Rating: 4 stars out of 5
As the owner of Apple’n Pies, Joe Applin leads a quiet, uneventful life, content to spend his days serving customers who come from all over to eat his delicious homemade pies. Along with his motley crew—Bea, Elsie, and Donnie—Joe couldn’t be happier in his little kingdom of baked goods and java.
Experience has taught Joe that love is overrated—and at times dangerous. He has no intention of repeating past mistakes. But then he meets a mysterious, handsome man with amnesia, and Joe can’t deny something sweet is in the works. He isn’t one to take risks, not with his heart and certainly not with his life, but the more time he spends with the man he knows as Tom, the closer he is to losing both.
Charlie Cochet’s Forgive and Forget picks up and runs with the ‘mystery man who can remember who he is’ trope and turns it into a wonderful quick moving romance in another of Dreamspinner Press’ Dreamspun Desires series.
Starting with the character of Joe Applin and the welcoming crew at Joe’s pie cafe, Apple’n Pies, Cochet creates a memorable cast and location guaranteed to pull the reader in and keep them throughly absorbed in Joe’s little corner of the world and his developing romance. I thought Joe Applin had such a nice balance of quirks and professionalism, that it made his cafe real, his pies sound mouth watering delicious and his character believable and someone I could connect with. You laughed with Joe and you hurt with Joe, that’s how much I liked this character.
I felt that way about Bea, and Elsie and Donnie too.
Then along comes “Tom”, aka our mystery man. Tom is the one that seems too good to be true. Handsome, good at everything, his eyes all but sparkles and yes, he’s gay and attracted to Joe. Had Charlie Cochet been writing another story in another series, maybe I might have had a little eye roll here. But again, the author is writing a story in a series that’s bringing back a style of romance that is perhaps not only a tad naive in outlook but originally launched when plots were, if not not as complex, then maybe more streamlined in approach. So Tom is welcomed with a wary if swift embrace by all, including this reader, and the romance is on.
Yes, I loved that approach to romance too. Its warmhearted, sexy, and occasionally funny. You want these men to be together, no matter the odds, a clear sign the author has succeeded in her writing and in the love building between Joe and “Tom”. There’s the mystery and a bit of suspense. The ending brings things full circle which is, again, in keeping with the format of the series and writing this story is going for. I won’t spoil it for you. Needless to say I loved this story and absolutely recommend it to all.
Forgive and Forget is a quick, heartwarming, absorbing story. I picked it up and forgot about everything else until I put it down. I wouldn’t even mind if Charlie Cochet gave us a trip back to their world and let us in to see how they are doing, a Forgive and Forget II.
Until then, go grab this up and get started on an enjoyable trip to a New York pie cafe owned by a man named Joe and his mystery man searching for love and something more.
Cover art by Paul Richmond continues the terrific job that is a hallmark of this series.
ebook, 194 pages
Published April 1st 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleForgive and Forget