Book Reviews

Just Desserts by Mary Calmes

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 16-November-2023

Book Blurb

Boone 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, is the river of pain Boone had to swim across to get to this side of The Big Easy. Boone’s been in love before, but he’s never had faith. Finally, he just might have found that as well.



First edition published at Dreamspinner Press, April 2015.


Book Review

“The first recipe for happiness is: avoid too lengthy meditation on the past.” ~ Andre Mauriois

The best way to honor someone's memory, someone whom you have loved and lost, is to be able to love again. This shows that your love for the other person's love was an intrinsic part of you, something that you don't want to live without. Boone Walton is still mourning the loss of his lover, Haru. Boone has sworn never to put himself in a position where he would ever feel that pain again, but from the very first time Scott Wren walked into his gallery, Boone was doomed. Boone: “I could already tell he could get under my skin and make me care about him. He wasn’t scared of me, and that could be bad.”

Boone won't admit it, but he's been in love with his best friend, Scott, almost since the day they met. Their friendship far surpasses what is considered such and, for all intents and purposes, they behave exactly like a couple. Besides being best friends and business partners, they spend almost every spare moment together. They often eat together, make plans for the future, and banter back and forth just like an old married couple. If Scott needs something, Boone is right there to provide it—be it a hug or a $1,000 antique stove to put in Scott's restaurant because it looks good there. Boone is extremely protective of his friend and on more than one occasion has warned other men off. Yet it's his friends who have to point out to Boone that he is in love with Scott. Boone decides he's going to take their association to the next level, but every time he sees an opening, Scott comes up with someone new. Not wanting to lose his friendship, Boone backs off and continues to care about Scott from afar.

Scott, aware of Boone's fear of intimacy, tries to be patient, hoping Boone will see how wonderful they are together, will put his past behind him, and allow himself to love again. Scott knows how much he loves Boone, but is also afraid to scare him away. Scott appreciates everything Boone does for him and adores him, but he just can't seem to get him out of the friend mode and into something more serious. One night, Scott invites his new boyfriend and some of his friends over for dinner. Scott is planning on making a new recipe he found in the antique stove Boone purchased for him. It's called chocolate mousse for sorting, although they speculate on what type of sorting that might be. Dinner doesn't go as planned…

This is a great friends-to-lovers story which is very well written and has excellent, well-developed characters with strong personalities. The mix of flashbacks and everyday action is woven together seamlessly and the pace at which facts are revealed was perfect. Boone's past broke my heart and made me want him and Scott to get together more than ever. I also loved the banter between Boone and Scott. It was crazy how they knew each other so well, yet it took them so long to figure it out. If you enjoy stories with a haunted apartment, magical recipes with a purpose behind them, two friends who become lovers, and, of course, a happy ever after, this book may be a good choice. Thanks, Mary, for the delightful story.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. The first edition of this book was provided by the publisher for the purpose of a review.


Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 117 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 01-November-2023
Price $2.99 ebook
Buy Link