Title: Hearts and Flour
Author: Tara Lain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 87 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Holiday Romance
At a Glance: This is mostly a low angst, nicely paced, humorous short Valentine story.
Reviewed By: Carrie
Blurb: Can a raw food enthusiast find love with a guy who bakes cupcakes?
When Micah Truveen’s devoted health-food customers start showing up with white flour, Micah wants to chew nails! To make his misery worse, he finds his yoga teacher boyfriend in bed with another guy the day before Valentine’s Day. Micah decides to drown his misery at a friend’s anti-Valentine’s Day orgiastic hookup party—and meets the beautiful Queen, a gorgeous cross-dresser who’s got Southern sugah in his mouth and the right equipment under the dress. But when the hookup turns serious, Micah has to compromise to protect Queen’s secrets from his beloved grandmother. With everything against them, can two hearts rise above the flour?
Review: This is a great, quirky little Valentine read; it is a Tara Lain short that is low on angst and high on romance, set, of course, in Laguna Beach. This book was originally published back in 2013 with a different publisher, and Lain has given it a new cover, spruced it up a bit and rereleased it. Shout out here to Reece Dante on the cover—it matches the tone, flavor, and main character of the book perfectly, and made me smile.
Micah has issues. Running the health food establishment, The Place, is not just a job for him; it’s a calling. A true fanatic about his eating habits, he also gives to save the whales and rhinos, and only uses recycled materials in his café. Some of his friends have accused him of being rigid. But he’s not…is he?! Then Micah finds some of his “devotees” sitting in his café with their cheeks full of cupcake instead of wheatgrass, and his yogi boyfriend in bed with another man, and all of a sudden he’s questioning himself. Deciding to go to his friend’s anti-Valentine party, Micah just wants to get laid and forget about his crappy life for a moment. Seeing a beautiful woman walk by causes Micah to do a double take. What would a girl who looks like that want with a bunch of gay men? Mesmerized, Micah follows the woman into the kitchen, only to discover that this particular woman comes equipped with added features—like an Adams apple and other things.
Micah’s hand stroked his own cock, and his eyes traveled over Quentin’s body. “I’ve never seen anything like you. So masculine and ladylike at the same time. So brazenly sexy and so innocent….”
Quentin, aka Queen, or even sometimes Q, moved to Laguna Beach from South Carolina with his grandmother, supposedly for the better weather. Being from a prominent Charleston family has its drawbacks, especially when you are a gay man, and so Queen was born. Adopting his female persona allowed Quentin to go out to gay bars and other functions without censure from his family or their friends, but he found he liked dressing as a woman and kept up the ruse even after he moved. Opening the bakery and selling cupcakes and other bits of goodness baked from his grandmother’s recipes is a dream come true for him. Letting his guard down is hard for Quentin, but the hot guy who literally sweeps him off his feet is too much to resist.
This is mostly a low angst, nicely paced, humorous short Valentine story. It’s written in third person, so you know what is going on inside everyone’s heads, and it makes the story easy to follow. Heavier topics are brought up but kept off page so that we can focus on the two MCs and their love story. The ancillary characters hold up their portions of the story nicely. I would love to meet Yancy someday, and we should all be so lucky to have a grandmother like Quentin’s. All in all, this is a fun Valentine’s short story and fits right in to Lain’s other books set in Laguna Beach. I would definitely recommend it as a Valentines treat.
You can buy Hearts and Flour here: