Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: Just Desserts (Tales of the Curious Cookbook) by Mary Calmes

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5:

Just Desserts coverWhen Scott Wren meets Boone Walton, he knows that this man is going to be an important part of his life, but since Boone seems aloof and uninterested in him sexually, he pursues friendship as the way to Boone’s heart instead.

Scott is a chef and has his own restaurant, which Boone helps him decorate and create the perfect ambience for dining in style. Boone owns an art gallery in New Orleans, and he’s renovated and decorated the building it’s in, the gallery itself, and his upstairs apartment with his own two hands. He knows what he’s doing. At least, he knows what he’s doing when it comes to business, but when it comes to Scott, he flounders.

Boone seems to be the only one who doesn’t realize that Scott has come to mean more to him than just a friend. He knows he’s attracted to Scott sexually, but is afraid to make a move because Scott sheds lovers like other men change clothes, and Boone couldn’t bear to lose him.

It isn’t until Scott tries out a new recipe for chocolate mousse from “Recipes for the Heart: Mystical Meals and Dangerous Desserts” by Granny B, that “things get sorted” as the cookbook stated they would. Scott and Boone are the only ones who enjoy the taste of the mousse. Scott’s boyfriend and Boone’s blind date think it tastes lousy. It doesn’t help that the ghost who haunts Scott’s apartment keeps flicking the lights on and off and filling the apartment with malodorous scents which are definite appetite suppressors.

They manage to get through dinner and afterward, at Scott’s request, when Boone removes his shirt to show the others his tattoos Scott suddenly realizes he’s jealous and loses his temper with both his boyfriend and Boone’s date. They need to get their hands off Boone! He literally kicks them out of the apartment, and it’s then that Scott and Boone realize that everything has been sorted, and they belong together.

Of course, nothing runs smoothly, and when Boone is visited by his former Japanese lover’s father, a man Boone both hates and fears, it looks like he may not live long enough to be with Scott after all.

I really enjoyed this story. There is so much drama, love, and heartache packed into this hundred plus pages that it’s unbelievable. I always enjoy Mary Calmes’s stories, with her clueless males, loved by others but unable to see how cute they are and how much they mean to others. This one, in a way, is stereotypical, in other ways it is not. The backstory on Boone was incredible, with his involvement in the Japanese mob, actively and inactively, his Japanese lover, and his survival of torture and imprisonment. The characters were well-developed, the plot plausible, and the ghost charming.

If you enjoy this series, don’t miss this one. It’s the best so far. It can certainly be read as a standalone and would make the perfect story to read at the beach or in front of a cozy fire on a cold day.
Cover art by Reese Dante features the same color-themed background with cookbook as others in the series, with the addition of two servings of chocolate mousse complete with spoons. This is the dessert around which this story is built so the cover suits the story perfectly.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner PressAll Romance (ARe)Amazon   Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 102 pages
Published April 29th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
original titleJust Desserts
edition languageEnglish
seriesTales of the Curious Cookbook

Tales of the Curious Cookbook series:

6 works, 5 primary works.
Five fun and fanciful stories about a rather curious cookbook!

Authors and Their Stories:

RJ Scott – For a Rainy Afternoon (Tales of the Curious Cookbook) by R.J. Scott
Amy Lane – Food for Thought (Tales of the Curious Cookbook) by Amy Lane
Marie Sexton – Lost Along the Way (Tales of the Curious Cookbook) by Marie Sexton
Amber Kell – Cookies for Courting (Tales of the Curious Cookbook) by Amber Kell
Mary Calmes – Just Desserts (Tales of the Curious Cookbook) by Mary Calmes
RJ Scott – Tales of the Curious Cookbook by R.J. Scott


By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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