Author: Clare London
Publisher: Jocular Press
Pages/Word Count: 170 Pages
At a Glance: Double Scoop has it all: conflict, sweetness, smexy times, but mostly it’s a wonderful story about taking a chance on love.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: A sudden disaster strikes everyone’s favourite ice cream shop, With A Kick. Not only does it threaten the livelihood of its owner, Patrick, but also his loyal assistant Lee. The last thing in the world Patrick would ever want to do is hurt Lee, either physically or emotionally. Why would he? He’s been falling in love with Lee since the day Lee invited himself into the shop’s business and Patrick’s life. But familiar and deeply-held insecurities hold Patrick back – he’s too gruff for Lee, too old, and his labour-of-love business is never going to make him rich.
Lee is weary of trying to make Patrick see how much he admires and cares for him. To Lee, it’s a very straightforward situation. Patrick is sexy, Patrick is smart, Patrick needs Lee’s help – and Lee needs Patrick in his life as more than a boss. All the characteristics Patrick finds inhibiting, Lee finds attractive. However, if Patrick’s apparently never going to make a move on Lee, how long should Lee wait to make his own move? Maybe Patrick thinks Lee is too clingy, too immature. Maybe Lee should give up his romantic hopes completely. If, that is, he can bear to do it.
The disaster at the shop brings them a whole new opportunity to work – and love – together to make a go of things. They’ve both got to look at each other in a whole new way. With the help of all their With A Kick friends, this could be make or break for the reluctant couple!
Note: May contain what some consider minor spoilers
Review: YEA!!! Patrick and Lee, the guys behind the With a Kick shop, finally get their story. Double Scoop is the eighth book in this series written by Clare London and Sue Brown. While this is a series and is best read in order (if you want to know how the other couples got together and their relationships with Lee and Patrick), it is possible to enjoy this story on its own merits as a standalone. Just be aware that it’ll be a bit spoilery for some of the previous stories in the series.
Patrick and Lee have been fixtures in the With a Kick series, as their shop is the catalyst locale where many of the previous stories start/end/play out. Patrick’s a former teacher who, through a redundancy (layoff for the Americans), decided to leave teaching and open his own ice cream shop. Lee is his younger assistant and friend who would like to be more. They’ve worked hard at making the business a success and make a great team.
Early one morning there is a big disaster at the shop that results in a closure. Patrick is devastated and feels very guilty, not just because of the shop but because of Lee and his concern about him. While Lee takes a trip to hospital, word travels quickly and Lee and Patrick’s many friends step up to get things moving with the shop. Bryan, Patrick’s best friend and his business accountant, takes charge of making sure the business and insurance and police end of things are looked after while Curtis, one of the shop’s suppliers, helps get things stabilized at the shop itself with the help of other friends.
Once Lee is released from hospital, Patrick takes him back to the hotel he’s been staying at since his home is above the shop, and he isn’t able to go back until the building is ruled safe. Lee is tired and Patrick lets him rest, but there is only one bed. Eventually Patrick has to get some sleep, but when he and Lee both wake up, well…sleep is the last thing on their minds. 😉 Patrick is attracted to Lee and cares very much for him, but can’t understand why someone as young and attractive and smart as Lee would have an interest in him. For Lee’s part, Patrick is exactly who he wants, but he doesn’t think Patrick takes him seriously.
When they get back to the shop, things are moving along thanks to Bryan and friends—the mess and destroyed interior items are being hauled away, cleaning has begun, some of their friends are working on sourcing replacement items, etc. Both men are surprised and grateful for the support of their friends. And, that support doesn’t end there.
Eddy, another friend (and the MC of the inaugural With a Kick story), and the whole gang have worked out the production of a benefit night at the local comedy club for the shop. Riley (Curtis’s boyfriend) will sing, Eddy will emcee, there will be additional acts and all the proceeds will benefit the rebuild of With a Kick. Both Patrick and Lee are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the entire community.
While the benefit night is a huge success, Patrick once again cannot understand why Lee would want to be with him when there are all these young, gorgeous guys around who are obviously more suitable. When Lee tells Patrick that he truly wants him, Patrick still has a hard time believing it despite the fantastic night they have together. At the time, Patrick is definitely convinced that Lee really does want him.
But then there are the awkward days afterward. Patrick overthinks everything, and Lee feels he’s not taken seriously and is treated like a child. Patrick is naturally protective of Lee, and he keeps sticking his foot in it. When communication completely breaks down, Lee decides he needs a break. Patrick is once again devastated, but he’s at a loss as to how to make things right.
The rest of the story is spoilery, so you won’t hear it from me. I will say that sometimes it takes the meddling and/or interference from someone outside stepping in to make you see the forest for the trees. That is definitely the case here, as Patrick is his own worst enemy. His self-esteem issues and his naturally protective tendencies are a perfect storm that cause a lot of swirling doubts that he can make a relationship with Lee work.
I was so happy to be offered this book for review. I’ve really enjoyed this series from the get-go and love to check in with the boys at With a Kick. It was so fun to see all the couples who have been brought together in this little business step up to help the guys. Eddy and Curtis and Riley and Phiz and, of course, Bryan play a big part in this story, and it was great catching up with all of them. We finally get to see Patrick’s POV and get an understanding of his reluctance to start anything with Lee. Lee also really comes into his own in this story. Double Scoop has it all: conflict, sweetness, smexy times, but mostly it’s a wonderful story about taking a chance on love.
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