- File Size: 3022 KB
- Print Length: 148 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (January 12, 2018)
- Publication Date: January 12, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B078NPRSGX
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#1,890,256 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #22267 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Gay Fiction
- #23532 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender eBooks > Romance > Gay Romance
- #36528 in Books > Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Books > Romance
Not All Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks (World of Love) Kindle Edition
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The friends-with-benefits to regular couple transition actually didn’t feel rushed to me, even though Mark’s initial stint in Basel isn’t too long. That might have been because the intensity of things between them was pretty strong, so the two of them being together seemed quite natural from the start. Steffen’s no-nonsense, straightforward attitude is refreshing and paints him as a strong, alpha character right away which was something I really liked about him.
There are a lot of in-depth details provided not just about the city of Basel but also of the cultural aspects, especially the Fasnacht celebration. For me, the level of detail is quite a bit more than I prefer—and while as a traveler these types of intricate details would fascinate me if I were visiting a location, as a reader it did detract a little bit from the story itself and the romance between Mark and Steffen.
Overall, this book was still a 4-star read for me, and one I would recommend to others in this genre. This story is strictly for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Neither of them wants to fall in love, but getting exactly what they don’t want might be the best thing to ever happen to them.
Mark hopes his boredom with his current job will be alleviated by a short stint in Basel, Switzerland. When he meets Steffen, who struck out on his own from an old-money family to establish an IT firm, Mark expects some fun, great sex, and a clean break when his job is done. The arrangement is perfect for Steffen, who has been content with casual after a betrayal—and has a taste for British men after attending university in the UK. But as they explore the city’s rich history and traditions, Mark begins to see Steffen as much more than a tour guide with benefits. If he isn’t careful, the trip meant to break the lull in his career might end up breaking his heart instead….
I'm very fond of Rebecca Cohen's stories, from historical romances of The Crofton Chronicles to the contemporary Treading the Boards series, she always brings something different, a decided depth and twist to her novels. So I was interested to see where her new story, Not All Chocolates & Cuckoo Clocks, would take me. Surprisingly it took me to her home.
As the author states in her forward, Not All Chocolates & Cuckoo Clocks is as much a love letter to Basel, Switzerland as it is a contemporary romance. That's so true. Rebecca Cohen's love for her adopted city shines through every scene, every description, glowing like a adoring spotlight over this historical place that's the location for Mark and Steffen's love story. I have to admit I was googling as fast as I was reading, so alluring and warm did Basel become in my mind. It is a fully formed main character, as much as Mark and Steffen, enfolding them both with the culture, cobbled streets, sounds, and even flavors of Basel itself. I want to go so badly my fingers are itching to hit Priceline.com or whatever link, book and go!
And with all that, it doesn't overshine the easy, sweet romance of Mark and Steffen who fall in love over a simple arrangement and look like they have found their HEA. Normally I don't do any sort of instant love. But here with Mark and Steffen, both men are older, coming out of relationships where they can define what didn't work, and know what they want. In other words, they are ready. Right age, right timing. It happens that way. And the author makes it believable. I believed not only in both men, their different personalities, their workplaces, everything. Oh and the differences in where they lived!
I liked knowing where they took the train to, what stations they got off at. It gave me a real feel for the city. The walk to the Zoo and the penguins! It made the book feel intimate and authentic. Oh, and the Carnival in Basel, the Basler Fasnacht, along with the 4am Morgestraich, a parade unlike any other. And so much more. The reader is right there, watching with Mark and Steffen, laughing and amazed!
Really, it's hard to remember this story is only 132 pages.
But every page is a jewel. Of romance, of loving information conveyed to Mark and the reader about Basel, and a terrific love story as well. Hard to beat that! If you love contemporary romance and travel too, Not All Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks
by Rebecca Cohen is a great combination of both. Pick it up. I highly recommend it. And yes, I'd love to return and visit them again.
Cover Design: Brooke Albrecht. What a great cover. Incorporates both Basel and a model that's the character. Love it.
Steffen is a transparent, direct to the point alpha male who dealt with his last breakup by sleeping around, and Mark just didn’t pursue another after his. Mark figures he’ll take his chances on the attractive Steffen, to whom he’s instantly smitten, and deal with his broken heart when he returns home to the U.K. after a three-month work project, but neither man anticipates how much they have in common or how drawn to each other they’ll become. As time passes, they find themselves growing closer and closer, and did I mention the minimal angst part? Let’s just say they each figure it out, and are able to maturely and realistically continue growing as a couple.
The glimpses at local life through Steffen and Mark experiencing daily life, seasonal festivities, and the introduction to regional customs and traditions added a sense of place and realism to their relationship and offered a deeper peek into their personalities. The only thing that saddened me was that the book seemed to end somewhat abruptly, though I’m not here to say anything was missing from the final chapter. I just somehow expected – or maybe wanted – more.
Not All Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks was a well written book. The natural interaction and witty, bantering dialogue are both entertaining and heartwarming. Steffen and Mark are an easy couple to like and want to see succeed. Even the scenes with their respective parents are keepers and add a layer of “this could really happen.” The town of Basel itself acts as both a backdrop and a character. Not All Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks is an easy, charming, and entertaining read.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book.
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