• book,  Uncategorized

    Candy Man: Tart and Sweet – Amy Lane

    In the Army, Robbie Chambers turned on his lover out of fear—and he hasn’t been able to live with himself since. Now he’s out of the Army but still trapped in the closet that brought on his most cowardly moment, and he starts to think he’ll never be able to fight his way free.

    Until he sees Cy McVeigh. Beautiful and uninhibited, Cy is dancing on the boardwalk at Old Sac for no other reason than the moment called for it. Robbie not only joins in the dance but is smitten from the very beginning.

    However, Robbie still has old business to clear up, and when he helps out a kid in need and comes face-to-face with the man he betrayed, he’s forced to come clean with himself. He can’t redeem his mistake if he’s still locked into his old patterns, and he won’t ever be worthy of Cy if he can’t earn Adam’s forgiveness. He’s going to need all the help he can get from the people at Candy Heaven in order to make things right with his past so he can have a future with Cy.

    Uh-oh, Robbie Chambers, Adam’s ex and the guy who betrayed him, is in town! What would Adam do? How would Finn react?

    Robbie is beating himself up at what he did and he is seeking redemption. Luckily, the psychic tag team of Darrin and Ezra is on the case. They made him take the candy test and he willingly went along with whatever advice they gave. That’s a good start, Robbie.

    Random male model as Robbie Chambers


    Walking around Sacramento with his girlfriend, Robbie met Cy McVeigh, a dance teacher busking in the streets who asked them to dance with him. As the trio danced, Robbie felt himself strongly drawn to Cy.

    Model with magnificent hair as Cy McVeigh


    Cy is a free-spirited bisexual who isn’t afraid to shop in the women’s department. He is the opposite of Robbie, who is still in the closet and has to tip-toe around his bigoted parents. Cy was what Robbie needed. He became Robbie’s support while Robbie learned to forgive himself. Amy Lane did a great job bringing the two together.

    One of the best things about this book is that Ezra really came into his own. He’s more confident and happy and his gift was strong. Even Darrin was impressed. Ezra was the designated peacekeeper who effectively kept shit from exploding because the meeting of Adam and Robbie was all sorts of awkward. And Finn, well, let’s just say he wasn’t taking things quietly.

    Tart and Sweet brings the Candy Man series full circle. There were a lot of Finn and Adam and Ezra and Miguel but Rico and Derek barely made an appearance which was kind of disappointing because they’re my second favorite couple. Adam and Finn is definitely number 1.

    That epilogue! I love it!

    The book ended on a satisfied note. Our dear candy fairy, Darrin knew his job is done and that he can leave Candy Heaven in good hands.  With the boys happy and dreaming big dreams, he does what needs to be done, he goes on a vacation.   


    To get the full Candy Man experience, I recommend reading the books in order. There are a lot of backstories, characters and references from the previous books.

    Reviews of Candy Man books here.


    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Sorry 
    Artist: Nothing but Thieves
    Album: Broken Machine

    (source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31370835-tart-and-sweet)

  • book,  Uncategorized

    Candy Man: Lollipop – Amy Lane

    Ezra 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.

    Welcome back to sunny Sacramento, where shiny, happy people help sad, broken queers put the pieces back together.

    Last we know of Ezra, he was wilting in the summer sun and crying his eyes out at seeing Rico again. Now, Rico is with Derek and Ezra is still a weepy softy but tries to keep a brave face and start a new life. Lucky for him, Miguel is there to help him every step of the way. Unfortunately for me, it’s too similar to Derek and Rico’s story so it didn’t feel fresh. I ended up reading it for the people.

    The Candy Man characters are the kind of people I want to be surrounded with. There’s Adam who came in with all his walls up but is now confident and taking charge, Finn who fell out of a basket of chocolate bunnies, Rico and Derek, yuppies who want to make a difference; Darrin who might be bitchy but just had to help everyone with his clairvoyance because how could he not, and the amazing Stewart family who adopts and feeds everyone in sight.

