Series: Candy Man 04
Author: Amy Lane
Narrator: Philip Alces
Length: 7 hrs, 47 mins
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (1st August 2017)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts
Blurb: 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 smit-ten 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.
Review: Tart and Sweet is the fourth and final book in Amy Lane’s Candy Man series. It continues with the themes of friendship, healing and romance. While it probably works as a standalone, I recommend reading or getting your hands on the audio of the previous books as there is a lot of interaction with a whole cast of fully developed secondary characters.
I’ve have come to enjoy some of Lane’s books and this book is no exception. I find the writing style is really accessible, in that it is well written and very expressive without too much complicated language, so it’s easy to relax and read or listen to the book. The narration was performed by Philip Alces, who narrates the full series. Alces has a soft and gentle voice that matches the sweetness of the plot and conveys the variety of emotions that tumble through the MCs. It was a wonderful performance and completely on point.
Candy Man has a really cute premise. It’s about this almost hippy-like guy, Darren, who runs a boutique candy store in Old Sacramento and just so happens to have psychic visions about the people that he needs to help, i.e. people that are down on their luck and may not be looking for love but are gonna get it anyway. Really cool.
The characters that have brought together this entire world was Adam, Darren (the psychic Candy Man), Clopper the Dog and Jacob the Cat. It’s also nice that there is the background plot where Ezra has developed the gift to help Darren bringing together people, so Ezra who had his story in the previous book is also quite important in this one.
Robbie Chambers has left the army. He feels a lot of shame for how things had ended there and he was sure that he had lost the man that could have been the love of his life. Life in Old Sacramento after the army is difficult. He picked up the first girl he met at a bar in an attempt to be straight for her very conservative parents. But all that changes when he sees a beautiful man dancing on the boardwalk, attracted to him to no one he had been attracted to in his life. That man is Cy and on top of their sexuality, Robbie knows that his parents would also disapprove of the fact that Cy is black.
But as soon as they meet, Robbie is side tracked by saving a handsome man from being hit by a car – helping the man, Finn, to where Finn’s boyfriend works, he discovers Finn’s boyfriend is his ex, Adam. Adam who had not stood up for in the army and made the end of Adam’s army career hell and breaking Adam’s heart after planning happily ever after together. But Adam has moved on now and the magic of Candy Heaven is throwing Cy and Robbie together, they are now inevitable.
Robbie’s need for healing is the main theme in this plot, he has a lot of mental baggage to deal with and Cy is the man with the patience and strength to befriend and then help Robbie heal with love. They have a great attraction which starts as a friendship of necessity and a strong mutual attraction, before developing into love. An awesome ending to what has to be one of the sweetest, pun fully intended, series I’ve read or listened to.