Sweets by Sean Michael

Sweets by Sean Michael
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, LGBTQ
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Fern

Jake Dubois, a divorced dad, runs the I Eat Cake blog. Every week he tastes a bakery-made cake, reviews it and attempts to recreate it. He loves the work almost as much as he loves his six-year-old daughter.

Widower Ben Rummel’s twin girls are still toddlers and he’s grateful to his mother for helping out while he runs his business, the Banana Bear Bakery. He asks the I Eat Cake blog guy to review one of his creations, hoping to increase the visibility of his newly opened bakery.

Jake loves Ben’s cake, but he’s also quite taken with the man himself and the feeling is mutual. They arrange a playdate for their girls, which lets the two men spend more time with each other, too. One get-together leads to another and soon they’re hanging out on a regular basis.

If they’re going to take their relationship deeper, they’ll have to navigate a few bumps in the road, not least of which is Jake’s ex. But if they can, they just might be able to make a life for themselves as sweet as any of Ben’s creations.

Jake, a divorced dad of a six-year-old girl, runs a video blog called I Eat Cake. When he gets a cold-call email from a local bakery requesting he sample some of their wares and potentially feature them in his blog his curiosity is aroused. Ben, a widower of three-year-old twin girls, is making his business work but knows he could do with a small boost to his PR and increase the visibility of his bakery. The two men are both taken with each other at their first meeting – professionally and personally – can they find some common ground and make something meaningful together?

I’ve been quite a fan of Sean Michael’s for quite some time and found this to be an enjoyable and emotional read from him. While it’s the second book in a series there isn’t any cross over from the first book so readers should absolutely feel comfortable picking this up as a standalone novel. I thoroughly enjoyed the slightly slower pace to the romance – the two men connected well as friends to begin with, then supported each other with the hard work of being a single parent, then slowly as their relationship bloomed it became more sensual and intimate. Readers who prefer the faster pace of insta-love might find this story a little slow but personally I really enjoyed the deeper emotional connection between the two men, particularly considering they had three young children to consider between them.

I also liked how while there was some conflict in the book it didn’t appear over the top to my mind. I sometimes find with slower paced M/M erotic romance stories like this having a crazy ex or a bigoted family member or something along those lines can be overblown and feel almost a caricature simply to add conflict. I was really impressed how the author added tension and conflict in the book with Jake’s ex but it was realistic, not overblown and – more importantly to my mind – maturely and calmly handled to a satisfying conclusion. I found this deeply refreshing and I found it equally satisfying that some legitimate concerns and questions could be handled without drama or creating conflict merely for the sake of having it. I loved this so much.

I also really enjoyed the characters themselves – while there wasn’t a huge supportive cast of secondary characters, I didn’t feel the book lacked anything for them not being present. Ben and Jake were solidly in the center stage as was their three daughters. There was plenty of variety there and I thought they kept the pace and plot of the story moving along at a good clip. I found their characters realistic, enjoyable and I found myself quite invested in Jake and Ben’s new relationship and their happiness as they blended their two families and sorted out a new life together.

Readers looking for an interesting, refreshingly different take on the M/M family romance story should find this a lovely read. With a slower romantic plot but still plenty of sizzle in the bedroom I feel this should appeal to many readers. Recommended.

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