Ice Cream on The Side
Dylan Forest is really pretty happy. He's a successful architect, lives in a great little town, and has good friends. More than ten years ago, Dylan's first boyfriend betrayed him. Since then he’s learned to appreciate men briefly and intensely, with no lingering complications. But Dylan finds himself wanting something more with Michael Gilmore, the new art teacher in town.
Michael moved to Raven Pass to get away after a bad break-up. He just wants to teach and he's got an exhibit of his own work coming up. He doesn't expect to find himself attracted to anyone just yet. He has to give up his fear so he can explore a possible relationship with Dylan.
The guys manage to get past their insecurities and into bed, where they find out just how compatible they are. Before their romance gains momentum; however, life gets complicated. An old dead body and a new murder are both connected to Dylan’s love life, and if the guys can't stop it Michael will be next.
I discovered, among other things, that he was originally from western Pennsylvania, had two sisters and a brother, graduated from my alma mater—Penn State—with a major in art education and a minor in graphic design, and at twenty-six, was six years younger than me. He learned that I was born not far from right here, my mother died when I was ten, my favorite thing to do was design buildings and landscapes, and gardening was a stress-relieving hobby.
I was just about to ask him about the kind of music he liked when I noticed a glop of salsa at the corner of his mouth. “You've got some, um, salsa, there.” I tried to point without pointing, to, you know, be polite.
“Where?” He rubbed at the wrong side of his mouth.
“No, the other side.”
He wiped a spot on his cheek. “Did I get it?”
“Here,” I said and scooped the offending sauce off with my thumb, which somehow then ended up in his mouth.
I watched with fascination as he sucked gently, pulling the digit in, swirling his tongue around it, his eyes closed as if this were the best thing he'd ever tasted. My other fingers rested on his face, feeling the suction through his cheek. He pulled back and opened his eyes; I got lost in them for a minute. When I moved my hand to the back of his neck and drew him to me, he gave no resistance. Our lips met, flavored with salt and salsa. We shared a series of little kisses, tasting each other gently.
He had turned his chair around, and we sat facing each other. His hands rested on my biceps, and my hands slid to his chest—where they noticed that Michael did have more interesting piercings.
The soft little kisses grew stronger. The more I had, the more I wanted.
Without moving his lips away, Michael said, “I've wanted to kiss you since I met you.”
“So kiss me,” I mumbled back.
I read this a few days ago and I really liked it. I remember seeing the cover of the book and knew I had to read it even before I read the blurb, so I was very pleased this book worked for me.
The book starts off with the classic old love making contact with the main protag Dylan Forest and just a few pages later Michael Gilmore, the person who was destined to cause Dylan some headache of the love kind is being introduced to him.
So far so good. The men quickly sort through the whys and the because of hooking up and giving each other a chance, as both men are carrying their own share of baggage. Dylan, after having gone the route of love and all that has been badly let down so he shrouds himself in the superficial relationships which he likens to Ice cream – nice for the moment, but once finished that’s it, until the next flavour makes his mouth start watering.
Michael is just scared of investing again in a relationship after losing it all before – he quickly comes to the decision that it’s better to have loved than to always be on the side lines.
You know things are not sunshine and daisies after that because a dead body turns up and another one is found soon after and both men are in the killers sights – but for different reasons.
I genuinely like Dylan and Michael – they were level headed enough to make a career for themselves as well as knowing when to move on from a relationship. However they still had that kind of vibes to them to know when to appreciate a relationship that is worth making the effort for .
I thought there was a good mix of support cast – some obviously got on my nerves but I think that only made the mix bag work better in the long run.
The little burst of humour were a nice touch I thought, there were even a few scenes that I was hard pressed not to burst out laughing.
“I'm sorry to, um, disturb you, but it seems…there seems to be a…well, we received a call.
Um, more than one, actually.” I started to get the gist of where he was going with this and
held the receiver out a little, inviting Michael to lean in so we could both hear.
“Yes, go on,” I encouraged him.
“We've received some calls about the, ah, noise level in your room.” Michael had to pull
away—the spurting noises he made as he tried not to laugh would be heard through the
phone. If he'd been drinking milk, it would've blown out through his nose.
“What about the noise level in our room?” I tried to sound concerned. Michael listened in
“Well…is everything okay there, Mr. Forest? The gentleman next door was quite worried
that, what with all the…pounding…against the wall, and the…ah…moaning,
and…um…shouting, that someone might be hurt. Or something.” I could hear a little smile
creeping into his voice now. “And another caller tried to describe what she heard, but seemed
to be confused as to whether she heard people, or…animals.” He snorted a little, stifling a
Ice Cream On The Side © Wren Boudreau
Micromanaging a scene sometimes does not work for me – but some of the more memorable moments in the men’s life I thought the authors step by step description of them were in very good taste…
A little mystery was there and I will admit for the first third of the book – I felt one person was just a literal waste of space, but as the plot began to unfold I had that “I didn’t see that coming moment” – really good.
I thought there was a nice balance of personality traits - Dylan with is pragmatic nature was a good foil for Michael “all will be well” style. Then with the backdrop of the book being set in the art world – all the players brought their own positive and negative energy and no two were the same.
I am not a lover of books with too many support cast – but I liked the fact that the author made use of every person she introduced me to and the circle of friend she surround the men with – were easy to love and hate in equal measure.
I thought the guys genuinely connected and that made for some super hot smut.
While the mystery held it’s own – the law enforcement details of this books did demand a bit of go with the flow. To be honest after a while I didn’t mind – because Ms. Boudreau added enough sarcastic humour here and there and filled some of the scenes with just the right amount of distractions.
There was a little too much touchy feely for my liking and I ended up wishing for very bad things to happen to the guilty party
I am very pleased this book lived up to my expectation. As a first book out of the stabled I say kudos to Ms Boudeau. Her style is easy to read, nice touch on the mystery and a good balance between the heavy stuff and little slices of humour.
ICE CREAM ON THE SIDE worked for me on may levels and I will be looking out for more of Ms. Boudreau work.