Josh Boothe is one of the best pastry chefs in the nation, but he chooses to work as Peter Summers’ assistant, creating elaborate and beautiful pieces of art from sugar. He knows Peter is the best, and he wants to do everything possible to ensure Peter earns the gold medal he deserves at the California Confectioners Pastry Competition. Unfortunately, they’ve placed second three years in a row, and Josh fears Peter will find a new assistant.
But Peter has no interest in getting rid of Josh. In fact, he wants to find a way to make their partnership permanent…
Josh has always cared about Peter and he felt honored to work with him whenever he is asked to be his assistant in various Pastry Conventions, despite never winning the top spot. This newest competition he hoped would turn things around and provide an opportunity for them to shine. Most of all Josh wished for a closer, more intimate relationship with Peter, but he regarded that as unachievable since he didn’t even know whether Peter was gay.
Despite their best efforts in their latest competition they were bridesmaids again, and Josh felt that the honorable thing to do, even though his heart was breaking, was to bow out as Peter’s assistant since he felt it was mostly his fault that they never won. Fortunately for him, Peter does not agree and invites Josh to see his new kitchen before he flew home. Immediately after he entered Peter’s home there was a different dynamic between them and Josh began to hope that perhaps his dream of a relationship with Peter may not be a pipe dream after all. Will Josh’s hopes be realized?
Pepper Espinoza writes from the heart and it’s clear from her characterizations that the protagonists in Peanut Butter Kisses, who work in a very competitive field, are three dimensional and quite engaging. The conflicts in the story are obviously not earth shattering but do have real consequences in terms of future business opportunities and prestige for both of them. Even more important for Josh is the possibility of a personal relationship with Peter. The author did an excellent job of drawing me into the story and she had me rooting for both characters, as Josh and Peter identify and address each issue that conflicts with their shared desires. The lovemaking in the book was what I have come to expect from Ms Espinoza – sensuous, sexy and arousing and she has managed to pack a lot of story and emotion into a very short format.
I totally enjoyed this book which is a real “feel-good” story and I think you will too.