Charlie Cochet is great at bringing a dose of comedy to her stories--not matter who much of a wringer she puts her characters through. In this case, Quinn has an over the top family and Spencer is the quintessential geek, read: so not smooth! I was both laughing and cringing in parts of this story, it felt so real.
Many people might question the fact that these guys have been neighbors for a year with no real interaction, but after having a car accident, I met neighbors bringing me food and offering help, and most had never done more than nod as we passed in the hall. So it's definitely a possibility, but of course, Spencer wasn't unaware of his hotter than hot Latin neighbor... he just didn't want to get creamed for making the wrong assumptions.
Because being a SWAT officer doesn't exactly lend itself well to being gay. Quinn's been through a lot, dealing with a family and work culture that isn't always easy to deal with. When Spencer reaches out after their first meeting debacle, well... things just sort of snowball into a great story!
I don't want to give away more than that about the plot, because this story is really short. I think the most distinctive memory I have of reading it was when I hit the next page on my kindle and went... THE END? What? No! It really feels like we're missing out on a lot that comes next with this story. I wanted more, a lot more, because I really enjoyed Charlie's writing, and I wasn't ready for it to end. I really hope this story will lead to more, because I'd love to see more of Quinn and Spencer.
Author: Charlie Cochet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Length: 86 pages
Release Date: August 19, 2015
Blurb: Julian “Quinn” Quinetro, a gruff, tough Miami SWAT officer, has been injured on the job, and all he’s looking for is a little peace and quiet to recover—difficult to achieve with his large Cuban family. An adventure in picking up his prescriptions puts him in the path of his geeky, brownie-baking neighbor, Spencer Morgan. Spencer sweeps into Quinn’s life like a tropical storm of sunshine and rainbows. Not surprisingly, it’s chaos at first sight. Quinn’s in need of a little tender loving care, and Spencer decides he’s just the man for the job. Their very different lives might clash, but they might also find some common ground—and maybe more.
“This is sad, man. What is it with you and brownies?”
“These aren’t just any brownies,” Spencer stated proudly as he removed his latest batch of baked chocolate decadence from the oven. “These are Nutella caramel brownies with nuts, made from scratch. These are orgasm-in-your-mouth brownies.”
“Not really sure what to think about that,” Danny muttered, eyeing the brownies dubiously. “Seriously, dude. The only orgasm you should be chasing is the one waiting next door. This is your perfect chance! He’s defenseless.” Danny reached for a brownie, but Spencer slapped his hand away before he could pilfer one.
“I have to spread the Nutella and top them with walnuts. Also, I don’t know what I find more disturbing: that you think I should take advantage of the poor guy in his defenseless state, or that you believe the only way I’ve got a shot is to take advantage of him in his defenseless state.” He stopped and turned to his pouting best friend. “And FYI, defenseless is what babies and puppies are, not huge-ass mountain men in possession of heavy artillery. I ran into him once, literally, and it’s like he’s made out of fucking granite. He’s got an eight-pack. An eight-pack.”
Spencer had never seen an eight-pack outside of cyberspace. Until his sexy neighbor, he’d questioned their existence, much like Bigfoot. The sighting had taken place one morning on his way to get groceries. Quinn had been on his way to their gated community’s pool, sporting nothing but low-riding swim trunks and flip-flops. He’d stepped into the elevator next to Spencer, and the heat outside had nothing on the heat that had spread through Spencer’s body. Luckily Quinn had been too busy texting to notice Spencer’s Human Torch impression.
“I have… I don’t even know what this is.” Spencer lifted up the hem of his apron and the Hulk T-shirt underneath with a frown. He ran his finger down a groove along his torso as he sucked his stomach in. “Does this look like muscle definition to you?”
Danny reached over to pat Spencer’s pale belly. “Looks like you need to stop baking brownies. And get some sun, man. Look at you. You’re not even white. You’re like, transparent.”
“That’s harsh.” Spencer lowered his clothes. “I don’t tan like you. I burn. You couldn’t lie to me? Besides, what am I supposed to say to him? ‘Hi, remember me? I’m the guy who’s been living next door to you for the past year. We pass each other in the hall every day, take the elevator together, have parking spaces next to each other, have mailboxes next to each other, do laundry in the same room together, and shop at the same supermarket. No? That’s okay. Excuse me while I die of embarrassment.’” Spencer walked around the kitchen counter and flopped down into a chair, waiting for the brownies to cool. “The guy doesn’t know I exist. He’s freakin’ Miami SWAT. He’s probably an overbearing, misogynistic asshole with a giant ego, anyway.”
Danny took a seat next to him, his expression filled with concern. “You don’t know that. Besides, since when do you judge people?”
Spencer narrowed his eyes at his friend. “No one likes a smartass.”
“Says the guy who got a ticket for mouthing off to a police officer.”
“I wasn’t mouthing off. I was being witty and adorable. The guy just had no sense of humor. Besides, I was nowhere near that fire hydrant. He was clearly behind on his quota. Bet that wouldn’t have happened to Quinn.” Was he pouting? Oh God, he was. Danny was right; he was sad.
“Probably because he’s SWAT and can park his ginormous truck wherever the hell he wants.” Danny went to the glass doors of the balcony overlooking the parking spaces and started laughing.
“You know how they say dogs look like their owners? I wonder if the same applies to cars.”
Winner’s Prize: $20 Amazon Gift Card