Nine years ago, his parents deaths turned Tanner into a single parent bringing his social life to halt and leaving him pining for a man he couldn’t have. During that time, he became a lonely, yet successful man. One look at his sexy new neighbor and Tanner knew he was ready to live and love again.
A Taste of Chocolate is A. E. Reynolds fun new romance novel about Tanner Clemens and his new African-American next door neighbor, Sinclair Thomas. This is a book about learning to trust yourself and respecting what you want in a relationship.
The story builds from the opening introductions on Tanner’s front porch to dates in public (Tanner’s not quite out of the closet) to an HEA ending that doesn’t short change. Tanner and Sinclair are both interesting young men with their own successful careers, but they are also lonely. In A Taste of Chocolate, Tanner and Sinclair are immediately attracted to each other. The sexual chemistry between these two virile young men is vibrant to say the least. There are mild elements of BDSM with some very spicy bedroom scenes.
Aside from the sexual encounters, Tanner and Sinclair have some serious work establishing a strong relationship. This is not a tale of insta-love; both men are cautious with each other. Tanner comes to the relationship with, perhaps, more baggage than Sinclair, but Sinclair’s history is not so apparent. Their interactions with secondary characters are interesting and on occasion entertaining.
Tanner invested much of the last nine years in taking care of his younger siblings, twin sisters and a brother, Nelson. He doesn’t have a personal life, but he’s looking to change that. Sinclair, on the other hand, has had a string of lovers, some good, others not so good, now he’s looking for something long-term.
I liked Reynolds writing style. All of the primary characters are well-drawn with distinct personalities. I felt like I got to know most of the characters with the exception of Tanner’s sisters. They seemed to disappear from the story altogether. Other than that one shortcoming, A Taste of Chocolate is a great read; it’s easily worth 4 stars.