Rating: 4 stars
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Eduardo Mancini dreams of being a famous actor in London. In reality he is Eddy March, a struggling actor who can’t get hired and is barely muddling along, despite his determination to live his dream. While on the way to an audition, Eddy realizes he doesn’t have enough money to pay the taxi, and ends up getting chased across town by the driver looking for his money. Eddie dashes into the ice cream store owned by his friends and begs for some cash to pay the driver, who is still chasing him. Eddy is surprised when Nuri, the driver, not only forgives him, but asks him out as well.
Despite his disbelief that Nuri wants anything to do with him, Eddy agrees to the date. That date leads to a hot night together, as well as a developing relationship between the men. Nuri is endlessly supportive of Eddy’s dreams, even as Eddy himself is starting to realize that his goals of being an actor may never come true. He meets Nuri’s large Turkish family, finding warmth and support there while having little from his own family. As happy as he is with Nuri, however, Eddy is still unhappy with the direction is life is going. It turns out that Nuri has some unfulfilled dreams as well. But perhaps together, both men can make their dreams come true.
This is a cute story with a few fun twists I enjoyed. First off, we get the meet cute early on as Nuri follows Eddy around town, waiting for his money, only to realize he would rather take Eddy out on a date than get his fare. Nuri starts off a little intimidating, but is actually a warm, sweet, incredibly kind guy. He takes care of his family, has sacrificed for them, and is endlessly supportive of Eddy. Despite the fact Eddy’s career is going nowhere, Nuri believes in him. I am not as sure about Eddy to be honest. The guy is kind of self absorbed and self pitying. I had a hard time seeing his appeal for sweet Nuri a lot of the time. Other than attraction, there didn’t seem to be much there between them, at least at first.
I did enjoy the way the story deals with the idea of dreams versus reality. In Eddy’s case, he is so focused on his dream that he is floundering. He will likely never be a famous stage actor, but his determination is not only leaving him broke, it is preventing him from seeing other opportunities that are right there in front of him, things that can ultimately make him happy. In Nuri’s case, he has given up what he really wants to take care of his family. Here we finally see him accept that he has a right to pursue his own dreams and live for himself as well. So we a bit of a balanced message here, sort of the importance of living your dream, but also having it tempered by reality I guess. I would have liked things just a little more crisp in terms of takeaway, but I did enjoy seeing both these guys ultimately find and reach their passion.
The title of the book is a play in the ice cream parlor Eddy’s friends own, With a Kick. They sell delicious ice cream concoctions mixed with real alcohol (and the titular treat is one that Eddy and Nuri suggest made with aniseed). This looks to be the start of a series so I am looking forward to see what else is in store. And please someone open a branch of this shop near me!
So overall a cute, sweet story. I really like Nuri and enjoyed Eddy’s growth over the book.