Title: Cutie Pies
Author: Barbara Bell
Length: 116 Pages
At a Glance: Cutie Pies is a cute little novella, and Bell keeps the lighthearted fun going throughout most of the story.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Joey works at Cutie Pies, the smallest adult store in Sydney. After his parents kicked him out years ago, the haphazard shop became his home away from home and is the only place where he can embrace his queer, quirky, and—okay—sometimes a little awkward self.
When Mick, a new-to-town customer, walks in asking for a dildo, Joey thinks it’s all a part of the day’s work. Except Mick’s large dark eyes, shy smile, and kissable lips—along with the ten-inch dildo he bought—quickly win him a starring role in Joey’s nightly fantasies.
Joey can’t stop thinking about him, and Mick’s continued visits to the store make him even harder to forget. Mick is shy and sweet, but also secretive and uncertain. As the two grow closer together, Joey starts to wonder what Mick really wants from him, and whether he can risk falling in love with someone who might not be free to love him back.
Review: Cutie Pies by Barbara Bell is a cute little novella that came along at just the right time for me. Having found myself unable to focus on reading anything for the past two weeks, I opened this book up on the airplane a few days ago and blessedly was able to lose myself in the easygoing romance. The backdrop of the sex shop sets up a pretty funny meet-cute between Joey and Mick, and Bell keeps the lighthearted fun going throughout most of the story. It’s tough to take yourself too seriously when you’re trying to get to know someone next to a wall of dildos and a butt plug display! These guys are super sweet, and short and angst-free was just what the doctor ordered.
The characters were all enjoyable (I’m just gonna go ahead and declare a fave now, though, if that’s ok… It was Joey 😉), even the prickly owner of Cutie Pies, Kate. And while I must admit I did find development lacking a little bit here and there, the author made up for it in diversity. There is great LGBTQ rep, as you’d expect, and I also love that Mick is Aboriginal. Since Bell is from Australia, I trust that any Aboriginal portrayal would be accurate, so I’m glad there was at least a nod. There is also a cool secondary storyline with Joey’s best friend and co-worker, Becca, that it was fun to watch play out.
I’m going to keep this review short and sweet, like the book. The well-written blurb can tell you whatever you need to know about plot points, so I didn’t get into much of a story run-down. But, I will reiterate that I enjoyed it very much. The miscommunication regarding Mick’s relationship status got a little repetitive, but both Joey and Mick were so earnest and sweet it was easy to overlook. Check this one out, guys! I’ll be on the lookout for more from this author for sure.
You can buy Cutie Pies here:
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