cutie piesRating: 3.75 stars
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Length: Novel


Joey works at Cutie Pies, an adult toy shop in Sydney. One day, Mick walks in, charming Joey with his blushes and his choice of sex toys. Joey finds he can’t stop thinking about Mick and is excited when Mick continues stopping by the shop. Yet Mick has made it clear he has a partner, dashing Joey’s hopes that there could be something more between them. But Mick is new in town and looking for friends, and so Joey figures getting to know him is better than nothing. Yet, the attraction between them is strong and Joey can’t deny the pull he feels toward Mick. Now he has to figure out if he is falling for a guy he can never have, or if there is hope for something more between them after all.

This is a cute, easy story with a fun setting. Bell uses the sex shop setting to her advantage, giving the story a little bit of fun and flirtiness and allowing for a meet cute between the guys over a wall of dildos. Joey has a fun rapport with his co-workers and the interaction he has with Mick is cute and charming. There isn’t a whole lot going on here as the guys’ interaction is mostly focused on a few shop visits Mick makes, so a lot of the time we are with Joey alone. This is a pretty short novel and Bell wisely doesn’t have these guys falling in love right away, given the limited time they are together, but we do get a more solid ending for them in the epilogue. I did feel that there isn’t a ton here to hold onto, as the early interactions are mostly Mick buying stuff and leaving. They set up some good fantasy fodder for Joey, but not really much getting to know one another. So again, this is sort of a light, easy story more than an in-depth relationship development.

The conflict here is clear from early on: Mick has a partner. Just what is going on with this relationship is unclear until the end, so it is sort of hanging out there putting a damper on the connection. I’ll say for such a light book, the reveal about what is going on was somewhat darker than I expected and didn’t seem to fit the tone of the story. It left me wondering if Mick was really emotionally ready for the relationship with Joey that seems to develop solidly following the conclusion of the main part of the story. It also felt somewhat unresolved to me, again in a way that was sort of heavy given the tone of the rest of the book. I’ll say sticklers might see some of Mick’s actions as cheating, but I think most people will see him as blameless given the situation.

This is short novel so it is a quick story and I found it entertaining, overall. If you are looking for something generally light and easy, Cutie Pies is worth considering.

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