He's hot. He's dangerous. And he can't remember anything.
As the owner of Apple'n Pies, Joe Applin leads a quiet, uneventful life, content to spend his days serving customers who come from all over to eat his delicious homemade pies. Along with his motley crew - Bea, Elsie, and Donnie - Joe couldn't be happier in his little kingdom of baked goods and java.
Experience has taught Joe that love is overrated - and at times dangerous. He has no intention of repeating past mistakes. But then he meets a mysterious, handsome man with amnesia, and Joe can't deny something sweet is in the works. He isn't one to take risks, not with his heart and certainly not with his life, but the more time he spends with the man he knows as Tom, the closer he is to losing both.
©2016 Charlie Cochet (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
When I read these “Dreamspun Desires” I have to remember that it’s a little bit like going in the “way back machine” (anyone remember that reference?) and to a time when readers were a bit less concerned with probability or realism or … well you get the idea.
So, we set suspend our disbelief and we embrace our love for ooey gooey love stories and viola! – you have a Dreamspun Desire book!
In this case, there is a super sweet baker named Joe who has a little pie shop in Manhattan (first suspension of disbelief) where he lives and works with some crazy folks and sells a lot of pies – but he’s very lonely. He’s been hurt in the past and doesn’t ever leave his apartment for fun (2nd suspension).
One day he hears a scuffle in the garden in the back and finds an injured man who tells him “No police, no hospital” so he takes him upstairs to his apartment so he can heal. (3rd suspension)
Once he awakens, the mystery man (later called Tom) can’t remember his name or job but he has a bunch of other memories – like movies, sexual preferences, the fact that he’s not involved in a relationship.
Over time the two grow close, some other crazy stuff happens with the folks who are after “Tom” and another amazing co-incidence occurs (4th suspension).
Now, don’t think I didn’t like this story, because I did – but… I really had to remember that it wasn’t supposed to be “real”. It was fun, cute, lovey dovey (which I adore) and sweet.
If you’re in the mood for real, keep looking, but if you want a light-hearted escape from reality with fun characters and sweet moments – this is the book for you!
John Solo is a frequent choice for this genre and he definitely knows his way around a story. He is good at pacing, emotion and smexy times. I like his deep voice and most of the time, I find him easy to listen to. For the most part this was a good narration, my only issue was Bea – she sounded more like a wizened sailor than an older lady friend. All in all this is a good way to experience this story.
Overall 4 of 5 stars
Story Rating: 3.75 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 3.75 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 3.75 of 5 Stars
This one was cute and gave the reader exactly the type of story the Dreamspun Desires line promised. The amnesia trope is not one we see a lot of in this genre so it was nice to see something different that still gave me that happy romantic feel I love from sappy stories. This one was very predictable but it was so fun and really played out well.
I loved the light feel and the ease of the relationship. It emphasised the innocence of the story itself. But I also liked that there was a bit of action and mystery to break up the almost over the top sweetness. It really balanced out the story and gave the reader something to look forward to.
My only real concern with this story was Joe himself. He was just such an odd character and often his personality was too young for his age. And while that can be a good thing, in this case, it was a bit too immature and at odds with other parts of the story. This man owns his own business and basically takes care of others, yet he sticks his head in ovens when he is embarrassed and acts like he was raised in a commune away from society. IDK, for me it just didn’t work.
Overall, I enjoyed this lighthearted adventure. While there were parts that didn’t work, the story as a whole was fun and satisfying.
John Solo is making the rounds. As always, his voice was easy to hear and he did a good job with this narration. Sometimes he is not the right narrator for a specific tale, but I though he did a good job bringing this one to life. He is good at the stories that have bad guys because his voice lends itself to harsh and mean. I enjoyed listening to this one.
I'm an unabashed fiction fan: mostly M/M, Romance, Erotica, Suspense, Thrillers, Action, NA/YA genres.
Forgive and Forget is a feel good, low angst romance featuring a somewhat dramatic lives-in-his-head baker, a handsome stranger with amnesia, some well-meaning, if meddling, friends, and also has a dash of mystery and suspense. Oh, and delicious pie.
Joe Applin is thirty-eight and content with his quiet life as owner of Apple'n Pies, a cafe and pie shop. He's surrounded himself with good people, happy customers, and he's come a long way from his unhappy past.
One night after closing Joe finds a man bleeding and hurt in his garden. When the man pleads with Joe not to contact the police or take him to a hospital because he'll be killed, Joe trusts his instincts and takes the man to his home above the shop.
After cleaning the man up they learn he's lost his memory of who he is, why he was hurt, or how he came to be in the garden even though he seems to remember everything else, including pop culture references.
Joe christens the man "Tom" in order to call him something and protects him while he heals and hides out. Eventually the two fall in love. However, hiding a wanted man isn't easy and eventually the bad guys find them.
I found the story didn't offer a lot in the way of surprises, the bantering between Joe and his co-worker Bea got a bit old, and I called the whole mystery, etc. long before it's reveal, but all in all it was an easy listen.
Narrator John Solo does a good job giving the characters and mystery life. He has a way with the sexy times and bringing the emotions of the story out. Solo makes this an enjoyable listening experience.
The Dreamspun Desires stories are based on the old Harlequin romance formula of sweet, low angst, romances with a guaranteed HEA and this installment in the series is no different delivering an easy, if predictable, sweet, fluffy romance with some humor, mystery, and action.
Those looking for a low angst romance with some humor, sexiness, mystery, action, and a happily ever after will find that here with the added bonus of a pleasurable listen.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a real hankering for some pie.
Lily reads, writes, and reviews m/m romance.
Set in contemporary New York yet the story has a vintage, country feel to it with lots of home baking. Joe Applin’s Apple’n Pies cafe/shop is a safe haven for customers of all ages and a pie paradise. It’s his home as well as his place of work. He’s a popular guy and not just because of his scrummy pies. Joe’s lonely, but doesn’t flirt back with the guys who show an interest in him and drop subtle hints. He’s been hurt before and is rebuilding his life after his ex all but ruined his life.
That is until he meets nice and sexy ‘Tom’. Unfortunately, Tom has lost his memory, although he knows he can’t go to the hospital or contact the police about his attack for some reason. His background is a mystery for most of the story, although there are a few clues along the way. Joe, and even Tom himself, know he’s not a baddie and can be trusted.
Talking of baddies, Joe’s ex makes a couple of appearances to add a little more angst to the mix and makes Joe fear losing all he’s built up in his new business.
If you like the antics between Dex and his team mates in THIRDS, you’ll also enjoy the horseplay and banter between Joe and his terrible trio of a workforce—Bea, Donnie and Elsie.
Joe’s a nice guy. He’s thirty-eight, but appears much younger in his speech and actions—and not just because of the narrator’s voice for him. Yes, he’s insecure, scatty, and has quirky habits, but he’s kind and considerate. And Tom falls for him.
I especially enjoyed the excitement and action as the mystery of Tom’s situation comes to a head towards the end and the scenes along the way when Tom and Joe are alone. There’d been an almost immediate attraction between them and Joe surprises himself by acting boldly with this guy he knows very little about.
Although professionally performed, the narrator’s voice grated at times. It was almost as if he was shouting. He redeemed himself, however, with the husky and sexy characterization of Tom.
Overall, an enjoyable audiobook featuring a sweet romance with a mystery to unravel and a little angst.
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