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Like Coffee and Doughnuts

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Dino Martini might accept his friend Seth as a lover--if they can stay alive. Dino Martini is an old-school P.I. in a modern age. Sure, he may do most of his work on a computer, but he carries a gun, drives a convertible, and lives on the beach. Best friend and mechanic Seth Donnelly will back him in a fight, and there's not a lot more Dino could ask from life. < Until his w Dino Martini might accept his friend Seth as a lover--if they can stay alive. Dino Martini is an old-school P.I. in a modern age. Sure, he may do most of his work on a computer, but he carries a gun, drives a convertible, and lives on the beach. Best friend and mechanic Seth Donnelly will back him in a fight, and there's not a lot more Dino could ask from life. < Until his world is turned upside down. A dangerous case and a new apartment are just the start. His friendship with Seth has turned into a romance, only Dino has never had a boyfriend before. Can he handle this sudden twist? Just as he begins to believe it's possible, he loses Seth in more ways than one...


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Dino Martini might accept his friend Seth as a lover--if they can stay alive. Dino Martini is an old-school P.I. in a modern age. Sure, he may do most of his work on a computer, but he carries a gun, drives a convertible, and lives on the beach. Best friend and mechanic Seth Donnelly will back him in a fight, and there's not a lot more Dino could ask from life. < Until his w Dino Martini might accept his friend Seth as a lover--if they can stay alive. Dino Martini is an old-school P.I. in a modern age. Sure, he may do most of his work on a computer, but he carries a gun, drives a convertible, and lives on the beach. Best friend and mechanic Seth Donnelly will back him in a fight, and there's not a lot more Dino could ask from life. < Until his world is turned upside down. A dangerous case and a new apartment are just the start. His friendship with Seth has turned into a romance, only Dino has never had a boyfriend before. Can he handle this sudden twist? Just as he begins to believe it's possible, he loses Seth in more ways than one...

30 review for Like Coffee and Doughnuts

  1. 4 out of 5

    Julio Genao

    Agreeable comfort food for the Florida Noir romantic. Well-crafted—if a little mild-mannered, this one is worth a few hours in a cozy chair with your beverage of choice. I found Martini "AYO DINOOOOO" to be a charming narrator, and the slight fetishism for daily routine helped establish his Rat-Pack era dork cred. Seth, as foil, was an excellent choice—kinetic, tactile, flirty, and way ahead of Dino in the smell-the-coffee-you're-totes-gay-for-cock metric. The mystery is a pale shadow of a thing, b Agreeable comfort food for the Florida Noir romantic. Well-crafted—if a little mild-mannered, this one is worth a few hours in a cozy chair with your beverage of choice. I found Martini "AYO DINOOOOO" to be a charming narrator, and the slight fetishism for daily routine helped establish his Rat-Pack era dork cred. Seth, as foil, was an excellent choice—kinetic, tactile, flirty, and way ahead of Dino in the smell-the-coffee-you're-totes-gay-for-cock metric. The mystery is a pale shadow of a thing, but I think it's just fine, really. This is the kind of cozy, palm-frond-infested, potboiler slow-cooker of a mystery Jessica Fletcher would read in bed after a full day's elderly sleuthing on Murder, She Wrote. Nicely done.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Vio

    3.60 stars I liked it, Dino as the private investigator is a real charmer, smooth as silk and an old fashioned nice guy. His sidekick and best friend Seth, is a messy pig, promiscuous, funny and in your face. Complete opposites and great friends despite the big differences. Repossessing cars is Dino's line of work its relatively easy and good money. Seth usually tags along to provide mechanical backup, its going to be a troublesome night. The *mysterious package* brings trouble down on their head 3.60 stars I liked it, Dino as the private investigator is a real charmer, smooth as silk and an old fashioned nice guy. His sidekick and best friend Seth, is a messy pig, promiscuous, funny and in your face. Complete opposites and great friends despite the big differences. Repossessing cars is Dino's line of work its relatively easy and good money. Seth usually tags along to provide mechanical backup, its going to be a troublesome night. The *mysterious package* brings trouble down on their heads, the suspense was good and moved along nicely. Another sweet part of the story I enjoyed was Dino's neighbours interesting and lovely characters, I felt I knew them and understood why they kept the old memories alive and dear. As a friends to lovers story it worked, a slow transition. What I really loved was the author didn't make me suffer with over the top drama and big misunderstandings, the usual curve-balls I have come to expect. Seth and Dino work with the differences, it does take time for Dino to be convinced he wont lose the friendship. Seth makes it easy, teasing, suggestive hints and banter to lighten the mood, witty and cute. It's good as long as you don't expect the pace to set your pants on fire.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Teal

