Title: Bittersweet Candy Kisses (All Petit Morts Stories)
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Publisher: JCP Books LLC
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: short story (13K words)
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Asking for help can be a challenge for even the best of us, and so it’s doubly intimidating for quiet, introverted Tommy Roth. An online exchange leads to a meeting with a psychic who assures Tommy that his naturally subdued aura is to blame for his timidity. Blue and violet tones are out, and shades of yellow and red are in!
Of course it’s a bunch of baloney, and to make it worse, the intimidating shop clerk overheard the whole conversation.
Just when it seems like Tommy’s life can’t get any more dreary, a colorful character drops out of the sky. Nathan’s so vivid, he seems to good to be true. Is he?
Tommy was desperate. He was a contradiction because he was the top salesman in the car dealership where he worked, an environment where he was comfortable, but he was inept in social situations .He had no social skills and consequently no friends. His solution? Ask Sister Norma, a charlatan if ever there was one, to help him improve his social life. He met Sister Norma in a nearby candy store, Sweets to the Sweet, and after the usual gobbledegook about his aura and colours, she left with $30 of his money and the potential for more in the future if Tommy was even more of a fool than he appeared to be.
Chance, the owner of the candy store who had looked on at the transaction, took pity on Tommy and recommended a professional who might be a bit more qualified to help him. When Tommy left, Chance noticed that Nathan, the flamboyant window washer outside who had been trying to set up a date with him since he first moved into the neighbourhood, was trying to get his attention by flirting. Even though Chance wasn’t showing any interest, Nathan put on a show to see if maybe this time he would get lucky. He didn’t!
Tommy had his doubts that a professional would be able to help him but he made an appointment to see the doctor Chance recommended. While he was sitting in the doctor’s office he noticed a window washer hanging by his safety harness from the 37th floor of the building. The window washer, the same one who had been trying to put the moves earlier on Chance, was writing his phone number on the window and motioning for Tommy to call him later. When Tommy left the doctor’s office he decided to make a washroom break before his long drive home, and in the middle of relieving himself Nathan burst into the bathroom to make sure he got the phone number and was going to call. They arranged to meet at a local film festival and the date was one for the ages as they hooked up in the theatre and in the middle of having sex the fire alarm went off. I guess you could say that they and the fire alarm went off at the same time. 🙂
Nathan was bold and audacious and gave Tommy the impetus he needed to become a confident man who would execute daring challenges he never would have contemplated before. Nathan’s joie de vivre was contagious and his effect on Tommy was transforming – the man I met in the beginning did not resemble the character in the end of the book. Nathan’s character remained constant and it was as if his aura enveloped Tommy who became a tiger. I loved Nathan’s sense of humour – at one point when Tommy was giving him oral sex he expressed concern -:D
“Take it easy baby, I don’t expect you to be a sword swallower.”
Jordan’s books always veer into the weird and wonderful which is why I love her writing. Sister Norma was so real I could see her in my mind’s eye, and the scene when Tommy was in the doctor’s office listening to him drone on and on while he was trying to read Nathan’s phone number that he was writing backward while swinging in the air was priceless.
And what of Chance? Has he moved on?
I really liked this book and definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for an unusual story.
One last comment about this series. Whoever designed the book covers did an outstanding job. Not only are the covers beautiful but they are also unusual.