Title: Éclair Express (Dreamboat Island #2)
Author: Steve Milton
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Page Count: ~120
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
“I flew straight, until I met Eran.”
Jake has the pilot job he loves, a luxurious Manhattan loft, and a gorgeous girlfriend. At least she makes Jake’s parents happy. So what if Jake enjoys the attention he gets from guys who love his meaty body, his pilot’s uniform, or the way he eats an eclair? It’s just harmless fun. At least it’s a bit of excitement. He won’t let things get out of hand. Or…
“I don’t get involved with straight guys, but Jake is something else.”
After a Bible-belt upbringing, Eran basks in being openly gay. A swooshy wave and a campy joke never hurt anybody, and he knows to tone down the sass when he’s plane-spotting or playing hockey. Chasing Michelin stars after culinary school would’ve been a drag, so he opened Eran’s Eclairs in Amelia Island to let his own style run free and bring Amelia Island eclairs like it’s never seen before. Amelia Island is still the South, but at least nobody minds the pink highlights in Eran’s hair or the Daisy Dukes he wears to the grocery store. He’s been around the block — then around a few more times — and he knows that straight guys are ok for quick mid-air refuelings, but they’re not long-haul material. Until Jake.
A pilot, a baker, an island: love is served.
Eran offers Jake a place to sleep after a flight cancellation. Jake knows what it’s all about: another gay guy trying to seduce him. Except Eran sleeps on the couch and lets Jake have the whole bed, while it’s Jake who keeps wanting more, and risks scaring Eran away. Meanwhile, Jake is on the news as the next DB Cooper, a creepy wannabe-mailman is stalking Eran, and Mayor Zack Zimmer gets his groove on.
Eclair Express is a gay-for-you/straight-to-gay bakery romance with triple-chocolate eclairs, a Siamese cat, lemon rituals, docking spaceships, secret sauce, manly love, and a feel-good HEA.
This can be read as a stand alone.
The blurb summarizes the book above and beyond what a book blurb should reveal, so I won’t rehash the story.
I’ll start with the cover – doesn’t really portray the book or characters to their potential. I think the two guys are supposed to be pilots – which is what Jake is – but my first impression was topless male dancers or waiters. So I was a bit perplexed reading the book when I found neither.
My other comments bounce between being a quirk and kudos and begin where the story involves when Eran opening his home to Jake when Jake found himself stranded on Amelia Island. Jake’s paranoia that Eran would molest him was amusing, disheartening, and realistic. Jake’s internal monologue was both humorous and, unfortunately, a sad reflection on what goes through a guys head.
But this paranoia ties in later when Jake finds himself attracted and aroused by Eran, and he and Eran start getting handsy. Jake insists “nothing up the butt” more than once. Then, in an almost complete about face, Jake wants to do nearly everything with Eran, including rimming. Umm…? Paranoia to full throttle in 60 seconds? I found that hard to believe.
I did find the fooling around in the bakery and ultimately the impetus for outing Jake to the world odd – because if Tanya’s ex was stalking Tanya, why in the world was her ex staking out the shop? The whole thing didn’t make any sense, nor did any of reactions that followed.
Minor quirks, but my quirks.
What I did enjoy was Jake and Eran’s personality’s, especially Eran’s outlook on life. It was so refreshingly laid back, pragmatic, and humorous. I loved the Mayor and Tanya and how the author avoided the girl-bestie trope with Tanya.
Overall, this was an enjoyable and lighthearted read, punctuated with lots of humor and rather astute doses of reality.