Title: Just Desserts
Author: Scarlet Blackwell
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Buy Link: Amazon.com
Length: Novella (57 PDF pages)
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Summary Review: A gastronomic and sensual delight.
The pen is mightier than the cleaver…
French chef Luc Tessier is five-star successful. His cookery program on TV is rated as high as his restaurant, and casual flings are his specialty. The only stain on his toque is Daniel Sheridan, an English food critic who has made it his business to ruin Luc’s reputation.
The only way to clarify this particular pat of butter is to invite the critic to dine and bury the hatchet—preferably in Daniel’s back. The moment he lays eyes on Daniel, however, Luc’s thoughts turn from sauces to seduction.
Daniel definitely finds Luc appetizing, but he plays it cool. He never wants to be anyone’s toy, ever again. Yet in the face of Luc’s relentless pursuit, he’s finding it harder to keep the flamboyant chef at arm’s length.
A cooking competition on a remote Scottish island seems the perfect way to put some distance between them. Until Luc shows up to compete, determined to win not only the trophy, but Daniel’s heart…
This book is for the true foodaholic and sexaholic because the tastes and aromas in Just Desserts will envelop you in sensual pleasure. This is the second book that I have read in a week where the focus is on food, and Just Desserts is awash in layer upon layer of sensuality and flavours, so much so that I couldn’t tell where one left off and the other began.
French chef Luc Tessier and English food critic Daniel Sheridan had engaged in a war of words for some time because Daniel dared to criticize Luc’s cuisine. Of course no one should even think of doing something so incredibly gauche especially a Brit, because “everyone knows that the English have the worst taste in cuisine” and Luc considered himself the royalty of chefs. The fact that Daniel, that cochon, criticized his food had tarnished Luc’s reputation and had him seeing red. He decided to take the war into the enemy’s camp and invited Daniel to dine at his restaurant to make him eat his words, and have him “salivating and moaning in ecstasy with every mouthful he takes” and “achieving orgasm even before the dessert is served”. But it was Luc who was befuddled when Daniel showed up. Far from the doddering 80 year old he imagined, he was in fact the hottest man he had ever seen. This put such a crimp in his plan that he had to take several breaks and could not start cooking until he had taken care of a particularly unruly erection which refused all of his initial efforts to restrain it. Imagine! He was panting so much for the food critic that he had to get off before the cook off. 🙂 There was a red haze before his eyes as all he could think about was having Daniel for dinner instead of cooking dinner.
When at last he had composed himself sufficiently to start cooking he couldn’t resist peeking at Daniel and his companion throughout the meal which he was unable to serve due to said constant state of arousal. 🙂 Daniel was not immune to Luc either as “his hard-on threatened to lift the table.” At the end of the meal when Luc deigned to put in an appearance, Daniel was even more delightful up close and personal, so much so that Luc’s Plan B, to seduce Daniel, was immediately executed. I will never look at whipped cream, melted Belgian chocolate and strawberries the same way again, EVER, after Luc feasted on Daniel, and I mean feasted! He even took a photo of his dessert. LOL. when Luc attempted to kiss Daniel after the feast Daniel refused to do so and responded “I don’t think so I know where you’ve been.” Luc had to brush his teeth and use mouthwash before the promised kiss. Of course the good feelings didn’t last and they parted on somewhat unfriendly terms, which made Daniel’s review of the meal not surprising. Luc vowed to get even and so the war of words began. He sent Daniel all the large phallic vegetables he could find with the following message:
“To Daniel: Thank you very much for the kind review. Here is something to remind you of me and keep you warm on those long winter nights.”
The response came two days later
“Dear Monsieur Tessier,
Thank you very much for the thoughtful gift. I used the squash and pumpkin to make soup and I took the biggest parsnip to bed with me. It was better than you any day.
Luc was amused and decided to send another gift, first a vibrator then a dozen roses. Daniel’s reply:
“Thank you for the two kind gifts. The vibrator looked great on the dining room table, but the roses were a little prickly on insertion.”
Luc realized that Daniel was the man for him and set out to woo him in earnest, sending many gifts to his beloved, even one memorable photo. You will have to read the book to find out how Luc won over the food critic. All I will say is that Luc in pursuit was a thing to behold.
The characterizations were exquisite. Luc was pompous, full of himself, and exceeded every description of the selfish chef. He demonstrated the typical droit de seigneur rights as he screwed all the male chefs in his employ indiscriminately, and they loved it because his sexual prowess was legendary. The sous chefs probably saw sex as one way to better themselves career-wise.
Daniel was drawn to Luc since the first time he saw him on his television show, and for a year he had not had sex with anyone as he masturbated to his photo. He was just as fixated on Luc, not that he would let that man-whore know he had him in the palm of his hands so to speak. The men in his life before Luc were attracted to his beautiful face but didn’t seem to want anything more than one night of his charms, and he was determined not to let Luc use him for sex.
I loved how these two competitive men gave it up…… and got their just desserts. The dialogue and prose as well as the repartees were so eloquent that I shall re-read this book as soon as I finish this review. This is the first book that I have read by Scarlet Blackwell but I’m off to check out her backlist and new releases.
Pick up a copy of Just Desserts – you won’t regret it. Highly recommended
Just Desserts is available from Samhain Publishing on Tuesday, July 27.