Boone had a first love and a past that is both raw and heartbreaking and his past experiences are revisited with an appropriate manner at a comfortable pace. The few times Boone has the thought to change his relationship with Scott, Scott once again becomes occupied with Mr. Right Now. Scott is flirty and goes through a string of guys to fill his time, and since we don’t get his point of view, it takes us a while to see that Boone is clearly missing so many moments that he could be sharing with Scott.

While I appreciate humor in books, it is not often that I will laugh out loud while reading. The kitchen scene in Scott’s apartment, between Scott’s new outfit, the nickname given to him by his date, and the addition of a resident ghost makes the scene highly entertaining on its own, but it’s the banter between Scott and Boone that elevates the entire experience. Although Boone does ask for Cool Whip for his freshly made chocolate mousse. (Yikes!)

When the guys get together, it’s sweet and sexy and a long time coming. Scott is so ready to be with Boone and he offers an almost sad, yet poignant statement when he tells Boone, “It’s time for you to stop pushing me off on other people and keep me.” There is some Japanese dialog that lends authenticity and, while it is not all directly translated, it does not detract from the overall story. If you pick up one book in this series, this would absolutely be my recommended choice.

A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.

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