Title: Lollipop (Candy Man #3)
Author: Amy Lane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 25, 2016
Page Count: 250
Reviewed by: Renée
Heat Level: 4 flame 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.
I am growing addicted to the little family at Candy Heaven. Even weird Darrin.
Ezra showed at the end of Book 2 and threw Derek into a tizzy, thinking his future with Rico was over. And Ezra wanted to ask for Rico to give them another chance. But Rico was permanently cemented in Derek’s heart, and Derek in his. Rico wouldn’t leave Ezra out on his ass though. He remembered all too well Ezra’s family and home life.
And so begins the adoption of Ezra into the fold. This series definitely has a formula: the family that you are enveloped into. The family that you make. The family of Candy Heaven. The first half of the story shows Ezra becoming EZRA. He’s never had his own identity. He’s always been a robot, just existing in a world created by his father. He learns what matters. He learns that HE matters. And he learns that friendships and working for minimum wage, as long as you’re surrounded by the people that you love and you’re happy, are all that you need.
Miguel has always been important to those he loves but he’s never been EVERYTHING to just ONE person. Surrounded by 5 other siblings his whole life, and then having a recent business fail, he is tired of being swallowed up by the world and those around him. He knows love. He knows acceptance. He knows he’s lucky in his life, especially after seeing all that Ezra didn’t have despite growing up in the lap of money. But when Ezra looks at Miguel and SEES him, can always pick him out of a crowd, and even SEEKS him out of a crowd – well there’s something special about that.
This was a slow burn, a real friends-to-lovers story. I loved that!! Ezra needed time to get Rico out of his system, and Miguel needed time to get his crush on Adam out of his. And as they slowly gravitate toward each other, even with other friends in this group at Candy Heaven, they finally figure out why. And can I just say that growly, jealous Miguel when others would flirt with Ezra??? Holy hell – that was worth the read alone!
Ms. Lane made this even more interesting – she is passing on some of Darrin’s “powers” to one of the other Candy Heaven characters, and when you get a glimpse of who is coming in the next book? Well, look out Finn!