    *** 3.5 stars *** Rounding up because I was impressed with how this book made me like it even as it annoyed me. Chief annoyance: the MC's name, Dino Martini. Not only is it a near-equivalent of Dean Martin, but Martin and his music are explicitly referenced. I've always thought of Dean Martin as kind of... creepy. Being constantly reminded of him, with the narrator effectively named after him, was distinctly off-putting. Dino's persona, as a sort of old-timey charming romantic gentleman, isn't one *** 3.5 stars *** Rounding up because I was impressed with how this book made me like it even as it annoyed me. Chief annoyance: the MC's name, Dino Martini. Not only is it a near-equivalent of Dean Martin, but Martin and his music are explicitly referenced. I've always thought of Dean Martin as kind of... creepy. Being constantly reminded of him, with the narrator effectively named after him, was distinctly off-putting. Dino's persona, as a sort of old-timey charming romantic gentleman, isn't one that appeals to me -- not in fiction nor in real-life. But I got used to Dino. He grew on me. And I really enjoyed his interactions with Seth, his best buddy, polar opposite, and surprise (to Dino, at least) love interest. Their dialogue felt natural and unforced; I could well believe they were friends first and foremost. There were couple of other annoyances: The suspense storyline wasn't totally convincing. (view spoiler)[Why didn't they just call the cops? (hide spoiler)] And I wasn't a fan of the gaggle of old ladies. However, the gay-for-you angle was handled the way I like -- in that it wasn't actually gay-for-you. While Dino's only experience has been with women, he's checked out guys and hasn't lied to himself about that, even though he's never acted on it. In fact, he's checked out guys to the point that Seth has caught him at it. That's what encourages bisexual Seth to finally get the nerve to make a play for his long-time best friend. So, not GFY, but what I think of as Bisexual Self-Discovery. Overall I enjoyed spending time with these guys enough that I picked up book 2, Like Pizza and Beer.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Natasha

    4.5 stars. What a refreshing read. Unique in its own way, especially in the sea of M/M Romance CopCrime novels. Wonderful characters with an exciting, and interesting plot, that never had page after page of personal reflection of studying of some obscure dental records of an ex-con to discover who-dun-it. This was definitely a breed of its own. Incredibly sex, loveable characters, who surprised and entertained me with every slip of the page. Seth was one of the most hilarious and sexy characters I 4.5 stars. What a refreshing read. Unique in its own way, especially in the sea of M/M Romance CopCrime novels. Wonderful characters with an exciting, and interesting plot, that never had page after page of personal reflection of studying of some obscure dental records of an ex-con to discover who-dun-it. This was definitely a breed of its own. Incredibly sex, loveable characters, who surprised and entertained me with every slip of the page. Seth was one of the most hilarious and sexy characters I can remember. He reminds me of Lucky from Winter's Diversion, or Gordon from Hassell's After Midnight. It's hard to find these charming, All-American boy's without the abundance of misplaced masculinity. And Dino. Dino is charming, and quite honestly, refreshing. It's refreshing to have a MC who goes through his doubts and concerns as a normal person would (getting pissed-drunk outside his lover's house, naturally), yet doesn't dwell on it with pages of inner monologue about his feelings and uncertainties. That gets real old real fast, but thankfully, you will find none of that hear. I wasn't even sure, in fact, at the beginning, that Seth was going to be Dino's love interest. There is minimal talk of how gorgeous they both were, how tight their abs managed to be, how firm and perky their amazing asses were, and thank god for that, because the thought of reading another novel with those elements makes me want to yak. For you M/M Romance novel lovers out there, who like stories with substance, amazing characters, and a clear direction more toward the romance than the intricacies of the mystery, this book is for you. Highly recommend.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    I'm reading this very cute wonderful book when suddenly a passage appears: "See, the thing is I don't to flings. I don't mess around, I don't have affairs, I don't usually go out on a date with a person unless they're someone I think I could get serious about. I just don't operate that way, because I am not very casual about my love life. Or my sex life. THOSE AREN'T SEPARATE THINGS FOR ME." I 'bout fell on my ass when I read that because it's about me and so, so, so, many, many, many other gay me I'm reading this very cute wonderful book when suddenly a passage appears: "See, the thing is I don't to flings. I don't mess around, I don't have affairs, I don't usually go out on a date with a person unless they're someone I think I could get serious about. I just don't operate that way, because I am not very casual about my love life. Or my sex life. THOSE AREN'T SEPARATE THINGS FOR ME." I 'bout fell on my ass when I read that because it's about me and so, so, so, many, many, many other gay men. Wonderful FICTION we read: about Menage, BDSM, YA, NA, Shifters, Paranormal tenacles, sub/dom (i always get the giggles when when an author describes the sub as the one with the control and power,cracks me up),and many many other subjects...i could go on and on. I love this genre, I have met amazing people on GR and I have pissed off many. Read some awesome books, read crap, read books that brought me to my feet, brought me to tears and books that brought me to rage. I suppose what I want to say, reading makes me feel, it reminds me I am alive. If you read the passage above you will know a little about me and so many other gay men,young-medium-old. IT"S WHO WE ARE

