Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Akash Robinson fuses his Indian and British heritage into his baked creations. His life is all things sugar and spice, especially when a blind date leads him to the older military man of his dreams. Family, friends, and an unwanted admirer all threaten both his sanity and his budding romance.
Hamish Ross carries the names of his lost soldiers on his back. He takes his work seriously with no time for love. All it takes is one impulsive kiss to lead him into uncharted romantic waters.
When a sarcastic baker mixes with a stoic alpha marine, who will come out on top when the flour settles?
The Royal Marine is book four in Dahlia Donovan’s international bestselling gay romance series, The Sin Bin. Each one features hot rugby players and the men who steal their hearts.
So once again, I’ve found myself starting a series at book four! What a surprise! Not! I give up, it really seems to be just a path I’m meant to take so I’m embracing it because again I’m going to have to go back to the beginning and pick up all the preceding stories. Why? Because of the heartwarming success of The Royal Marine (The Sin Bin #4) by Dahlia Donovan.
Dahlia Donovan must be a part of or know intimately a warm Indian /mixed Indian family. How she writes Akash or Aki, as he’s called and his family is just plain wonderful and authentic. From the family dynamics to the linguistic rhythm of the dialog that sings out to the reader (often leaving them smiling or outright laughing in commiseration), it’s all a part of letting one gently feel the culture, the love, and the family without anything really shouting out at you. It’s just a lovely part of this story and the main character and it brings Aki and his family so alive that you connect with him (and them) immediately. Plus I really wanted to taste his baking!
Hamish, aka The Hamster, Ross is The Royal Marine. He’s the man Aki is set up on a blind date with, one of two actually, but he’s the one that Aki has something in common with and likes immediately. The connection is mutual. The Royal Marine would be one of the slow burn sort of stories excerpt for Hamish’s job which takes him away for long, dangerous stretches at a time and an interesting sort of WiFi dating/getting to know you courtship ensues. He too is surrounded by his own version of family, that of his “crew”, the marines that retired with him and they now work together. The characters here are believable, memorable, and people you want more of in this story and perhaps the next.
The story is told from two perspectives which is necessary given that they are apart and they get to have a long distance “romance” that we “peek” into. Then around them, there is further drama which heightens the suspense for the couple on several levels. Yes, there’s plenty of suspense, anxiety, and danger to go along with the romance. It’s really a wonderful story. And I loved that ending!
So now it’s onto books 1 through 3. I’ll let you know what I find. You can easily read this one without the others and I think you should. It’s lovely and I absolutely recommend it.
Cover art by Claire Smith is sort of bland, would have preferred the bakery or another element from the story.