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Adam is having a rough life. His mother and grandmother treated him like pond scum growing up, so he joined the military to prove he was “worthy”. He fell in love with one of his fellow soldiers, only to be left high and dry when his lover didn’t want to come out of the closet. He returned to the states to go back to school, but lost his grant when his car died and he could no longer attend classes. With his last gasp, he heads up to his cousin’s apartment for 6 months of free rent to try to get his life in order.
With what feels like divine intervention, Adam stumbles into Candy Heaven following the Help Wanted sign and is immediately set to work. His boss also plays the role of his fairy godfather and matchmaker by hooking him up with Finn, the sandwich delivery guy.
Finn is young, idealistic, freshly single, and unstoppable. He sees the darkness in Adam and knows he can bring in the light. By pairing his cheery disposition with offerings of free food, he slowly breaks through the walls surrounding Adam’s heart.
Adam, who fully believes he isn’t worthy of someone like Finn, does what he can to stave off the romance, but when he really needs help, Finn is there and it’s Finn who helps him see that he does have value and most importantly – hope.
This is one of Amy’s relatively “low angst” stories. Of course she will make you cry (for me it was at least twice) but most of the story is full of “awwww”. I was reminded of her story Christmas Kitsch in that Oliver – little Oliver – was the force of nature – blowing in and taking charge. In The Candy Man – that’s Finn. He won’t take no for an answer and he’s fearless.
I also really enjoyed the secondary characters and I really hope Joni gets her girl one day and that we get to read more about Rico’s romance. (Fingers crossed!). The vaguely paranormal part of the story left me with a new respect for Pixie Stix, as well!
Amy can describe a scene so thoroughly that I could picture Adam’s drawings, Finn’s hair, Gonzo’s fight against the medicine - everything. Adam’s sketch book journal was a particularly wonderful vehicle for showing both us and Finn the inside workings of his brain and past and I thought it was a tremendously clever tool.
I am thankful for this sweet story with little angst she has given us to brighten up our holiday season.
Philip Alces is growing on me I admit. I really enjoyed listening to this and thought he did a great job with Finn and Adam – especially the emotional times. I think he’s growing more comfortable with that aspect of his narration and it shows.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Amy Lane is one of my go to authors. I love everything about her. I am particularly happy when she writes with humor. Candy Man has that in spades, but that's not to say that there isn't any of her trademark angst and characters that you'd like to see swinging over the Golden Gate Bridge with a school of sharks underneath, waiting for the rope to snap. Adam and Finn are adorable and the candy store crew are people that I would like to meet. So glad that Adam has at least one family member who knows his worth and loves him unconditionally - who BTW, has his own story that I can't wait to hear. Philip, as always, is wonderful to listen to. Not sure who chooses her narrators, but they seem to get it right most of the time. This is another delicious offering that satisfied my sweet tooth without the risk of cavities 😋
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Amy Lane's writing is quite variable sometimes not bad exactly just a bit generic at others though she produces some absolute gems and Candy Man is one. I don't know if it's because some of the characters are real people or her obvious connection to Sacramento but this book has real depth. it's sad and sweet and joyously hopeful, a lovely treat for a rainy afternoon.
A wimsical story beautifully written by Ms Lane. Has a lovely happy ending. Excellently narrated. Can't wait for the next in the series to be recorded.