Author: Teodora Kostova
Release Date: April 21, 2016
Reviewed by: PIU
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
I went to war, running away from myself. I came back in pieces to find out who I really was.
It took me nearly ten years, two tours in Afghanistan and losing a leg to come to terms with who I really am.
Two years after coming back from war, I can say that I’m finally content. I’m as fit as ever, my prosthetic leg allowing me the freedom of moving and exercising as if nothing has changed. I own a small bakery in the center of Cambridge, and I have a loyal circle of friends that I can always count on.
Yet, there’s something missing. A part of me craves the intimacy, the deep connection to another human being. But another – bigger – part of me is terrified of letting anyone in.
My internal conflict didn’t stand a chance when I met Jay. He stormed through my defense walls like a hurricane, wrapping around me with gentle force until I had no choice but to surrender.
Surrendering has never felt so good.
Will Jay want to stay when he sees the real me? When he sees the nightmares and insecurities clawing at my soul?
My name is Amir Gopal and this is my story.
Cookies is a relatively low-angst, sweet and wannabe emotional read about a war veteran, who is trying to cope with PTSD and his romance with a college student who dazzles him from the moment he steps into his bakery. From the blurb, I kinda hoped or quite an emotional read about a damaged and broken hero but the story really lacked on the emotional/broken part. It was sweet, sure, but I felt that this story had huge unexploited potential to really squeeze the reader’s tears.
We have Amir Gopal, a war veteran, who is a very gifted baker. He owns and runs cookies, his bakery where for the first time he meets Jay. Amir has scars, both physical and emotional. He has bouts of panic attacks and there are many triggers that jump starts his PTSD. Amir struggles a lot with his condition and his healing is a working progress.
James Brooks or Jay on the other hand is a smart, vibrant and handsome young man. Jay is attracted to Amir from the start too. He accepts Amir with all his baggage and insecurities. He gets under Amir’s skin fairly quickly. They have a very sweet and passionate relationship. Jay becomes a part of every facet of Amir’s life very quickly and Amir’s causes becomes his causes.
The story starts off a little slow but it finds its bearings after the first 40%. The writing style is very mellow and soothing. There were no overly painful or intense emotions involved. Amir had his insecurities about Jay’s feelings towards him but despite of that their relationship coasts along pretty smoothly. The veteran center plays quite a big part in the story line and I liked all of Amir’s friends. They were exposed very less in the book but they had a very profound presence in the story. Shane and Greg’s character raised my interest a lot and I would have loved to read more about them. I kept on waiting to learn more about what happens with Greg till the end of the story but there was no mention of him whatsoever.
The plot had a huge potential to be a tearjerker but the emotional element of the story was really low key. We know Amir is suffering from PTSD but except for two or three instances, his sufferings are not exposed to the readers in full effect. Jay and Amir’s relationship was sweet but not intense, which was what I expected of a damaged hero romance. The read felt like we are going ahead with the plot line without any progress. I can’t say that Jay’s love healed Amir or cured him of his insecurities. They were both the same persons they were, before they met each other. They just fell in love and had great sex, nothing more. The plot line was a lot bland for my taste.
The leads had pretty awesome sexual chemistry. Their passion was portrayed real nicely and the sex scenes were smutty and steamy but also sweet. Their sexual encounters were well paced throughout the story. It was hot without being explosive.
All in all, this book won’t make your heart race or make you fall in love but if you are in for a low angst, sweet contemporary romance between two compassionate guys then this is the book for you. Don’t get waylaid by the blurb into thinking this is an intense read, you will be disappointed.