After a violent experience, Michal’s dating life has been nonexistent. But he’s ready for that to change, even if the latest in a long line of losers is just that, a loser. The only person that Michal feels close to is his online friend, Magnus. Magnus is there for him completely, and though they tease and joke about meeting, Michal keeps saying no. He doesn’t want what they have to be ruined if they meet in person.
When Magnus starts getting distant, Michal doesn’t know why. But then a handsome, brawny stranger walks into the chocolatier where Michal works, and Michal is smitten with the mysterious Bernard. Bernard feels safe in a way Michal doesn’t quite understand, but he’s willing to go with it. Even if the whole time he’s thinking about Magnus, and what Magnus would say and think.
The truth comes out, and Michal is devastated at the lie. But he also knows deep down that Magnus is the one for him. It’ll take some work, but they have a real future ahead of them.
As soon as I read the blurb for this one, I was quick to pick it up. While the author is new to me, I’d heard great things, and couldn’t wait to give them a try. Horvat doesn’t disappoint with this story, which is both sweet and lovely, with enough conflict and angst to give the story some weight. It’s the perfect little novella, save one thing.
I loved Michal. As the narrator, we get to know him best and we see just how much he’s gone through in the past few years and what has led him to be the man he is now. He’s got a true passion for chocolate, and the way it’s described in this book had me craving treats I’d normally never go for. But Michal is a truly well rounded character, with flaws and a huge heart and I just adored him. I felt for him with each word, and even when I could see the big reveal coming, I was anticipating just how much it would hurt.
And that is my one quibble with this story, and it may be more of a personal preference. As soon as Bernard stepped on the page, it’s pretty clear what the secret is. And for me, that stretched just a little bit too far. Knowing what was going to happen, watching Bernard and Michal do their dance and knowing…I wanted the reveal to come sooner than it did. Now, I will say it was organic in the way it happened, and I appreciated that the truth was told as opposed to being found out. However, it just didn’t work as well for me as it could have.
That being said, I still adored this book. The MCs were wonderfully drawn, and Michal especially was a great character. Magnus’s support knew now bounds, and I loved the way they worked together. The chemistry was smoking and jumped off the page, and their relationship—all aspects of it—felt real and believable. This may have been my first Roe Horvat, but it won’t be my last. This story is sweet with just the right amount of heat and heavy, and I definitely recommend it to you.