Title: A Taste of Honey
Author: Ari McKay
Publisher: Dreamspinner press
Release Date: May 10, 2017
Page Count: 95
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Boone Phillips needs a girlfriend—now! If he shows up to the family reunion alone, his mother will throw every woman in sight at him. But the only “woman” Boone trusts enough to ask is Honey, the drag queen alter ego of his best friend, Rob. It’s a crazy idea, but Boone is desperate.
Boone wins Rob over to the idea after first going on a “date” with him as Honey, but everything feels different once the plan is set in motion. Between nosy relatives, illegal moonshine, and the sight of Rob in white lace panties, Boone starts to wonder if he’s as straight as he thought. When an earth-shattering kiss sends Rob running, however, Boone learns some surprising things about both his family and himself. Now he needs to convince Rob to give him another chance, or his first taste of Honey might also be his last.
First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2016.
Premise of the book is Boone is in a pickle: he’s heading off to a family reunion without a date. Boone knows his well-meaning mother will be lining up the dates if he shows up sans girl. Boone comes up with a desperate plan and asks Rob to come with, but as Honey. A plan is hatched, plane tickets purchased, and off they go.
Unfortunately, this story just didn’t work for me. It’s competently written, the characters are well developed for a short story, and the plot is solid; but I lost interest about 25 pages in and set it aside. Not wanting to just walk away without another try, I picked it back up and after another 10 pages I had to skim.
The story was a bit like that Southern charm mentioned in the story, the plot is full of southern hospitality and sweet iced tea…and that’s where it lost me. *I* found the pacing too slow – Rob pines for Boone, Boone isn’t certain what his feelings for Rob/Honey are, neither one knows what to do so they make do with what they have.
And much like that famous Southern sweet tea, Rob and Boone’s romance was at bit too saccharine for me. Compounding this was the Honey and Boone’s Mother interaction, all smiles and, well, sweetness. It began to grate on my patience.
Which comes to my next issue – it bothered me how accepting everyone was: Oh! You just deceived us for two days! That’s cool! We already knew Rob was Honey because WE went behind YOUR back and snooped! Plus your Dad was bi so we knew you would be too. Hugs all around!
WHO in the world calls a family they don’t know to ask about another family member? That Boone’s Mother would look up Rob’s family, call them, and ask about his “sister” strikes me as wrong on so many levels. With the prevalence of step-families/blended families these days, yeah, that behavior didn’t float with me.
Ultimately, this story just didn’t work for me. However, if you like the (very) sweet, feel good, no Big Misunderstandings and minimal angst type plots, this could be for you.