Monday, November 28, 2011

The Birches, Review and Giveaway by Xavier Axelson


Good Morning my lovelys!!!  I have been bad about posting but that is because you will have your hands full next month :)  I promise!! I am the first stop on The Birches tour.  This was my first M/M read and I must say I rather enjoyed it!  So Mr. Axelson (Isn't that a hot sounding name?) you have popped my proverbial cherry and I will be coming back for more..LOL!!  Let's take a peek at this new and intriguing book!!

Perfection isn’t everything, although it’s everything Leo wants. His desire to become the perfect chef may keep him at the top of his class, but it drives his friends and family crazy while keeping love and passion on the back burner. That is until he meets Dock, owner and chef of the new and popular restaurant, The Birches. Although Dock isn’t a trained chef, Leo finds the food he cooks delectable and the man behind the food irresistible. The lessons taught at the hands of an untrained cook may be just what this uptight chef needs to let go. 

He pulled into the parking lot of The Birches and sat on his bike a minute. He felt nervous, like he was about to meet a celebrity and the self-doubt that plagued him made him queasy.   
“You gonna sit outside or come in?”
Leo jumped at the sound of the man’s voice. He pulled his helmet off and looked around, but didn’t see anyone.
“Over here.” 
Leo looked just past his left shoulder and saw a man emerging from the nearby woods that surrounded the little restaurant.
“Oh, hey,” Leo called out, his voice cracking.
“You looking for something to eat?” the man asked, coming closer.
Leo was shocked to find himself riveted to the spot, staring at the man who came towards him. 
The man offered Leo a rough, calloused hand. “I’m Dock,”
“Hey,” Leo managed weakly.
“I was out back, picking blackberries, they grow wild around here.  I thought they’d make a great dessert. Don’t know what kind of dessert, but how can you go wrong when you have stuff like this?” He said as he offered up a large, wooden bucket half-full of dark, purple black berries.
There were purple smears across Dock’s white tank top that seemed barely able to contain Dock’s impressive chest. There were several brown freckles on Dock’s shoulders, next to where the strap of tank top clung to his body.
“Lucky berries,” Leo said under his breath.
Sweat ran down Leo’s back, he felt so nervous. For a brief moment, he thought of hopping on his bike and taking off.  Instead he said, “Um, nothing, sorry, I just wanted to come by and--” 
“You want to come inside and have an iced tea or something?” Dock asked, “It’s hot as hell out here and I know I need to cool off.” He swiped a hand across his face and left a smudge of blackberry juice across his cheek.
Leo’s heart was pounding, what was it about this place, this man?


My Review

I started out by saying that this was my first experience with an M/M book.  It was just like reading a romance book, just imagining the characters being both male, and it wasn't hard to get into.  I would assume its harder for M/Ms to hook up, which may have accounted for part of the anger in our main character Leo.  Leo is going to a fancy cooking school, to learn the in and outs of how to be a gourmet chef.  His creations are beautiful and he follows the recipes right down to the precise measurement, but his dishes are a little lacking in creativity and...well taste.  He loves to cook but wants everything to be perfect.  I can understand his frustration about the cooking, you should have seen my first cake (scary!).  But I kept plugging at it until it was finally right.  Leo really needs to loosen up and the best prescription available happens to be a really hot cook that goes by the name of Dock.  Dock runs the restaurant called The Birches and has a creative streak that knows no bounds.  I was very hungry after reading this book because his creations that were described  just literally make your mouth water.  He is the opposite of Leo.  Laid back and the inspiration to make a new dish can come from anywhere.  Even from a wild blackberry bush growing on the side of the road :)  Leo is amazed at his food.  Even before the elusive cook introduces himself, Leo starts making plans on a return trip to the restaurant to ask him about the muffin recipe.  They meet and the sparks fly.  I think more so for Dock because he is totally comfortable about being who he is.  Leo, seems to have some major issues in that department.  But can two opposites really overcome everything and have a great relationship?  I enjoyed this book immensely and was pleasantly surprised to have. I would like to read another book by this author!!  He is a keeper!

Here is a little bit about our author!!

Xavier Axelson is a writer of erotica for Silver Publishing and Seventh Window Publications.  He is also the Los Angeles Sex Advice Columnist for, contributes regularly to Queer Magazine Online, and writes a column for All Bear Online Magazine.  Xavier has worked in the adult industry for over 15 years.  During this time, he has assisted countless people with exploring their healthy sexual needs, questions, and lifestyles.  Xavier has several degrees in fields such as communications, library technology, and literature.

Where to find Xavier Axelson:

So up for grabs is a copy of this book!!  Just leave a comment with your email address to enter!!  Be sure to stop by these sites for more chances to win!!

11/29: Book Bags and Cat Naps (Interview/Excerpt)
11/30: Chocoholic Bookie (Review/Interview)
12/1: Full Moon Bites (Excerpt/Guest Post)
12/2: Coffee Beans & Love Scenes (Giveaway/Excerpt)
12/4: Fictional Candy (Giveaway/Guest Post)


Yto said...

the book sounds great ^^ i love m/m stories. i probably read more m/m stories then anything else - it's additcting XD though most if not all of them were fanfictions not actual books sold in bookstores - probably because i never found any in my local ones. so i would love to get a copy of this one ^^
great review by the way - now i am hungry too and it's in the middle of the night here.

witchvela at web dot de

Pommawolf Emeraldwolfeyes said...

This story just sounds so good, and it's the 4th or 5th time i've read the excerpt...*S*
I fell in love with "Christmas Eve at The Powers That Be Cafe " by Xavier Axelson, and so loved the characters in the story.
I've love m/m stories and the whole erotic romance genre.
Thank you for the being a part of the blog tour, and eager to find some more authors and great books..*S*


Emily said...

This book sounds wonderful! I'm so glad you've joined the horde...I mean, group of m/m readers!! I haven't heard of this author, but I'll definitely need to check out his books, this one sounds positively yummy! I know, I know, bad pun. But it's true :)


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