A Stella Audiobook Review: Just Desserts (Tales of the Curious Cookbook) by Mary Calmes and Greg Tremblay (Narrator)


Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5audiobook clipart bw

Just Desserts Audiobook coverBoone Walton has tried hard to create some distance between himself and his past. He’s invested in his new life, his New Orleans art gallery, and his friendship with Scott Wren. Things finally seem to be settling down to normal, and Boone couldn’t be happier.

Chef Scott Wren wants much more than normal with Boone. He wants to raise things to the next level, but Boone is terrified—and not because of the ghost in Scott’s apartment or Scott’s relatives. No, Boone’s past is about to pay him a visit, and the only thing that can get between Boone, Scott, and a hinky recipe for chocolate mousse found in a curious cookbook is the river of pain Boone had to swim across to get to this side of The Big Easy. There’s a secret behind the ingredients, though—one that might reveal the trust and love that have been missing from Boone’s life.

Mary Calmes and Greg Tremblay are the most perfect couple in the world. My favorite author  and my favorite narrator. I couldn’t have asked for more. Just amazing.

I don’t listen to a lot of audiobooks cause my English doesn’t permit me but after just three books narrated by Greg, I’m so used to his voice, his clear pronunciation, it’s hard to switch to another one. I can’t praise him enough. I simply like how he works a lot.

Mary Calmes is a guarantee to me. She never disappoints and you can’t go wrong with whatever book you pick. Every single time I read one of her story, I fall in love with the characters, in Just Desserts too. Both Scott and Boone were so loveable and sweet, I was engaged in their lives from the start. And I found each little trait I adore in Mary’s writing. The hotness, the feelings, the possessiveness. Even in a story so brief, just hundred pages, she was able to put all of these elements together, plus a real plot, MCs with a lot of baggage on their shoulders, some well defined secondary characters. 

A beautiful and emotional “friends to lovers” book. I can’t recommend Just Desserts enough! I didn’t give it the full five stars cause I would have loved it to be a couple of hundred pages more long, I know I’m being greedy but it’s Mary Calmes we’re talking about and I could spend all my days reading just her stories.

Just a note: this book is part of the Tales of the Curious Cookbook series. I honestly admit I haven’t read the other four stories and at the moment I’m not interested in them. Still I didn’t miss anything, because Just Desserts worked easily as a standalone.

The cover art by Reese Dante is yummy. It follows the theme of the series and fits the story perfectly. Well done!

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press |  Audible | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Published August 4th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press LLC
Audible Audio
Edition Language English
Narrator: Greg Tremblay

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

Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review –Cookies for Courting by Amber Kell


Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Cookies for Courting coverCookies for Courting by Amber Kell is another installment in the Tales of the Curious Cookbook series, each is by a different author, and each features a different recipe which is guaranteed to be a catalyst for an emotional response. The cookies featured in this story will bring about true love, in other words they facilitate good old-fashioned courting.

Marshall Hunter gained custody of his niece, Alice, when her mother, a single parent, was killed last month. At a loss as to how to cope with the child’s grief, he decides to have a mural painted on the wall of her bedroom in the hopes that it will cheer her up. A financial advisor, Marshall has been very successful in his career, but not so much in his love life. Single and without a clue about being a parent, he’s hired a nanny for afterschool care for Alice and has a full time housekeeper named Ilona who helps in whatever way she can, though she is aging and can’t care for the child herself.

On the morning he’s scheduled to interview the three artists who were recommended for the mural job, he meets a stunning young blond man in the elevator on the way to his office. Pace Barton is that young man, and is an artist with an impressive professional portfolio and the face of an angel. Marshall and Pace are immediately attracted to each other, but Marshall puts on the brakes because he won’t get involved with an employee.

When Pace meets Alice, he’s engaged by her personality, by her need to get through her grief, and by how much she reminds him of her stunning uncle. He gets the job, but just as he’s getting ready to start the mural, Marshall decides to buy a house so that Alice can have a yard and a dog and all the things kids her age need. Pace is disappointed, but understanding. Unfortunately, he feels that they won’t get to be together because Marshall will be moving too far away.

A misunderstanding then leads to a definite breakup, but a tragedy brings them back together, and then nothing will stop Marshall’s pursuit of this wonderful young man. And oh, by the way, he also bakes the best cookies!

This is a cute story, fairly short, but with enough excitement packed in to equal a longer book. What I liked best about this story were the MCs. Both men were characters I would love to get to know, especially Pace. I can’t pin down why they were so remarkable, other than to say the author did a great job bringing them to life. I felt like I was “watching”, rather than “reading” their story.

I recommend this one to those who like a simple, minimal-angst story, with great characterization and, of course, a sweet happy ending. In fact, the entire series is well-worth reading. I’m looking forward to the next installment.

Cover art by Reese Dante features the same color-themed background with cookbook as others in the series, with the addition of artist’s brushes and a stack of cookies, both symbolic of this story.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 68 pages
Published April 22nd 2015 by Dreamspinner Press LLC
original titleCookies for Courting
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