Thursday, 4 June 2009

Review – Like Coffee and Doughnuts – Elle Parker




Back of the Book

Florida P.I., Dino Martini, is as old school as he can be in the modern age. He may do much of his work on a computer these days, but he carries a gun, he drives a convertible, and he lives on the beach. Well, close to the beach. He's got his best friend and mechanic, Seth Donnelly, to back him up in a fight, and there's not a lot more he could ask from life.

That is, until his world is turned upside down. In the space of a few days, Dino moves into a new apartment, gets tangled up in a dangerous case, and finds himself with a new boyfriend. The snag is, he's never had a boyfriend before, and the one in question is Seth. Dino's got to figure out if he can handle this new twist of fate. Just as he's thinking maybe he can, the shit hits the fan and he stands to lose Seth in more ways than one.





Dino Martini – The P.I. who travels around in a convertible, love things to go a certain way and has some class to him that surprises even his best friend at times. Dino is also the man with no illusion about how a relationship should work and nothing and no one can make him change is stance – that is until his best got hurt.

Seth Donnelly – Hell on wheels and loving every minute of it. He can be had quite easily and by most anyone and he’s the first one to tell you all this. He’s one thing though, through-out everything he is loyal to Dino.


The Plot

Old school P.I. Dino Martini knows who has his back when he needs backup and his good friend Seth Donnelly has never let him down in all the years that they have been friends.

When he needs a second on one of his standard job – things goes better than expected, but the trouble that follow them leads to all kind of issues. Dino is adjusting to not only a new home but a new office and is not ready or expecting trouble to follow from what should be an easy take.

As the situation develops Seth is put in harms way and all of Dino protectiveness come out of the blue and neither of them are prepared for the repercussions that follow.


You are what you drive, they say, and I am a 1966 model of stylish sophistication with a sporty rakishness and a lot of muscle. Instead of Vintage Burgundy, though, I'm your average Italian color, and I have maybe a moderate amount of muscle. When I was a little younger, I had the classic Italian greaser look going on. Now I don't have quite enough hair on top to pull it off, but I'm told I still look pretty damn good.
I named the car Matilda because of her white ragtop, which makes her look like an old lady. She is, without a doubt, my most prized possession. I bought her eight years ago, after an especially lucrative case, and while she was in pretty good condition to begin with, Seth and I restored her to the level of perfection she exists in most of the time these days.
Outside, Seth dropped into the front seat next to me. He looked in the side view mirror and scrubbed his fingers through his hair. That's what passes for styling for him. He plucked his sunglasses out of the collar of his shirt and slid them on. It never fails to impress me how he can make slovenly look good.
"You goin' in carrying on this one?" he asked.
"I don't think so," I told him. "This guy is money. If he gives me trouble, it's going to be of the fist swinging variety, which is why I wanted you along."
"Are we gonna run it the usual way, then?"
"If you expect to be fed."

Like Coffee  and Doughnuts © Elle Parker



Yup they are there, however this story line is always a strong one to go with. The opposite nature of the main protags breaks up the predictability and with Dino’s stability coupled with Seth’s hyperactive nature Ms.Parker really made LIKE COFFEE AND DOUGHNUT stand out.


Smut/Ick Factor

From the outset of this friendship as that is what these two guys are to each other, you cannot see them together romantically – they are totally different in mannerism and there whole outlook to life.

However the best things are generally the things you think will never work and these two made it work. I wont say i loved the actually smut in this one, but the build up and the little moments – OMG i loved them.

Seth took the initiative to go after Dino and he never looked backed, he lured, he teased, and we got some up close and personal tension filled moments. Dino was the level headed one of the bunch, and I respected his approach to starting a relationship with Seth – after all Seth was as easy as you can get.



The blurb firstly attracted me to this book, who can resist an old school detective and  a less than orthodox side-kick.

The pace started off a little slow, which wasn’t a bad thing as during this time Ms. Parker shows the dynamics of the relationship between the protags and this certainly helps later on in the book.

The main protags are very likable – Dino – I liked him, he has some style about him that you can’t help but to appreciate, not only does he know which way the cookies crumble in relation to his job but he has an old world charm to him that attracts cute little mechanics and sweet old ladies alike.

Seth – I would like to say a quiet storm but he was so not quiet, he was a storm alright and he made as much ruckus as he knew he could get away with. Generally the life of the party with little or no shame and i loved him.

The mystery was enthralling enough and as much as you kinda knew where it was going – I like the fact that Ms. Parker kept true to some of the age old principle of criminals – “Honour among thieves”

I love a good baddie and the little diamond in this was as nasty and as crafty as they come – nicely done by Ms. Parker.

The bulk of this book revolved around not only affection realized but making conscious decisions in uncertain times, however the few side stories that are present in this book all tied in to the main plot which was good, as all road literally leads back to Seth and Dino.

I love a story where the protags have to work to make the relationship happen and believe you me – Seth had to do some smooth negotiation to get Dino to agree to anything. I really enjoy the thrust and pare’ of these two-  I could see the future for them.

Support cast will captivate you, not only were they stereotypical but they gave the book that little bit of humour and tragedy that balanced the overall picture of the book.

Bottom Line.

My first book by this author, and i like what i have read. Not only were the characters likeable, but enough of my fantasies were all rolled up in Dino to really enjoy his style. Seth with his bouncy personality and attitude is that adrenal rush that makes  the book a page turner. I will be adding Ms.Parker as one to watch – I like her style.



I felt there was not enough development on the background of the main protags – I am not sure i actually missed it until  i started thinking about the reason why these guys were the way they were. Ms. Parker has a nice flow with the story and with the angst happening in and around Seth and Dino that to be honest i didn’t really miss the info until the end of the story….



When  i initially looked at it, it looked like any tropical holiday setting. Not sure if it’s because i have a thing for sunset but i like this cover. It conjures up a whole lot of something…


2 Speak To Me:

TheChicGeek on 5 June 2009 at 04:25 said...

Nice review, E.H.....Not sure if this is one for me, but as always, I enjoy reading your reviews :)
Happy Reading, E.H.!

Erotic Horizon on 5 June 2009 at 06:51 said...

Hey Kelly..

I know M/M is not your thing - but as always your support is very much appreciated...Thanks hon..

Like Coffee and Doughnuts was a sweet read..