Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Candy Man by Amy Lane

Title: The Candy Man
Author: Amy Lane
My Rating: B+

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: -
Main Characters: Adam and Finn
Release Date: December 2014
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Adam Macias has been thrown a few curve balls in his life, but losing his VA grant because his car broke down and he missed a class was the one that struck him out. One relative away from homelessness, he's taking the bus to Sacramento, where his cousin has offered a house-sitting job and a new start. He has one goal, and that's to get his life back on track. Friends, pets, lovers? Need not apply.

Finn Stewart takes one look at Adam as he's applying to Candy Heaven and decides he's much too fascinating to leave alone. Finn is bright and shiny—and has never been hurt. Adam is wary of his attention from the very beginning—Finn is dangerous to every sort of peace Adam is forging, and Adam may just be too damaged to let him in at all.

But Finn is tenacious, and Adam's new boss, Darrin, doesn't take bullshit for an answer. Adam is going to have to ask himself which is harder—letting Finn in or living without him? With the holidays approaching it seems like an easy question, but Adam knows from experience that life is seldom simple, and the world seldom cooperates with hope, faith, or the plans of cats and men.

My Review:
I'll admit I was a bit worried going into this book. I've read several of Amy Lane's darker, more angst-filled books and loved them. But I wasn't sure how that would translate into her lighter-reads. Well, I'm happy to say that I liked this one just as much. It is definitely lighter than some of her other stuff, but it still had a decent level of angst to keep me happy. 

Adam is a difficult character and has had a REALLY rough life. He's learned not to trust or rely on anyone but himself and his cousin, Rico. And he owes Rico everything because he's been the one person to stand by his side and continue to pick him up over and over again. (And I should note right here that the exchanges between Rico and Adam in this book were wonderful. I love how Rico knows Adam so well and can sense when he's hurting. They had a GREAT relationship that really enhanced the book incredibly well.)

I think there's something incredibly ironic about Adam...he's a hardened warrior, but now he's working in a candy store and is an animator. Nothing about his life has been easy or happy, but he surrounds himself (even if not by choice) with childlike things. I liked that bit of ironic symbolism. Even Finn is that way too...young, sheltered, and he sees the good in everyone and everything. He exudes happiness and light into Adam's world.

But Adam does that too. He's so thankful for the few breaks he's gotten...I loved how he's so willing to put that goodwill right back out there into the world. It also broke my heart with the cat and what that situation does to Adam's mental place. He's such a good guy. He just needs the break. 

I did also enjoy the bit of holiday magic that came through the pixie sticks and Darren in the story. I think every holiday story needs a bit of whimsy and magical fun and his "sight" provides that in spades.

This was a great book. Yes, it's a holiday book, but I think that you could enjoy it any day of the year. It's one of those that will simply make you feel better for having read it. 

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