Title: Lollipop (Candy Man #3)
Author: Amy Lane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 25, 2016
Page Count: 250
Reviewed by: Vallie
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Ezra Kellerman flew across country to see if he had another chance with the man he let slip through his fingers. He didn’t. Rico has moved on, but he doesn’t just leave his ex high and dry. Instead, Rico entrusts his family and friends with Ezra’s care. Ezra, confused, hurt, and lost, clings to Rico’s cousin and his boyfriend as the lifelines they are—but their friend Miguel is another story.
Miguel Rodriguez had great plans and ambition—but a hearty dose of real life crushed those flat. When Miguel finds himself partially in charge of the befuddled, dreamy, healing Ezra, he’s pretty resentful at first. But Ezra’s placid nature and sincere wonder at the simple life Miguel has taken for granted begin to soften Miguel’s hardened shell. Miguel starts to notice that Ezra isn’t just amazingly sweet—he’s achingly beautiful as well. Suddenly Miguel is fending off every single man on the planet to give Ezra room to get over Rico—while fighting a burning suspicion that the best thing to help Ezra get over his broken heart is Miguel.
What an adorable story! As with the first two books in the Candy Man series, there’s sweet sweet romance with a sprinkle of heartache and a bit of growing up, all there to tug at your heart-strings and bow to Amy Lane’s mastery of fluffy goodness.
The story picks up right where Bitter Taffy left off, with Ezra stranded in front of Rico’s apartment, with Miguel, Adam, and Finn as his appointed guardians. Ezra is 28 years old, but has experienced a pretty severe mental breakdown after being in the closet and under his dad’s controlling thumb all his life. So he’s 28 but sounds a lot younger, mainly because of how fragile and vulnerable he is. He went to Sacramento hoping to get Rico back but ended up getting so much more, namely a boyfriend, a solid group of friends, an adopted family, and a job at Candy Heaven.
Miguel is one of Derek’s –Rico’s boyfriend- employees who also works at Candy Heaven. He is Latino, hot, and generally withdrawn. Miguel grew up in a very loving home but having so many siblings, he always felt like he was fading in the background. When Ezra shows up, Miguel finally feels like someone is noticing him in the ways that matter and a strong friendship starts developing between the two.
There is some nice slow-burn here which evolves into delicious explosive smex later on in the book. Who would’ve thought that quiet Miguel would be the jealous, dominant type? Oh but he wears it so well! And no one does needy like Amy Lane folks! The feelz and the intimacy are right on point and the emotions make you want to give them both hugs and hold them close for all eternity. The hurt/comfort sneaks in there in the dark and while you’re obliviously reading along thinking this will be a ball of fluff..BAM, you’re caught unawares with ooohs and aaaaahs after every second sentence. Nothing heavy, but just enough to make you care more for the characters and what happens to them.
The resolution with the dad was a tad OTT but I took great pleasure in seeing Ezra standing up for himself and claiming his independence. There’s a wonderful HEA in store for the boys and the best part? It looks like there’ll be a fourth book!!!!!!!!!!!! Adam’s ex is gonna show up and who knows how much drama that’ll stir up. Just think of Finn pouting and throwing tantrums all over the place. I. CAN’T. WAIT!!!