Review: Sweet Nothings (Amuse Bouche #1) by T. Neilson

Will a bitter bite from the past spoil a sweet romance?

Tristan Love, the youngest of seven brothers, is back in his hometown. He’s left the New York food scene and an abusive relationship behind him, but he holds his love of French pastries close to his heart and is determined to put his skills to use in a bakery of his own.

Returning to his childhood home means his meddlesome brother Simon will butt into his business, but before the bakery even opens its doors, Tristan’s delectable creations have the town’s mouths watering, and Jake, a cute mechanic, asks Tristan out. It all seems worthwhile….

That is, until the bakery burns down, Jake’s criminal past comes to light, and Tristan’s nasty ex rears his head where he is decidedly not wanted.

Take the title to heart when it comes to this book because it’s super sweet. Like so sweet it made my teeth hurt but I’ve got a thing for sugary romances.

I love books that deal with food and the people that create either baked goods or epic masterpieces in the kitchen. Even as a vegan veteran of 23 years, I find creative people intriguing with how they can take simple ingredients and make amazing meals that blow people's minds and pallets.

When we meet Tristan Love, he is on the road toward his hometown of Lake Balmoral after leaving his fiance in New York with nothing but the ring and a note. Tristan has had it with Christopher and his control issues and is ready to move back home, open his own bakery and start again. When he stops in for a few grocery ingredients before moving onto this rented cabin, he has an awkward but adorable meet cute with a handsome stranger who doesn’t flinch at Tristan’s lack of flirting ability at that exact moment. That stranger is Jake and what better name could a MC have for me to have a crush on?

Jake is amazing. You know from the blurb and everyone in town talking about him that Jake has a past and Jake has been in jail. We don't immediately know why but we are told that Jake has a white knight complex so whatever happened, I was sure Jake wasn’t the one who did it. He just took the fall. And speaking of taking the fall, I loved watching him go after Tristan regardless of the threats the Love brothers or the coffee shop owners toss at him. Jake knows he has done his time, knows that what is in the past can stay there and he knows that he can be good for Tristan. It’s a good thing Tristan knows that too and hates the way his brothers try to run his life.

I had so much fun with this book. I loved being in Tristan’s head while he figures out how to start his own business and not have his heard of older brothers butting their way in to fix things. Tristan is the youngest of seven brothers and having lost his father when he was six, his brothers have always tried to step in and be there for him. But they need to learn Tristan is a grown man and can make his own decisions, even if they don’t know the full truth behind why he made them.

This story is so damn sweet but it does have a bit of darkness to it regarding both Tristan’s and Jake’s pasts. I was ready for some of Jake’s but a few things hurt and when we find out why Tristan left, it broke my heart. I did love who he told about it first and when his brothers find out, their response was heartwarming.

Simon is mentioned in the blurb and he is one of the brothers who is mostly in the story. I am happy that he will be next to get a book, even though I thought it would be Nate, but Simon is so grumpy it will be great to see him get knocked on his butt by love.

Sweet Nothings was such a fun read. The connection between Jake and Tristan is so strong from the beginning and both men were respectful of how fast the relationship moved but they talked about it and decided they were both on board. They really put surfaces to great use in Tristan’s bakery and I hope we get to see them rebuilding the bakery after the fire in the next book.

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