Title: Nachos and Hash (Mary’s Boys #1)
Author: Brandon Witt
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 25, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 105
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Darwin Michaels is living his dreams in the Mile High City. While Denver offers the perfect job, scrumptious dining, and whirlwind dating options, Darwin is losing hope he’ll find the right man to spark his interest for more than a one-night stand—until he sets eyes on Cody Russell.
Cody has just accomplished his life’s goal—get the hell out of Kansas. In one fell swoop, he lands a job at Hamburger Mary’s and gets a newfound family and the chance to be with other gay people! All that’s missing is someone special. But when Darwin shows his interest, Cody is sure it’s too good to be true. After all, what can Darwin possibly see in the high school dropout serving him nachos?
As Darwin falls in love, Cody struggles to realize his worth. When his past threatens the fragile life he is building, Cody spirals into a moment of dark desperation. But Darwin is determined to show Cody that love and family and home are there for him… will Cody accept what is offered?
Darwin is stuck at Hamburger Mary’s with his Match.com date from hell. Sure, Mark’s got a smokin’ eight-pack but he’s shallow and gasp, he hates drag queens. However the night isn’t a total bust because Darwin meets waiter Cody, a sweet sincere 21-yr-old. Hamburger Mary’s, a real “open-air bar and grille for open-minded people” is lovingly described with fabulous cheeseburgers, Drag Queen Bingo, a wonderfully raunchy Family Feud, karaoke, and an overwhelming sense of family fostered and encouraged by co-owners Steven and his sister Pat.
The characters of Cody and Darwin feel real and they are lovingly fleshed-out. Each man is at a different point in his life – Darwin has a good job and family support system and is searching for a husband, while Cody has been wounded and is grappling with self-worth – but they’ve walked the same roads and had the same struggles. “Inexplicably Darwin’s eyes burned, like he was on the verge of tears. He knew this kid. Hell, in high school, he’d been this kid.”
I like how we get Cody and Darwin’s POV throughout Nachos and Hash, and while the sex is very hot, their emotional honesty is the heart of this story.
I’m so sorry I made you feel like you’re not enough. I don’t need you to be anything other than what you are. […] I love you. I know it’s too soon. I knew it was too soon the other night too, but it’s true. I love you, Cody. I don’t know where you and I will end up in this, but I want to find out.
This beautifully-written story delivers a story that is heartfelt and truly touching.
I’m a relative late-comer to Brandon Witt, having read only a few novellas, including Teddy Bears which was all kinds of wonderful. Nachos and Hash is the first book in Witt’s new Mary’s Boys series and I am anxiously awaiting the second book Vodka & Handcuffs featuring Vahin, the hot sexy bartender – “Solid muscle. Skintight tank top. Wavy black hair. Glowing brown skin. Model face.” All that, plus handcuffs?