Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Second Helpings

Title: Second Helpings
Author: Scarlet Blackwell
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publisher URL:
ISBN: 978-1-60928-245-5
Genre: {M/M/} Contemporary
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Mystical Nymph

When French chef Luc Tessier won the heart of his lover, Englishman food critic Daniel Sheridan, he thought he’d won the biggest and most important battle of his life. Little did he know that he might have won the initial battle but he hadn’t won the war—not by a long shot. His biggest battle is one he ever expected with the arrival of Daniel’s unpleasant and opinionated mother on their doorstep.

The relationship between Daniel and his mother has never been close and he’s afraid if she learns he’s gay, it will destroy what little there is. That means he’s still in the closet and determined to stay there, despite the strain it’s putting on his lover and their growing relationship. It also means Luc isn’t going to get laid any time soon.

The weeklong visit is pushing both Daniel and Luc to the brink and being on his best behavior is making the already arrogant and cranky Luc snap and snarl more than usual. He’s desperate to keep Daniel in his life but his attitude might drive him away forever.

Scarlet Blackwell has scored another hit with Second Helpings, the second release in her new Table for Two trilogy. It’s a humorous and fast paced look into the quirky and often volatile relationship of new lovers Luc and Daniel.

I admit it. I love these guys and watching them work through their relationship issues is alternately great fun when they’re getting along or having blistering hot sex, and terribly painful during the times Daniel’s mother is causing them problems. Ms. Blackwell has done a nice job putting the guys through their paces as they struggle to get through the week of “visit hell” and her vivid personality descriptions of Mrs. Sheridan makes the woman easy to dislike. That’s especially true after the emotional blackmail of her son is revealed.

There are many pleasant moments in this short gem but the one that truly stands up strong and proud is when Daniel confronts his personal demons. These scenes are, by far, my favorite and with which the author excelled. I can’t wait to see what happens in the last installment of this keeper trilogy with the release of The Last Supper when Luc and Daniel tie the knot.

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