Book Reviews

Sweet Nothings (Dreamspun Desires, Amuse Bouche 1) by T. Neilson at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Blue-Collar Workers / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 12-April-2018

Book Blurb

Will a bitter bite from the past spoil a sweet romance?


Tristan Love, the youngest of seven brothers, is back in his hometown. He’s left the New York food scene and an abusive relationship behind him, but he holds his love of French pastries close to his heart and is determined to put his skills to use in a bakery of his own.


Returning to his childhood home means his meddlesome brother Simon will butt into his business, but before the bakery even opens its doors, Tristan’s delectable creations have the town’s mouths watering, and Jake, a cute mechanic, asks Tristan out. It all seems worthwhile….


That is, until the bakery burns down, Jake’s criminal past comes to light, and Tristan’s nasty ex rears his head where he is decidedly not wanted.


Book Review

Much like an amuse-bouche (the small, complimentary appetizers some restaurants offer), this story has hidden depths. Granted, some of those tantalizing samples handed out for free by the chef are just what they seem – a nice way to “amuse” your mouth, to start a meal, and to tide you over until the food arrives. But in a lot of cases they are more complicated and more delicious than they look, and once you start eating, you realize there is more to them than you expected. Both Tristan and Jake are guys with difficult pasts, secrets, and people who try to make their lives difficult. I was intrigued by Tristan from the start, and not just because he is a baker able to produce amazing treats. Jake has clearly not had it easy, but the reason why only emerges slowly. And between these two guys and the various very colorful secondary characters, this novel turned out to be full of surprises.

Tristan has just escaped a bad relationship (much worse than it first sounds) and wants to start over. He moves back to his hometown, buys a bakery, and is happy to finally have something of his own to focus on. But there are meddling family members, one particularly domineering brother, business issues, and the a**hole ex won’t leave well enough alone. With plenty of challenges, Tristan has his hands full. Meeting Jake and liking him from the start adds a hopeful note, but also makes the situation a lot more complicated than Tristan was hoping for.

Jake is a mechanic and works for his sister’s business because nobody else will hire him. Yes, he has been to prison, but it was clear from the start there was more to the story and I had a feeling Jake was innocent. It takes a while for the truth to come out, and when it does? It’s a doozy! Tristan and Jake get along really well despite the issues, but even that cannot stop the rumors flaring up again when catastrophe strikes. I really felt for Jake!

This story is a great mix between a sweet romance and a suspenseful who-dun-it. The perpetrator may be somewhat predictable but that in no way reduced my enjoyment of the revelations, complications, and the final solution. Then there are all the sweet treats Tristan bakes and the wonderful descriptions of all kinds of delectable food. Jake’s story hit me hard – I was glad Tristan ended up seeing his true self as well as his potential. It made me hopeful the other people would come around as well. The secondary characters range from adorable to annoying as heck and add another layer to this well-thought-out tale of mental/emotional rebirth and redemption.

If you like small-town settings with quirky characters and lots of history, if you want see two men come to each other’s rescue, and if you’re looking for a read that is entertaining, suspenseful, stars great characters, and is full of excitement, then you will probably like this novel.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook, print and audio
Length Novel, 248 pages/63173 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 03-April-2018
Price $4.99 ebook, $9.99 paperback, $9.99 bundle, $19.95 audiobook
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