After losing his VA grant, Adam Macias turns to the only family who acknowledges his existence—his cousin Rico. Rico needs someone to watch over his rent-controlled apartment while he’s away in New York at an internship, and with it offers Adam the chance to get back on his feet. All he has to do is take care of Rico’s asshole cat and hyperactive dog. The one thing Adam knows he doesn’t need is a relationship. Of any kind. Not after what happened with his supposed best friend before he left the Army.
Finn Stewart saw Adam for the first time when he walked into the very busy Candy Heaven looking for a job. Finn knew from the moment he saw him that he wouldn’t be able to walk away from Adam. And as hard as Adam tries to push him away, Finn always pushes back—always subtly and always persistent. Until he begins to break Adam’s hard exterior.
Adam is hesitant to allow Finn into his life, but little does he know Finn is making a home there whether Adam likes it or not. When Finn and his family and Adam’s friends surprise him for Thanksgiving, Adam finds a piece of himself he didn’t know was missing. But just like every other time in his life, when he thinks things are good, something is bound to fall apart. And when they do fall, Adam finds it easier to push away the people who care for him most and pick up the broken pieces. He thinks he’s better off alone. But he’s never met the likes of Finn Stewart before, and it’s only a matter of time before he realizes what a gift that is.
Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Holidays! Season’s Greetings! Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to celebrate the wonder of Amy Lane and the fabulousness of this freaking story—Candy Man. Good God! In a matter of only a few hours (because that’s how long it took to devour this story), I laughed, snorted cola, bawled my eyes out (more than once), and ended the story with an overall happy sigh. To say this story is classic Amy Lane would be putting a label on a label-less creator. I love how Lane is so versatile in her writing and still makes me feel every single facet of every single character no matter the POV the story is written in—which, by the way, this story is written solely in Adam’s.
Speaking of Adam… geez! The poor guy. First, he’s rejected by his grandmother and mother—which, let’s be honest, didn’t hurt him in the long run, because both were horrible human beings to begin with—for being gay. Then, he loses his VA grant and has to drop out of school and in turn ends up homeless. Only to turn to his cousin who sees him as a hero. But then on his way to house sit for his cousin, his car breaks down. The poor guy is walking in the middle of a shit storm he can’t seem to get out of. My heart was broken for him from word one. Then we learn his backstory—in love with his BFF in the Army and outs himself out of frustration and pride. To say Adam is strong is putting it mildly, though Adam wouldn’t see it that way. He’s strong and brave and broken. Gah! Is he broken. But that’s where Finn comes in.
Finn is a delightful character. Full of energy and life. He steps into Adam’s life and fills a void Adam didn’t even realize was there. Finn is a glass half full kind of guy. He’s bubbly and persistent and crafty. When Adam does his best to avoid Finn, Finn does his best to put himself in Adam’s path. He knows what Adam needs before Adam knows. Theirs is a story and a relationship full of ups and downs while Adam is trying to piece out who he is, but there’s a point that he realizes that he person he is—the one he likes—wouldn’t be possible without Finn. That’s where this story comes full circle.
I love everything about this book, absolutely everything, but Darrin is one of the greatest characters. He’s more mystery than anything else. Is he a candy connoisseur/psychic? Is he just the nicest guy who happens to know fate personally? I dunno. What I do know is he is the wisest most patient friend Adam could ask for in his time of need, namely Adam’s time of stupidity. I have it on good authority that this book is the beginning of a series and I can only hope that one day the very precious Darrin will have a much deserved happy ending of his own to follow his many good deeds.
Candy Man is perfect from beginning to end. It’s full of broken and bubbly characters who find love when they are least expecting it. It is everything a holiday story is for me—heartwarming, funny, sweet, fulfilling, and complete with a happy ending. I highly, highly recommend Candy Man by Amy Lane.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.