Melissa reviews Cutie Pies by Barbara Bell published March 19th 2018 by Riptide Publishing, 116 pages. A copy was provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: The blurb got my attention and the cover was cute so I thought: how bad could it be? 😀
Joey works at Cutie Pies, the smallest adult store in Sydney. After his parents kicked him out years ago, the haphazard shop became his home away from home and is the only place where he can embrace his queer, quirky, and—okay—sometimes a little awkward self.
When Mick, a new-to-town customer, walks in asking for a dildo, Joey thinks it’s all a part of the day’s work. Except Mick’s large dark eyes, shy smile, and kissable lips—along with the ten-inch dildo he bought—quickly win him a starring role in Joey’s nightly fantasies.
Joey can’t stop thinking about him, and Mick’s continued visits to the store make him even harder to forget. Mick is shy and sweet, but also secretive and uncertain. As the two grow closer together, Joey starts to wonder what Mick really wants from him, and whether he can risk falling in love with someone who might not be free to love him back.
A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
This story was just adorable. I can’t help it: Theses guys are such Cutie Pies! 😂 Joey works at Cutie Pies, the smallest adult store in Sydney, and one day Mick walks in looking for a dildo – this is the perfect set up for a joke…or a love story.
Barbara Bell is a new author and for her debut book she certainly was able to write something original, entertaining and sweet. The opening scene sets up the story so beautifully:
Joey loved telling people where he worked. It was fun. Some people gasped. Some people giggled. Some leant forward in their seats and wanted to know more.
“So you sell-”
“What’s the name of the store again?”
What’s so great is that this story isn’t trying to be anything other than what it is – a lighthearted romantic comedy with quirky characters. Joey’s BFF is Becca, a lesbian who works with Joey at Cutie Pies, and who not so secretly has a crush on their boss and shop owner, Kate (that’s important to know because it plays a role later in the story but you have to enjoy that comedic moment all your own. 😁). She is no secondary character, let me tell you. First you need to know that Joey and Becca are like siblings, and tease and torment each other at the store. So naturally Becca has to give Joey a hard time about Mick.
The first time Mick enters Cutie Pies, Joey helps him, and is a stalker stuttering mess the whole time, but manages to sell Mick a huge dildo. 😀 When Mick comes in again, Joey is busy and so Becca helps Mick. Joey is sooooooo curious about what Mick bought, his imagination running wild and certainly adding imagery to the spank bank (his words). Classic sibling tormenting ensues, but eventually Joey discovers that Mick bought…throat numbing spray. Joey’s mind – blown.
There is a hiccup in this lust-fest: Mick has admitted to having a boyfriend. Yikes! And with that little reveal, I will stop summarizing. Is that evil? Hmm, maybe. 😁
These guys are simply sweet together, Mick all shy and blushing, Joey all horny and afraid of scaring Mick off. Even the epilogue was good! I have no hang ups or doubts about these guys, and I wouldn’t change a thing. That’s rare from me because there is almost always something I wish had been different. But nope, in this case I loved everything about this story and had a freakin’ ball during the ending. Mick’s family – wonderful. 😉
7.5/10 Points of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 3.75/5 Stars
Barbara Bell grew up on a sheep farm in rural Australia, moved to Brisbane when she was nineteen to study film, and now lives in Sydney with an ever changing cast of housemates and a colony of bees. She is an avid traveler, a proud geek, and loves telling stories about human relationships and how strange and silly (but also beautiful) they can be. She began writing when she was eleven years old and believes it’s probably too late to break the habit now.