Adam Macias has been thrown a few curve balls in his life, but losing his VA grant because his car broke down and missing a class was the one that struck him out. One relative away from homelessness, he has taking the bus to Sacramento, where his cousin has offered a house-sitting job and a new start. He has one goal, and that's to get his life back on track. Friends, pets, lovers need not apply.
Finn Stewart takes one look at Adam as he's applying to Candy Heaven and decides he's much too fascinating to leave alone. Finn is bright and shiny - and has never been hurt. Adam is wary of his attention from the very beginning - Finn is dangerous to every sort of peace Adam is forging, and Adam may just be too damaged to let him in at all.
But Finn is tenacious, and Adam's new boss, Darrin, doesn't take bullshit for an answer. Adam is going to have to ask himself which is harder - letting Finn in or living without him? With the holidays approaching, it seems like an easy question, but Adam knows from experience that life is seldom simple. And the world seldom cooperates with hope, faith, or the plans of cats and men.
©2014 Amy Lane (P)2015 Dreamspinner Press
Amy Lane's writing is quite variable sometimes not bad exactly just a bit generic at others though she produces some absolute gems and Candy Man is one. I don't know if it's because some of the characters are real people or her obvious connection to Sacramento but this book has real depth. it's sad and sweet and joyously hopeful, a lovely treat for a rainy afternoon.
"Great pairing of Alces and Lane - sweet!"
Adam is having a rough life. His mother and grandmother treated him like pond scum growing up, so he joined the military to prove he was “worthy”. He fell in love with one of his fellow soldiers, only to be left high and dry when his lover didn’t want to come out of the closet. He returned to the states to go back to school, but lost his grant when his car died and he could no longer attend classes. With his last gasp, he heads up to his cousin’s apartment for 6 months of free rent to try to get his life in order.
With what feels like divine intervention, Adam stumbles into Candy Heaven following the Help Wanted sign and is immediately set to work. His boss also plays the role of his fairy godfather and matchmaker by hooking him up with Finn, the sandwich delivery guy.
Finn is young, idealistic, freshly single, and unstoppable. He sees the darkness in Adam and knows he can bring in the light. By pairing his cheery disposition with offerings of free food, he slowly breaks through the walls surrounding Adam’s heart.
Adam, who fully believes he isn’t worthy of someone like Finn, does what he can to stave off the romance, but when he really needs help, Finn is there and it’s Finn who helps him see that he does have value and most importantly – hope.
This is one of Amy’s relatively “low angst” stories. Of course she will make you cry (for me it was at least twice) but most of the story is full of “awwww”. I was reminded of her story Christmas Kitsch in that Oliver – little Oliver – was the force of nature – blowing in and taking charge. In The Candy Man – that’s Finn. He won’t take no for an answer and he’s fearless.
I also really enjoyed the secondary characters and I really hope Joni gets her girl one day and that we get to read more about Rico’s romance. (Fingers crossed!). The vaguely paranormal part of the story left me with a new respect for Pixie Stix, as well!
Amy can describe a scene so thoroughly that I could picture Adam’s drawings, Finn’s hair, Gonzo’s fight against the medicine - everything. Adam’s sketch book journal was a particularly wonderful vehicle for showing both us and Finn the inside workings of his brain and past and I thought it was a tremendously clever tool.
I am thankful for this sweet story with little angst she has given us to brighten up our holiday season.
Philip Alces is growing on me I admit. I really enjoyed listening to this and thought he did a great job with Finn and Adam – especially the emotional times. I think he’s growing more comfortable with that aspect of his narration and it shows.
Amy Lane is one of my go to authors. I love everything about her. I am particularly happy when she writes with humor. Candy Man has that in spades, but that's not to say that there isn't any of her trademark angst and characters that you'd like to see swinging over the Golden Gate Bridge with a school of sharks underneath, waiting for the rope to snap. Adam and Finn are adorable and the candy store crew are people that I would like to meet. So glad that Adam has at least one family member who knows his worth and loves him unconditionally - who BTW, has his own story that I can't wait to hear. Philip, as always, is wonderful to listen to. Not sure who chooses her narrators, but they seem to get it right most of the time. This is another delicious offering that satisfied my sweet tooth without the risk of cavities 😋
"Not to sweet"
I usually like Amy's more angst-y stories, but I really liked this story. Finn is bubbly sweet without being sticky, and Adam is down but not out. Looking forward to more of this series.
the start was a bit nebulous. I wasn't sure if I was meant to engage with Derrin. The main characters once we got to them were awesome and having Derrin watching over them was sweet. The narration was so much better than the last disaster I listened to. All the voices were easily distinguished without being characatures. All in all I enjoyed it and will look for more by this author and narrator!
"Didn't enjoy this audio."
This is a really hard review for me to write, because I *ADORE* Amy Lane, and I especially adore Amy Lane's holiday stories. In fact, some of my favorite Amy Lanes have been her holiday novellas (like Christmas Kitsch). However, I think this one got away from me, and I'm putting a lot of the blame on the audiobook version.
Audiobooks are the most subjective way to interpret a story. You can love the story, but if the narrator doesn't agree with you in some way, it can blow it for you. Something like the tone of a reader's voice, the age of the reader, how well they do female voices; these things all contribute to how I feel about an audiobook.
I've listened to Philip Alces before, and I probably shouldn't have given him another shot. I looked back at my previous review of his narration, and I feel much the same way again. I find him to be too theatrical, too over-the-top, too MUCH for a realistic narration. He makes the characters sound cartoonish, IMO, and I don't enjoy his style. I give him credit for effort, and I think he really put his all into the narration, but it reads all wrong to me, especially for an Amy Lane book, which tend to have some serious angst. I thought that Philip Alces read the characters awkwardly, and I think it made me less invested in the romance.
Perhaps because of the way that this audiobook was narrated, I just didn't feel that spark between the MCs. The story felt a little rushed, and I had trouble staying focused on what was happening. I enjoyed parts of it, but it wasn't that feeling of awe that I get from most of my Amy Lane stories.
I want to read this book in ebook form to see if I could feel more connected to the story. I suspect that I would. I would recommend people skip the audio for this one.
**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
This was good but I had a hard time getting into the first half. Adam had a pretty crappy life up to that point and just didn't have any happy in him. He was a real Debbie Downer, with reason, and just couldn't accept any goodness. Fortunately, Finn didn't really give him a choice!
This was definitely one of the lower angst books I've listened to by Amy Lane. Normally I'm not a big fan of sweet romances, but she made this one work.
This was a slow starting story to me as we learned what was going on and how it all started at the candy store, but once it got going I was much more interested in it as a whole.
Can't say it was my favorite Amy Lane book, but it certainly wasn't bad either. Finn was the saving grace of this book for me. His light was just spectacular. He was determined to help Adam deal with his past hurts and it was just sweet and nice and made the whole story come together.
While i loved the actual story itself, I have to say that I felt like the narration actually took away from it. It was a bit over the top for me. It felt too forced at times when it didn't feel like that's what was needed in a particular scene.
I received a free copy of this book to read for Inked Rainbow Reads in exchange for an honest review.
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