Not All Chocolate And Cuckoo Clocks by Rebecca Cohen

Not All Chocolate And Cuckoo Clocks by Rebecca Cohen
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short story (132)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Neither of them wants to fall in love, but getting exactly what they don’t want might be the best thing to ever happen to them.

Mark hopes his boredom with his current job will be alleviated by a short stint in Basel, Switzerland. When he meets Steffen, who struck out on his own from an old-money family to establish an IT firm, Mark expects some fun, great sex, and a clean break when his job is done. The arrangement is perfect for Steffen, who has been content with casual after a betrayal—and has a taste for British men after attending university in the UK. But as they explore the city’s rich history and traditions, Mark begins to see Steffen as much more than a tour guide with benefits. If he isn’t careful, the trip meant to break the lull in his career might end up breaking his heart instead….

Mark landed a plush assignment for work and – better still – had been moved for three months to live in Switzerland to complete it. He could hardly believe his luck. Steffen is a Swiss IT specialist who has some fond university memories of the UK. When the two men meet through work they form an instant – and special – connection. Can Steffan show Mark just how much fun the small Switzerland town can be?

I found this to be a really fun and slow-paced, romantic story. I loved how Steffan had a dry and subtle sense of humour. I found it refreshing and just different enough that even had I not known this was set in Switzerland I’d have guessed it wasn’t a US-based story. I was also secretly pleased that the author added a lot of descriptions and history into explaining the small Swiss town under the guise of Mark being a visitor – as my own, personal, knowledge of Switzerland is depressingly small. Having Steffan guide Mark around allowed the author to impart massive detail without it feeling like an info-dump or brochure for the country made the story move much more smoothly that I was nervous about. Overall it really helped me assimilate all the new information and have a good, clear picture of the gorgeous little Swiss town.

I didn’t mind in the least that Steffan and Mark took their time getting to know each other. While I could understand that some romance readers wanting a ton of spice and plenty of erotic sex in their story might feel the pace here was a little slow, I personally was glad to get to know both the two main characters and the town (practically a character in itself, which I loved). Mark and Steffan formed a careful friendship first and this made the relationship feel a lot more realistic to me. I personally would have preferred a little more of their sexual chemistry to have shown through from their first meeting. I was delighted when Steffan very bluntly expressed his intentions and from there I thought the relationship grew at a good and realistic pace. While there was plenty of build up – almost too much, to my mind – the sex was hot and satisfying when it was consummated. Steffan and Mark both were emotionally as well as physically entwined and it made me chuckle that they both took so long to realize they were more than just a causal “few month long” fling. With a deliciously happy ending I found this story well rounded and perfectly satisfying.

While the story-line itself is nothing completely new and different, the setting and characters truly made this story memorable for me. I thoroughly enjoyed both Mark and Steffan and once the two of them had made their intentions clear the rest of the ride was glorious for me. I also truly loved the insights into Switzerland and loved the town and setting. The author has totally done justice to the location (to my mind, at least) and readers looking for a visit to another country with a lovely M/M romance on the side should definitely indulge. Recommended.

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