    Ezra is the youngest Kellerman whose childhood was a sorry affair. He was in the closet for a long time until his father discovered his relationship with Rico. One day he broke down and decided enough was enough. I didn’t really warm up to Ezra immediately. He cries all the time and it took a long time for him to find what he was looking for even if it was already right in his face. Also, he kept putting off his visit to his shrink. You need professional help, Ezra. Please see your doctor.

    Kristof Pituk as Ezra Kellerman


    Miguel, I liked better. He comes from a big happy family and like in Rico and Derek’s case, he wants Ezra to experience the happy things he missed as a child. Their trip to Disneyland was the best. 

    Miles Frank as Miguel Rodriguez


    Lollipop is the longest book so far, clocking in at 9+ hours. I enjoyed most of it though there were parts that I found repetitive especially the moments where Miguel, his mom or somebody was comforting Ezra and then after a while, the same thing would be said again only in a different way. There were a lot of these phrasing and rephrasing scattered throughout the story. I guess Ezra needed a lot of reassurances.

    On a happier note, Darrin found his protege. And he was certainly not the one Darrin expected. Still, the candy fairy knew his new mentee will go a long way. I am excited to see what the new candy fairy will do for Robbie and Cy. Their book is next.


    3.5 Stars – that place between like and love

    Soundtrack: Finding Home
    Artist: Mindy Gledhill
    Album: Pocketful of Poetry

    (source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28322700-lollipop)

  • book,  Uncategorized

    Candy Man – Amy Lane

    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.

    Lots to love about this sweet little treat!

    First, Candy Heaven is real!!!


    According to the author’s note, there is an actual Candy Heaven somewhere out there in Sacramento owned by a fabulous candy man named Darrin which I’d say would make a great pilgrimage site for book tours.

    Whether or not the real Darrin can read fortunes out of Pixy Stix is something I want to find out because fictional Darrin did a sugar reading and saw that Adam and Finn go together like peanut butter and jelly so he set things in motion to get them together.

    The tie-dye flags mentioned in the story:


    The loft Adam hides in to avoid Finn:


    Candy Man has some bits of magic realism, fairy tale-like elements, low-angst drama and maximum cuteness levels that make it a charming read. There’s also a homicidal cat who has seen better days, a friendly dog, a new kitten and Finn’s delightful family. 

    Despite all the bad things that happened to Finn and especially Adam, the book is chock-full of humor, happiness and hope, enough to make even hardcore pessimists like me see things in a brighter light even just for a little bit.

    Finn is a curly haired, blue-eyed ginger who wears that dog hat from Adventure Time. He is a walking ray of sunshine with the boundless energy and enthusiasm of a Labrador retriever. Also with the persistence of a hound on a scent so Adam stood no chance.

    “I was going to fall in love with you whether I liked it or not, and it’s just a good thing you were awesome, or I would have been fucking doomed.“

    Random redhead as Finn Stewart.


    Meanwhile, due to some terrible circumstances, Adam is pessimistic as fuck and has a tendency to sink into a pit of negativity had he not been forced out of his shell by do-gooders, Finn, Darrin and the other Candy Heaven employees. On the upside, he is a really great artist, has dreams of becoming an animator and leaves sandwiches on dumpsters for the homeless. And despite the pessimism, he is full of hope. He’s just low-key about it.

    Sufjan Stevens as Adam Macias.


    Try as he might to deny it, Adam knows he and Finn are on to something. Finn might be the talkative one, but Adam has some great lines.

    “Right now you and me are-we’re a sketch. And we could be a real great picture someday, with ink and oils or watercolor, and hell we may even be a movie.”  

    Yep, a match made in candy heaven! Sorry, couldn’t resist that one (^_^;)

    4.5 Stars – perfection is only half a step away 

    Soundtrack: Sugar, You
    Artist: Oh Honey
    Album: Wish You Were Here

    (source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23525657-candy-man)