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kaje Harper

    This book hit the sweet spot for me - funny in a warm way, with a decent plot and a wonderful couple of main characters. At first glance, Dino, the 41-year-old PI with old-fashioned tastes and low-key attitude, should be a poor match for Seth, a frenetic bisexual playboy mechanic almost a decade younger. They agree on almost nothing at a superficial level, from music to dating to coffee, to the importance of not stowing doughnuts under the couch. But they've been friends a long time, helped by a This book hit the sweet spot for me - funny in a warm way, with a decent plot and a wonderful couple of main characters. At first glance, Dino, the 41-year-old PI with old-fashioned tastes and low-key attitude, should be a poor match for Seth, a frenetic bisexual playboy mechanic almost a decade younger. They agree on almost nothing at a superficial level, from music to dating to coffee, to the importance of not stowing doughnuts under the couch. But they've been friends a long time, helped by all the ways in which they do connect - cars, pizza and beer, relaxed attitudes about repo jobs and bars, and an ability to compromise. And Dino, while he's only dated women in the past, is aware of having admired a man or two. So when events push them together enough for that first taken-unaware kiss, there's a solid friendship in place. The question is, will it survive a try at becoming more than friends? I love Dino, and his core of integrity, both professionally and when it results in a determination to meet Seth halfway once he's agreed to a relationship. Even though Dino isn't sure what that means to a guy with Seth's undiscriminating and omnivorous sexual history, he's going all in to try to make it work. Dino is a man slightly out of his time, with manners and attitudes that echo a gentler era of classic noir PIs. At the same time, he's not shocked to find himself in a gay relationship, just a bit befuddled and off balance. I really liked the progression of Dino and Seth's transition from friends to lovers. This book let me just sit back and enjoy the ride. My only quibble might have been an almost-too-self-contained attitude on the part of both men to what should have been a pretty scary episode, but I could see it fitting both of them well enough to go along with that. It definitely fits the PI-story mold as well. When I finished this, I immediately started the sequel.

  7. 5 out of 5

    T.J.

    I absolutely adore this book and its sequel Like Pizza and Beer." I can't even tell you how many times I've re-read the both of them. If I've had a bad day, these are the books I turn too. Dino and Seth are wonderfully drawn characters and while the mysteries may not be the most carefully plotted (i.e. exciting) I don't care. I'll read anything about these two and can't wait for the third book. Elle Parker, you rock.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Like Coffee and Doughnuts introduces readers to Dino Martini, a P.I. with old school ways at work and play – candlelit dinners, briefcases, “Yes, Ma’am”s, and That’s Amore on the radio. I liked him instantly. Then we meet Seth Donnelly. :) I smile just thinking about him. Seth feels like Dino’s opposite in many ways. He’s a horny, flirty, red-headed 33 year old with a Cheshire cat grin and a mischievous glint in his eye. A ball of energy that never seems to stop! Dino and Seth have an addictive Like Coffee and Doughnuts introduces readers to Dino Martini, a P.I. with old school ways at work and play – candlelit dinners, briefcases, “Yes, Ma’am”s, and That’s Amore on the radio. I liked him instantly. Then we meet Seth Donnelly. :) I smile just thinking about him. Seth feels like Dino’s opposite in many ways. He’s a horny, flirty, red-headed 33 year old with a Cheshire cat grin and a mischievous glint in his eye. A ball of energy that never seems to stop! Dino and Seth have an addictive energy together. Fun, quick, sharp, and sexy! These two are pure fun to be around. The banter and jabs and jokes! I loved their time on the page. Just hanging out, drinking or working. It felt right, comfortable and easy. Soooo….it did take me a few minutes to feel the switch from friends to more between these guys. But once I did, *whistles*….well let’s just say I have some very sexy scenes and images to play with later. Dino may be a little slower making the jump from friend to lover though. ”There are some urges you just can’t resist, and pulling someone close once they’re in your arms is one of them. It felt good to be holding someone like that again, even if it was one person I knew damn well I shouldn’t.” Will Dino wake up and see what and who he has right in front of him before it’s too late? Stir in Florida heat, fast cars, food, music, beer, brawls, and danger and you get one HOT to the touch read! I’m not sure why I kept Seth and Dino waiting, but I’m so happy I finally clicked this one open and spent the weekend with them. Off to grab a cup of coffee and buy book two! “Coffee tastes like dirt,” he said. “And it stinks after about the first fifteen minutes.” “It is a necessary part of life, and if you don’t shut up, I’m going to kick you out of the car and run over you. Repeatedly.” Recommended.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ami

