Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Taste

Title: Taste
Author: Mickie B. Ashling
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-862-4
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary, Sequel
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

When Lil Lampert visits his friends, Jody and Clark, in Chicago, he doesn’t expect it to change his life but that’s what happens when they spend the day at the annual Taste of Chicago. There he meets handsome Grier Dilorio, a younger man interested in design and architecture. On the surface, tattooed Grier appears to be a typical bad boy but in reality, he’s kind, loving and tenderhearted, especially for Luca, the small son who he’s been forced to deny. With numerous family members against him, it’s up to Lil to support Grier, opening up the possibility to a future together…to being a family, of which, until now, Lil has only dared dream.

Taste is the latest release by author Mickie B. Ashling. It’s a sequel to Horizons and while it has secondary characters previously introduced, it can easily be read as a standalone.

I enjoyed this story from the beginning. I mean who wouldn’t love wandering around a venue where you could taste so many wonderful different foods. It is an inspired choice for Lil and Grier’s meeting and one I’d never read before. The descriptions of the food festival and other sites around Chicago were well described, lending the story a sense of authenticity and depth I appreciated. That same comment applies to later in the story when the plot moves to San Francisco.

Lil and Grier are interesting men and while their relationship starts off more intense than either expected, it’s done in such a manner that it doesn’t feel forced or contrived. I like these two together. They’re tenderhearted, caring, loving and compassionate men but they have Grier’s family baggage getting in the way of their happiness. The surly anti-gay attitude of Grier’s family is well portrayed in this story but much of it…a least his father’s seems more misunderstanding and disappointment than hate. Some might say that their attitudes and the conflicts involving it and Luca are resolved too quickly at the end but I don’t know that I’d agree based on the twists the author used. Yes, I wondered how she was going to get Grier out of his mess but she did it and did it, in my opinion, with believable creative flair. Read and enjoy. I did.

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