Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tall Order by Irene Preston

Title: Tall Order
Author: Irene Preston
My Rating: B

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: -
Main Characters:Dylan and Aston/Win
Release Date: February 2016
Publisher: -
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Chef Dylan Trevino screwed up bad, and he knows it. When he left Texas, his job, and his boyfriend behind, Dylan was confident Aston would follow him to New York. Now he’s back home and working for the worst caterer in Austin just to pay the rent. Being head chef at a party thrown by a famous rocker doesn’t make up for serving bland tacos while dressed like a dime-store cowboy. Thank god his ex can’t see him now.

Aston Winkler’s steampunk guitar mods are all the rage with musicians and he’s got invites to every hot party in town. Too bad he’d rather be listening to garage bands than networking in a penthouse. From his 6’7” vantage point, Aston has no problem spotting Dylan at the crowded SXSW party. Getting his boyfriend back? That’s a tall order.

**This story was originally published in the Romancing Austin anthology and is now available as a standalone read.***
My Review:
I love that a lot of Irene Preston's stories take place in Texas, since I'm from there. And this one takes place during the iconic South By SouthWest in Austin. 

Dylan left Austin a year ago to chase his dream of running a kitchen in NYC. Aston was his boyfriend at the time, and an artist not really making a living on his art. Dylan expect Aston to follow him, but that didn't happen. Now Dylan is back in Texas, broke and broken and Aston is the one picking up the pieces. 

There were things I loved about this story. 
*I loved the change in circumstances for both men. That worked for me because it sounded like Aston needed that for his own self-esteem, especially in light of what he found out after Dylan left. 
*I always like a second chance at love story, and the set-up of this one was really good. 

I still had questions though...
*In the story the questions about what happened to Dylan in NYC are never answered and I thought that was an important part of the story. And honestly, it may just be the following, but it sounded like something big happened between him and the owner of the restaurant where he worked.
*Also, Dylan never broke up with Aston. He expected Aston to follow him eventually. This was brushed upon in the story, but I'm not sure Aston ever got the full effect of how much of a blow that was to Dylan that he didn't follow/chase him.

This is a short story and I get that it's difficult to cover all the details. As it is, there is a lot more to the story than I would  expect for its length. It was a good read and for SXSW fans, I think it would be even better. I loved the idea of Aston's art and would love to see some of it. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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About Irene Preston
Irene Preston has to write romances, after all she is living one.  As a starving college student, she met her dream man who whisked her away on a romantic honeymoon across Europe.  Today they live in the beautiful hill country outside of Austin, Texas where Dream Man is still working hard to make sure she never has to take off her rose-colored glasses.

Where to find Irene

Excerpt 1 from Tall Order by Irene Preston:

“Hello, Dylan.”

Dylan closed his eyes at the unfairness of the whole fucked up night. Damn, damn, damn. The sound of his name on Win’s lips still made him weak at the knees. It made him want to punch the asshole in the other room and anyone else who’d touched Win while he was gone. It made him want to take Win home, and take him to bed, and remind him they belonged to each other. Dylan and no one else took care of Win. Unfortunately, none of that was possible, and it was all his fault.

He turned.

“Win.” It was all he could manage. Up close Win was even more devastating. Dylan locked his knees so he wouldn’t take a step closer. If he started moving toward the man standing in the doorway, he wasn’t sure he could stop.

“Most people just call me Aston now.”

I’m not most people. Dylan stopped himself from saying it out loud.

Win watched him for a minute. “I didn’t know you were back in town.”

Was there a shadow of hurt in his eyes? Dylan couldn’t tell. The realization sliced him, because he had always been able to tell exactly what Win was thinking.

“Just got back.” What else was there to say? Yes, he was back in Austin. No, he wasn’t in New York. Yes, his Big Chance had been a Big Mistake. No, he never should have left. He should have stayed here, a medium-sized fish in a medium-sized pond instead of trying to swim in the ocean. He should never have forced Win to choose.

Win took a few steps closer and all the thoughts running around in Dylan’s head stopped cold so his brain could focus on one fact. Win. Right in front of him. I could touch him.

Win was so close Dylan had to tilt his head to keep looking at him. The angle brought back the memory of every time he’d angled his head just so when Win leaned in to kiss him.

Dylan held his breath, held as still as he could, and tried not to give the thought away.

Win gazed at him for a minute, then lifted one hand and trailed a finger down the front of Dylan’s shirt, lighting up nerve endings as he went.


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