Gay Romantic Comedy
Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 16, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: YES
What if youth wasn't wasted on the young?
On the eve of his fortieth birthday, Ian Parker is looking for a reboot. He may be the proud owner of a trendy coffee shop in Austin called La Tazza Magica, but his love life has been MIA for years. During a trip to Denver with his best friend, Mark, Ian buys an enchanted chocolate from a mysterious candy store—then wakes up from a nap two decades younger. After the initial shock, Ian realizes a quirk of the universe has given him a second chance and, with Mark’s help, he devises a plan to start over.
With a new lease on life, Ian sets his sights on handsome architect Bartley James, a regular customer at La Tazza. He pursues Bartley as Ian’s twenty-one-year-old alter ego, Ryan, with decidedly unexpected results. Joining Ryan on his adventures are Matthew, the dreamy new barista, Jeremy, the geeky high-school math teacher, and Sam, the pizza delivery boy. Even as misunderstandings and expectations collide, Ian remains determined to right his past mistakes and find his off-ramp to happiness.
The characters were sympathetic, yet flawed. They had histories, hobbies, problems, preferences. If I met one of them in a coffee shop, I’d know what to expect. The setting was uncomplicated, but well-rendered through the use of all sensory data, and I always knew where and when I was. The writing style was so smooth, I didn’t even notice it. But the best part was the plot. Romance as speculative fiction? This caught my attention, because whatever happened was so subtle, the plot device couldn’t even be considered paranormal. The MC didn’t “get himself in trouble” by doing something stupid, either. He found himself in an awkward situation he couldn’t have predicted or explained rationally, which made me care for him and the other involved characters even more.
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