Book Reviews

Zest (An Accidental Baker Story) by Clare London at Jocular Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 09-October-2019

Book Blurb

Donnie’s new romance with silver fox veterinarian Will looks like a real recipe for love. But first he has to deal with the problems of his job, his friends’ demands, and worries about Will’s privileged background. To say nothing of Donnie’s thwarted dreams of a catering career—and baking something that doesn’t come out a disaster.

Will is fascinated and entranced by Donnie. A mature, professional businessman, he’s far less confident in romance—and in the bedroom. Yet his eagerness to look after Donnie and show him a better life are misguided, and have a disastrous effect of their own.

Donnie is everyone’s friend. He’ll help anyone out. But who’s there to help him when he needs it?

Book Review

“Give yourself permission to say NO without feeling guilty, mean, or selfish. Anybody who gets upset and/or expects you to say YES all of the time clearly doesn’t have your best interest at heart...” – Stephanie Lahart

Everyone loves Donnie, of ‘Zest’ by Clare London, but who loves Donnie for himself? He is so good natured that he isn’t able to say no, even when he should. Most of the time, Donnie is so overextended that he is exhausted. Until he learns to put himself first, he will not be able to see that people care for him whether he does what they want or not.

At least Donnie’s love life is looking up. Will, a local veterinarian, is quite taken with him. One issue inhibiting their relationship is that they are both socially awkward. So far, their lives have been made difficult by the fact that their self-worth has been compromised by other people who haven’t had their best interests at heart. Both men are hesitant to get too close to anyone, for fear of being used.

Will hates the position Donnie puts himself in by allowing people to take advantage of him. When Will encourages Donnie to stand up for himself at work, he is fired. Will feels really bad about this, but Donnie accepts it because he is so used to being treated as if he is easily replaced, he has come to expect it. Will has the best of intentions when he gives Donnie a job at his practice, but Donnie will not accept charity, or special treatment. He will only take the job if he is paid a fair wage, not the overly generous salary that Will offers. Donnie flourishes in the job and becomes almost indispensable making Will’s life infinitely easier. Donnie’s confidence soars. Things are going well between Will and Donnie, until Will starts making decisions that involve Donnie, without first discussing them with him. When Donnie discovers what Will is up to, he becomes furious. At the time he finds out they are on a date. Usually Donnie invites Will in afterwards, but tonight, he does not. Will is hurt and worried that his lack of consideration is going to cause him to lose Donnie.

Donnie and Will endure a lot of angst in this endearing love story, but of self-actualization as well. I can identify with Donnie because I often say yes when I should say no; the story reminded me of how important it is to be mindful of that principle. Thanks, Clare, for helping Donnie and Will overcome their issues and find happiness.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 134 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 17-August-2019
Price $2.99 ebook
Buy Link