It’s no secret cosplayer Felipe Suero is looking for his happily ever after—in his love life as well as his career. He’s getting his degree so he can quit his miserable job and start his own costume business. Now he just needs to land the sexiest silver fox to ever attend a con.
Trask Briscoe’s life revolves around staying clean and sober, running the Magick Den, and attending local cons. His rules haven’t left much room for romance. But he can’t deny Felipe has caught his complete attention. He’s just not sure what he can offer a man so full of joy and sass.
When Trask finally accepts Felipe’s offer for a cup of coffee, he soon finds himself on a second date and a third. Between cosplay projects and roleplaying games, they discover a deeper connection than either of them expected. And Trask realizes that sometimes rules are made to be broken.
Now Felipe just has to convince his family—and Trask—that Trask has more love to offer than he ever dreamed.
A Whole Latte Sass and Holiday Traditions
Happy New Year’s everyone. Thank you for coming out to check on my release for A Whole Latte Sass. I love this time of year. As Felipe says it’s a non-stop party from Halloween to New Year’s Day. When I was younger, I thought of New Year’s Day as that sleepy holiday where nothing happened when you recovered from being up too late the night before. You couldn’t go anywhere because everything was closed. Little did I know that New Year’s Day would change my life. Sixteen years ago today, my son was born. So now we have a whole new set of traditions that mostly revolve around him and I can say it’s never boring.
A Whole Latte Sass takes us through the holidays. Felipe’s family is like mine. It’s a sprawling, noisy, multigenerational affair. Every day after Christmas we drive down to Charleston and stay until after Christian’s birthday. The whole family is there. For Felipe, his home is the gathering place, all of the aunts, uncles, and cousins come and join him and his immediate family including his grandparents. For Thanksgiving they start with the Macy’s Day Parade and ends with some kind of family board game. Trask’s holidays are more low-key. Growing up he didn’t have a happy home life and all of his good memories come from his grandmother. Once he got clean, he often spends his holidays with a friend from Narcotics Anonymous.
When families merge you have the opportunity to mingle traditions and create your own. One tradition my husband picked up from my family is the la benediction paternelle, where the head of the household blesses each member individually on New Year’s Day. One tradition we picked up from him was setting out a couple presents from Santa unwrapped under the tree after midnight. That was a whole lot of fun when our son was little.
Trask is a vegetarian and a bachelor loner, so for the holidays he orders the special from Marie’s Diner down the street, but with extra mac-n-cheese and apple pie instead of turkey. He’s a man who shows his caring through deeds instead of words. He takes his holiday time and uses it to make things for others whether it’s helping to winterize Old Joe’s home or rehabbing a crafting table for Felipe. For him that’s a celebration and he doesn’t feel like he’s missing out. He’s more worried about feeling like he’s intruding on other families.
For Felipe family is everything, even when they piss him off he’s home for holidays and he can’t let anger linger through that time even if that anger is sometimes justified. And he’s determined to show Trask that having a family doesn’t mean it has to be dysfunctional, even when you’re not getting along. On Christmas Eve, he returns home to surprise his family by lighting up the tree and setting out the post-Mass snacks and finds his grandfather thinking along the same lines and they have a long overdue heart-to-heart. Sometimes the person you butt heads with the most is the one you’re most like.
I’d like to share a little holiday excerpt and then please, drop me a note and tell me about some of your holiday traditions.
“Oh yes, Abby. The girl who stole your crayon.” Lola’s husky voice enveloped Felipe in a thousand comforting memories.
Felipe cracked a smile at her oh-so-serious tone that meant she was gently teasing him. All around them their family buzzed, talking over each other in cheerful chaos, the way they did at every family holiday. The little ones ran all over the living room, tumbling over each other and squabbling. The teenagers sat in their little spheres of isolation, their faces over their phones, except Mariana, who flitted from one group to another, like she hadn’t seen anyone in decades when they’d all gotten together just on Labor Day and they’d see each other again at Christmas and New Year’s. Felipe’s family was never far away.
“That would be the one,” Felipe admitted.
“The same Abby who dated the gentleman you were pining for in tenth grade.” Lola’s memory was as sharp as ever.
He wished Trask had come. Mariana had asked about Trask’s whereabouts more than once, much to his parents’ discomfort. Felipe pulled out his phone and curled in closer to his grandmother. “Smile, Lola. I need to send a picture to a friend of mine.” He snapped a photo and admired the image before sending it to Trask. Thinking of you. Happy Thanksgiving.
“The young man you were telling me about?”
“He’s not that young, Lola.” Felipe felt that he had to point that out. Not that Trask was as ancient as everyone else complained about either.
She laughed her warm, rich laugh. “At my age everyone is young.”
His phone dinged, and Felipe pulled up the picture of Trask with Sophie, curled up on the floor of his apartment. Miss you too, imp. Felipe’s heart panged. He really wished he was with the aloof twerp. He had so many emotions where Trask was concerned, deep emotions that he’d once longed for but now wasn’t sure what do with. He wanted to talk about it with his grandmother, but he couldn’t with the bedlam surrounding them.
Lola took the phone from Felipe and examined Trask’s picture through her bifocals. “He considers you an imp?” She gave Felipe a fond glance. “I think that name just might serve.”
Felipe loved the way Trask said imp. There was a warmth and affection in his tone when he did, as if he didn’t wish Felipe to be any other way. “Yeah, I’m his imp, and he’s my Tin Man.”
“He has kind eyes.” She handed the phone back to Felipe. “The eyes don’t lie, Felipe.”
The title of this book, A Whole Latte Sass, could not be more perfect for the main character, Felipe. That man has sass going on! And the calming influence of Trask was the perfect foil for Felipe’s high energy personality.
This was a May December romance, which highlighted their differences very well. I really loved their very distinct personalities. Felipe was a confident young man who knew what he wanted, and worked to get it, no matter what it was he wanted.
Trask meanwhile was a bit set in his ways. Running his business, not allowing anyone new in his life, whether canine or human. Then Felipe comes into his life, and turns his life on end, simply by making sure Trask knew he was wanted, and encouraging him to give him a chance.
I thought the book was a bit longer than it needed to be, incorporating things that maybe could have been cut, or used as additional scenes. Overall though, an enjoyable read!
3.5 pieces of eye candy