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What if youth wasn’t wasted on the young?
On the eve of his fortieth birthday, Ian Parker is looking for a reboot. He may be the proud owner of a trendy coffee shop in Austin called La Tazza Magica, but his love life has been MIA for years. During a trip to Denver with his best friend, Mark, Ian buys an enchanted chocolate from a mysterious candy store—then wakes up from a nap two decades younger. After the initial shock, Ian realizes a quirk of the universe has given him a second chance and, with Mark’s help, he devises a plan to start over.
With a new lease on life, Ian sets his sights on handsome architect Bartley James, a regular customer at La Tazza. He pursues Bartley as Ian’s twenty-one-year-old alter ego, Ryan, with decidedly unexpected results. Joining Ryan on his adventures are Matthew, the dreamy new barista, Jeremy, the geeky high-school math teacher, and Sam, the pizza delivery boy. Even as misunderstandings and expectations collide, Ian remains determined to right his past mistakes and find his off-ramp to happiness.
I am a fan of Boney’s work. The world of The Nothingness of Ben, The Return and The Eskimo Slugger are favorites of mine with great characters who were lovely to see pop in and out of this story. Though you can read this as a standalone, I always like the nuggets given by authors to their readers.
But… I have to admit that this was hard for me to get into, I kept picking it up and putting it down in favor of something else to read. I liked the idea of the story but this one didn’t suck me in and make me fall in love the way the authors work had done before. I couldn’t connect with Ian, not when he was 40 and not after he ate the chocolate kiss with the Manick Butter. There was something off about him and I couldn’t engage nor feel invested in him at all. I hoped that would change… sadly it didn’t.
I get that Ian has this chance, a do over, if you will and I know he is a dude so the first thing he would do is go for a hookup but the way he lamented about Bartley in the beginning, this didn’t mesh well. I didn’t connect with Ian and I surely didn’t connect with Ryan. I made it to 45%, with a lot of skimming, and decided to call it quits.
It could be my mood. It could be the overabundance of porn stars in the book that doesn’t have a porn star in it. I am not sure. It could be Ian’s health and… I won’t even go into that, I can’t get into that without getting a tad ragey. This book sadly just didn’t work for me. I honestly don’t care who Ian ends up with at all… it’s just meh for me at this point.