📚Review: Lollipop, by Amy Lane (Candy Man, book 3)

Blurb:

cover-amylane-lollipopEzra Kellerman flew across country to see if he had another chance with the man he let slip through his fingers. He didn’t. Rico has moved on, but he doesn’t just leave his ex high and dry. Instead, Rico entrusts his family and friends with Ezra’s care. Ezra, confused, hurt, and lost, clings to Rico’s cousin and his boyfriend as the lifelines they are—but their friend Miguel is another story.

Miguel Rodriguez had great plans and ambition—but a hearty dose of real life crushed those flat. When Miguel finds himself partially in charge of the befuddled, dreamy, healing Ezra, he’s pretty resentful at first. But Ezra’s placid nature and sincere wonder at the simple life Miguel has taken for granted begin to soften Miguel’s hardened shell. Miguel starts to notice that Ezra isn’t just amazingly sweet—he’s achingly beautiful as well. Suddenly Miguel is fending off every single man on the planet to give Ezra room to get over Rico—while fighting a burning suspicion that the best thing to help Ezra get over his broken heart is Miguel.


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Edition read:
January 25, 2016
Dreamspinner Press

Contemporary, M/M, GLBT+
250 e-book pages
3rd person
Series, book 3
January 26-28, 2016
Kindle Edition

See the book on GoodReads.

Rating:     ⭐️⭐️

Ratings are 1 to 5 stars and based mostly on GoodReads standards.
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Review:

I wasn’t feeling this.

We first glimpsed Ezra in book two–and he was horrible. I knew this book was about him getting his HEA; it wasn’t a secret. I also knew Amy Lane would be able to redeem him.

And, while he wasn’t the asshole we were initially made to believe, I think Amy Lane turned the dial a few clicks too far in the other direction.

The guy has an MBA. (It’s mentioned that one time.) Even I know it takes a few extra dashes of smarts to achieve that. So maybe he’s book smart and business savvy (that we don’t get to see). But…everywhere else? He comes across as a sniveling pre-pubescent nitwit.

All the characters, really. They all seem childish and immature in their dialogue. They’re mid-to-late 20s but read as adolescents. That holds absolutely no appeal for me.

Ezra’s receiving kindness for the first time in his life ever and learning he’s free to return it. That’s huge. I can get being a bit emotional about that. Once. Ya get one breakdown then I’m gonna start rolling my eyes. I can maybe see getting choked up once more with the overwhelm…but the tears and wracking sobs? Hold onto your shorts, fucking rejoice, and get on with it, dude.

I liked Miguel. He had the patience of a saint to put up with Ezra and wait for him to piece his heart and life together. I liked his little dominant/possessive streak, I like how supportive he was. I liked his family and that he had that to give the lost Ezra.

But. I didn’t like his calling Ezra papi with such frequency. I’ve read and heard it real-time as an endearment or, more often, as an honorific. It’s not the endearment itself that I have a problem with. Baby and sweetheart make me gag when used too often. Kindle search returns 78 results for papi, maybe…I’m spitballing here…67 too many? And, uhhh, doesn’t it translate to daddy? Maybe I do take issue.

This was sloooow burn. I like slow burn romance. That shit makes me all kinds of squishy, because I believe in it. But the thing about those glowing embers is they need to be fanned on occasion to keep the heat up or they fizzle out into dusty ash. I know this. I’ve been sitting in front of the fireplace for the last few weeks. From roughly 26.7% to 50.2% I was bored. What were they even doing? I don’t remember but it wasn’t kissing or a handjob, I’ll tell you that.

I think maybe this was also way too sweet for me. It’s not the kindness thing–that rocks and we could all do with more kindness. (I’M WORKING ON IT, ALREADY!) But, I’m relatively cynical by nurture [I know what I said] and my patience begins to wear thin with all the sugary overload of the candy store and everyone being so goddamn nice. And I get antsy for a bar fight or a velociraptor to swoop in when the forward momentum gets stalled out for so long.

Not a win for me.

Tell me what you think!