Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hearts and Flour


A raw food fanatic and a cupcake baker -- can two hearts rise above the flour?

To Micah Truveen, raw, vegan food is his religion. So when his devoted customers start showing up with white flour cupcakes, Micah could kill. To cap off a rotten day before Valentine’s Day, Micah comes home to find his boyfriend, Dharamaram, in bed with someone else. In frustration, he throws the rat out and agrees to go to his friend’s orgiastic anti-Valentines party where he meets a gorgeous cross-dressing guy who gives him a night to remember.

Southerner, Quentin Darby wishes he could stop wearing women’s clothes. He desperately wants to live up to the glowing opinion his grandmother holds of him, so he’s never even told her he’s gay. And now there’s this guy who makes him wish he could just be who he is. But Micah finds out that Quentin is none other than the baker responsible for the plague of cupcakes afflicting the community! And Dharmaram adds a little blackmail to the mix. Two guys with nothing in common except love--food for thought.


What do you get when you pit a vegan aficionado against a cupcake making cross-dresser? None other than Hearts and Flour by Tara Lain. Micah owner of a raw café and hater of Valentine’s Day meets Quentin, resident baker, at a mutual friends Anti-Valentine’s Day party. Micah is disillusioned with the holiday after finding his live-in boyfriend in a compromising position, and tosses him out on his ear. Cross-dressing Quentin, aka Queen, sports stiletto shoes, a red dress and a compelling disposition. When the two meet, things instantaneously heat up for the two men sans of either knowing who the other is and what he stands for.

Micah is relentless about eating raw and does not cook with preservatives. He is taken back when the women in his raw cooking class bring cupcakes into his café. Little does he know the cupcakes are baked by Quentin, the man that he is quickly falling for, women’s clothes and all.

I adore a Tara Lain book and her honesty in her writing is forthright and refreshing. Micah, although militant in his raw endeavors, is always looking for the betterment of his customers and himself. He believes and practices what he preaches but is not beyond opening himself to other ideas and opinions. Micah is true to his convictions and very secure in his homosexuality.

Quentin is written in a more conflicted style which lent itself to the turmoil and angst of the story. Quentin is sure that no one knows he is homosexual and adores women’s clothes, especially his wonderfully Southern grandmother. Problem? Quentin wanted to be seen in public with the fun-loving vegan and wanted to wear women’s clothes when the mood struck.

As I read the book, I found much symbolism throughout the story, especially concerning Quentin’s character. I found his cross-dressing to be a cover-up for his true feelings as he felt he was not able to express himself as a homosexual man. Once Quentin discovered that he could be loved and cherished for who he was, the clothes were simply more of an adornment as opposed to the full casing. Instead of being wrapped in clothing as a mask, the clothing now became an accessory which only enhanced his well-being.

I adored Quentin’s Southern grandmother. She was feisty and fun and saw Quentin and Micah for the beautiful couple they had the potential to be. She embraced her grandson’s homosexuality and gave him permission to be Queen as he saw fit. Everyone needs a Mary Beth in their life.

The sex was steamy and filled the pages of the story. Tara Lain never disappoints in her tales. She tackles difficult issues with clarity and humor.

Definitely S.E.X.
A five handcuff review.

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