17 Dec '12

A Nix MM Review – Starfish and Coffee by Kele Moon (5 Stars)

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When rich boy Matt starts working at the little restaurant where Alex is the chef, Alex can’t hopes it’s all a joke. When he realises that Matt is checking him out, he can’t help but respond in kind. What results is a love affair like neither of them has experienced before, but that is where their problems begin. Alex is deeply closeted and stuck in his world whilst Matt family has high expectations of their precious son and they don’t include a boyfriend.   
When their happy, secret relationship becomes a little more public and a lot more complicated, they part ways in the most heart-breaking of fashions.  They don’t want to be apart but there doesn’t seem to be a way that they can stay together and remain who they are supposed to be.
The years pass and Alex remains at the restaurant, eventually buying it and making it his own. He can’t move on, can’t forget that year that he spent in the arms of Matt. Then one day, Matt appears in his restaurant, looking for Alex.  It seems that Alex isn’t the only one that has failed to move on but is it too late? Time has passed and secrets have stacked up; there could be too much water under the bridge? Have they enough faith in their feelings to work through their issues or will they allow their original issues to drive them further apart.
Wow, wow, wow. Kelli Moon is rapidly becoming an auto-buy author and it is books like this that are the reason. This was a heartbreaking coming out tale, filled with paragraphs of lust and longing. The main characters were relatable and the main storyline was fraught with emotion. I loved it and I would love to see this turn into a series.
From the first sexually charged scene between Alex and Matt, I knew I was going to love them. Alex was a bundle of self doubt which made for a charming, yet sometimes unlikeable, character. When we first meet him it is during present day and he is living the facade of being a straight man that fell in love with his best female friend. Nothing could be further from the truth as he has never got over Matt and she is firmly in love with his brother. He is desperately unhappy but he doesn’t seem to want to do anything about it. Then Matt waltzes in and we get to see Alex of old through the flash backs of their story.
Old Alex was a much nicer character. No he wasn’t perfect, but he didn’t have years of bitterness inside of him to twist him into something else. I truly think he loved Matt but his actions were ridiculous. Seriously, dude, ask before you act. He is the focal point for the story, the main driving force behind most scenes. He was compelling.
Matt was a sweetie. He took the bigger risks, made the bigger changes but he wasn’t the jumbled up mess of emotions that Alex was. I adored him and his self-acceptance….if Alex had been the same then there may have been less of a complete shit storm. I wanted him to be happy and, as much as I hoped it was Alex who he would find happiness with, I knew I’d rather have him alone than selling himself short for a man who couldn’t accept his own needs.
Together they were a mix of sensuality, naivety and pure happiness. I loved them and that made it all the more heart-breaking that they didn’t work out easily. There are no real spoilers in this review because this isn’t a story with many twists and turns…. it’s just the tale of two boys in love, trying to make it work against the odds.
This is fantastic blend of the sweet and the erotic and it makes for truly compelling reading. If you like your MM romance angsty, then this one is definitely for you. With characters I wanted to both hug, slap and generally tell to man-up, this was a tale that grabbed me by the heart-strings and wrenched me in. I can’t wait to see what the next tale from this line brings.
                         

Nix

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