Double Shot Cappuccino

Title: Double Shot Cappuccino
Author: Stephanie Hecht
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Gay / Contemporary
Length: Novella, 80 pages
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

A Guest Review by StaceyR

Summary Review
A soldier comes home to say goodbye to his past, only to discover that past is where he’s buried his heart.


BLURB

When Tyler and his best friend, Luke, joined the military five years ago, they made a pact to defend their country and make their families proud. Now, Tyler is home and Luke never will be, tragically losing his life in combat. The first place Tyler goes when returning to the small town of his youth is the coffee shop owned by Luke’s younger brother, Nash. Tyler is both thrilled and dismayed to find that he’s instantly attracted to the younger man. What’s more, Nash makes it clear the attraction goes both ways.

Nash still hasn’t gotten over his brother’s death. He’s lived the past year in a fog, his only joy being his shop and making it a success. But when Tyler comes back into his life, everything changes. Not only does Nash have a reason to live again, but he finally sees hope for the future. Yet he soon learns that a happily ever after may not be in the cards when Tyler makes it clear he doesn’t want a commitment.

Can Nash convince Tyler to give their growing love a chance? Or are they destined to be alone forever?

REVIEW

Still grieving the death of his older brother, Nash keeps his mind focused on running his business, a coffee shop his brother Luke had funded. With a local event flooding his shop with customers and the sudden departure of his right-hand barista, Janet, who’s decided to follow her garage-band boyfriend on the road, Nash’s cup is overflowing. An unexpected visit from his brother’s best friend, a man he’s secretly carried a torch for since his youth, releases the tight cap on his emotions.

Recently discharged from the military and still recover from his wounds, Tyler has come home to sell his late grandmother’s house and say goodbye to his past before moving on to an uncertain future. His first stop is to see Nash, the one person who shares his grief over Luke’s death. What he doesn’t expect is his instant attraction to a pesky kid brother who’s grown into a tempting young man. Tyler hadn’t fully realized his attraction to men until he was in the service, a desire he’s never fully explored. Overcome by the instant protectiveness he feels for Nash, he offers to help out in the shop for the next two weeks.

Having Tyler around brings back fond memories of his brother, easing some of Nash’s hurt. Their attraction for one another continues to steam. When Tyler finally breaks and kisses Nash, Nash is stunned, never knowing Tyler had any interest in men. He’s not about to turn down the one man he’s always wanted. Tyler convinces himself that Nash is just the kind of temporary soothing balm he needs to ease him back into the present, a warm, giving guy who won’t push for more than Tyler’s willing to give. As hot and heavy as they get behind closed doors, Tyler slips behind a mask of indifference the second his sweat dries, inadvertently hurting Nash. Despite the sting of rejection Nash feels after each encounter, he can’t deny himself Tyler’s touch when they’re alone. Tyler swears he’s protecting Nash by keeping their affair secret, since he’s leaving soon.

Nash quietly accepts Tyler’s reasoning, but his friends/employees, Janet and Colby, aren’t about to sit quietly by when they can see their friend is hurting. Janet and Colby are great secondary characters, they’re personalities and personal threads adding to the story.  While Nash is non-confrontational in his personal life, he’s fiercely protective of his friends. When Colby shows up at work bruised and beaten everyone rallies around him. Colby is a fun character and comes off as a ditsy little bottom boy, but there are a few moments that give glimpses of some dark and heavy issues lurking beneath his bright and pretty surface (I’m guessing we’ll get a deep view of Colby in book two).

I enjoyed seeing some character growth in Nash when he hits his breaking point and realizes Tyler isn’t going to open his eyes or his heart. Nash finally stands up for himself, not only to Tyler, but also to the bigoted customer who’s been terrorizing him and his employees. Nash’s newfound ability to tell Tyler “no” sets off the catalyst for Tyler’s awakening and some self revelations he’s kept buried, perhaps a bit deeper than I could make myself believe.

I had a few peeves with this one: there’s a major contradiction in Tyler and Nash’s past relationship. In the beginning Tyler reveals that they spent little time together in their youth because of the three-year age difference, when toward the end you see that they’d actually been really close. Having acknowledged that in the beginning, I might have had an easier time believing Tyler’s sudden realization at the end. Also, I never really saw Tyler’s pull for “having to leave on Sunday”, other than his own desire to do so, since he has no real plans. So his constant shoving Nash away after having amazing sex without any hard-pressing motivation for doing so made him come off as a jerk in my eyes. For a smart guy, Tyler’s impossibly dense when it comes to knowing his own heart. But then again, sometimes it takes losing a good thing for someone to realize they’re being a total ass. His wake-up call was fun to read, and he does come through in the end in true heroic fashion, delivering a warm and satisfying ending.

In short, DOUBLE SHOT CAPPICCINO is a nice read about good friends, good people, and the self-discovery and courage it takes to reach out and grab your heart’s true desire.

8 comments

  • I loved, Loved, LOVED this one! I’m a total sucker for a ‘friends to lovers’ story, plus I really liked the well-drawn secondary characters.

    • Same here, Janet and Colby were great characters. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the whole cast 🙂

  • This one is tempting me… There has always been that interesting thing that happens when you realize you are attracted to a friend’s brother, esp younger brother. And the grieving thing is always good ground for a good romance to take seed and blossom!

  • I haven’t read this one but it sounds as if Tyler needed a kick in the balls for making Nash suffer needlessly. Also, what’s up with the conflicting information in the book about their past relationship?

    I guess I should give this one my attention since it’s part of a series. Thanks for a terrific review Stacey.

    • Thanks, Wave 🙂 Despite my petty gripes, it was a good read 😉 I’m looking forward to Colby’s story!

  • I thought he should have made Tyler suffer longer. LOL I’m mean that way. But on the whole I enjoyed it even if Tyler ticked me off the way he treated Nash. I look forward to Colby’s story.

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