The Sweetest Thing (Bob-O-Link’s Review)

Title: The Sweetest Thing
Series: Blackburn Brothers Duet, Book 1
Author: E.M. Denning
Publisher: Paper Gold Publishing
Release Date: October 23, 2019
Genre(s): Romance
Page Count: 190
Reviewed by: Bob-O-Link
Heat Level: 5 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5


Scotty St. James

has led a complicated life. He was once on the fast track to a career in professional sports but turned his back on a promising future to barge out of the closet in the most dramatic way possible. Now, he’s a hairdresser with a love of feminine fabrics, and a crush on his brother’s best friend, Nathan.

Nathan Blackburn

is fleeing his over-protective mother. He’s glad to be back in the town he grew up in, even if he’s there to fix up his aging grandfather’s house. While visiting, he uses a hook up app and falls into bed with an alluring stranger. Only, the man he shares an incredible night with isn’t a stranger… it’s Scotty.

Despite the short-lived deception, Scotty and Nathan can’t stay away from each other. Fighting through family friction, personal responsibilities, and a limit on Nathan’s stay, their relationship turns into the sweetest thing either of them has ever known. With the clock running out and commitments rearing their head, Nathan will have to decide between fulfilling obligations, or following his heart.


Welcome to the 21st Century. This love story starts on Grindr©. But don’t be fooled: just
as there is a marked difference between boiling water on the stove for a sparse, diluted
dinner and cooking a glorious, well-seasoned soup – The Sweetest Thing is proof of the
absolutely delicious difference between merely fucking and making love with a soul mate.
And, adding piquant seasoning to the dish Ms Denning has prepared for us, our hot heroes
are so tastily different. First, while they are both blue collar boys, one is a construction
worker, the other a hair dresser. Next, one is particularly masculine, while the other (guess
which) is best described as a femboy. Finally, a gold star if you can guess which one is
more dominantly aggressive sexually. (Are you sure?)

Following with my opening culinary allusions, you must now know – pap is not on The
Sweetest Thing’s
menu. Though Scotty and Nathan knew each other when much younger,
time has made enough changes: they are now experiencing this AS A relatively new coming
together. Their earlier time may be father to their present, and yet the present is full of
surprising excitement and discovery. Scotty has always wanted Nathan, who ignored him
as JUST his friend’s kid brother. They are ready now hot to trot, as salaciously as the
reader may want.

The Sweetest Thing, absent the very detailed presentations of our heroes’ physical
interactions, could easily be shown on afternoon TV. But the welcome addition of heat to
the recipe makes for a great read. Between the “good” parts, we get to know, like and root
for two wonderful main characters. We see them with a generous literary seasoning of
bearable crises, and annoying relatives. We empathize with the nervous aspects of
getting to know each other, and having hopes, all under the possible limits of time. We
participate in their ambivalence of expressing commitment.

The Sweetest Thing is wonderful. Spoiler alert: problems are solved, people at odds get to
reconcile, the heroes attain the expected and deserved HEA. And, yes, their sex would put
pre-Easter bunnies to shame. This delicious meal is a joy – from soup to (please forgive
the pun) nuts.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of The Sweetest Thing provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.


I'm a retired professional. My husband and I, each with an ex-wife, between us have six married children and 10 grandchildren. We both read voraciously, with a strong leaning to gay romance and HEA. Stories with a little (okay, even loads of) sex, and a lot of tears, always pleases.
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