All it takes is a gas leak and a spark to make the popular ice cream shop, With A Kick, explode. Luckily, nobody is seriously hurt, but it leaves Patrick, the shop’s owner, and Lee (his assistant? manager? Boy Friday?) in a terrible position. Their equipment is ruined, the windows are busted, and everything is soaked from the water putting out the fire.
Patrick is a grumpy older man. He likes Lee very much. In fact, he more than just likes him. He doesn’t act on it, however, because he thinks he’s too old for Lee and he puts all he has into the shop. On the other hand, Lee is crazy about Patrick. He thinks the older man is perfect. He admires him as much as he lusts for him. Lee doesn’t necessarily throw himself at Patrick, but he definitely makes it obvious he wants to be with him. So, what does Patrick do? He tries very hard to push Lee away.
The men find themselves having to work together to bring With A Kick back to the way it was. Also, they must work to build a relationship that’s been a long time coming. All their friends from Soho are helping, both with the shop, and making Patrick and Lee realize they’re made for each other.
Patrick breaks my heart. He’s lonely, and he has feelings for Lee he believes he shouldn’t act upon. He doesn’t think young, carefree, and sweet Lee would want a grumpy old man (although I don’t think he’s that old) like himself. I kind of wanted to grab him up and shake some sense into him. He wasn’t seeing what was right in front of his face.
Lee makes me smile. His outlook is so sunny, and he has boundless energy. He helps Patrick run the ice cream shop, coming up with ideas about everything from promotions to decorating. He also loves Patrick with all his heart. He tries every way he knows how to let Patrick know, but Patrick just won’t get with the program. This frustrates Lee to no end. He even goes so far as to leave town for awhile during renovations on the shop. It hurts Lee that Patrick won’t acknowledge what’s between them.
I gotta tell you, there was a little more angst here than I expected. I realize that it helps move a story along, but I don’t really enjoy reading with a knot in my stomach as I wait for the MCs to come to their senses. I hated that Patrick was so wishy washy about grabbing at the brass ring of happiness right in front of him. At the same time, I was upset Lee went home to his family instead of staying and not only helping to work on the rebuild of the shop, but to help Patrick realize what he is missing. There was also a short bit where jealousy reared its ugly head in the form of a cousin of one of their friends who was looking for a job. I felt it was unnecessary because there was enough getting in the way of Patrick and Lee’s HEA.
I should throw in a sentence or two about the sex in Double Scoop. Actually, there isn’t very much. It’s not a big deal, really. I do love a lot of smexytimes in my reading, but the few scenes included in the story were great. I liked the first time they were together in the hotel room the best, even though there was no penetrative sex, there was some nice, whispered frotting, and heaven help me, frotting is so awesome!
I liked this book. Clare London has put together a very nice world with great characters and real life situations. I have to admit, I’ve not read the first seven books in With a Kick series, and I wish I had. Not because I was clueless or lost while reading Double Scoop, but because I think I’d have enjoyed meeting all of the background characters in this book when they had their own stories. In fact, now that I’ve read this one, I’m going to go back and read the others, and I’ll gladly pick up any future installments as well.
PS…Ice cream made with alcohol in cocktail flavors? Genius!