    3.5 stars I think this one is a nice read -- first, both the characters are likeable. And second, in this story, either Dino or Seth are not agonizing over the fact that they are both males, or are they gay, and so on. They are best friends who happen to like each other a lot, attracted to one another, and take a step further in their relationship. It's enjoyable to read. PLUS, the adventure of getting the money and drugs from the salvage yards is really fun. Like watching an episode of a TV show 3.5 stars I think this one is a nice read -- first, both the characters are likeable. And second, in this story, either Dino or Seth are not agonizing over the fact that they are both males, or are they gay, and so on. They are best friends who happen to like each other a lot, attracted to one another, and take a step further in their relationship. It's enjoyable to read. PLUS, the adventure of getting the money and drugs from the salvage yards is really fun. Like watching an episode of a TV show :D Edited the rating (05/10/2010) because I gave it 3 stars when I still followed the GR ratings definition to the T :p. Nowadays, this story is more of 3.5 stars for me

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amy Lane

    I enjoyed this so much! Dino was SUCH an old fashioned guy, and Seth was such a twitchy, physical person. I loved that they didn't seem to fit at first, but that their relationship was so well established that they would stand up for each other in a clutch on any given day. The dialog was HIGHLY entertaining, the boys were both likable and engaging, and VERY VERY different, and Dino's group of little old ladies was a quirky, eccentric touch. The action adventure part was edgy and fun, and this w I enjoyed this so much! Dino was SUCH an old fashioned guy, and Seth was such a twitchy, physical person. I loved that they didn't seem to fit at first, but that their relationship was so well established that they would stand up for each other in a clutch on any given day. The dialog was HIGHLY entertaining, the boys were both likable and engaging, and VERY VERY different, and Dino's group of little old ladies was a quirky, eccentric touch. The action adventure part was edgy and fun, and this was as much fun as a day at the movies. Can't WAIT to read the second one! (I have to, but I don't want to--it'll be like a treat:-)

  11. 4 out of 5

    JenMcJ

    This one started off with a bang and I laughed in several spots. For some reason it felt like a first effort. Whether that is true or not, I don't know. But I had that impression and thought that the Author was really working hard to make it a great first impression. There is a great early bar scene that I thought set up the friendship between Dino and Seth fairly well. About two chapters in, maybe less, it started to veer away into an overwhelming old fashioned PI narrated story, black and whit This one started off with a bang and I laughed in several spots. For some reason it felt like a first effort. Whether that is true or not, I don't know. But I had that impression and thought that the Author was really working hard to make it a great first impression. There is a great early bar scene that I thought set up the friendship between Dino and Seth fairly well. About two chapters in, maybe less, it started to veer away into an overwhelming old fashioned PI narrated story, black and white movie/TV show, mystery whodunit with a m/m twist. Dino starts to come off unbelievably old fashioned. He describes one of the woman in the apartment complex as "a classy dish" and listens to Dean Martin as his music of choice. He can dance an old fashioned salsa but is totally uncomfortable in a gay dance club. He is a neat freak and a "snappy dresser" who actually carries a hand kerchief in his pocket but does not identify with being gay. He dates rarely but when he does it is women His best friend, Seth, is the type that is "open to possibilities" and basically bangs anyone regardless of sex. He is the Oscar to Dino's Felix. Somewhere along the way (lots of booze between the two at times) Seth decides he is in love with Dino and Dino reciprocates the attraction. This forces Dino to reevaluate his self perception and freak out at different times. We only get Dino's view in this book so it makes it hard to figure out what motivates Seth. The old ladies are charming, but caricatures, the Baddie is menacing and well described, the other characters are pretty much one dimensional, mostly stereotypes you would expect. Overall the story is a good one with some attitudes that are refreshing about the nature of PI work and PI/cop relations, but I could not help reading it with a PI narrator (ala Magnum PI, but in black and white) in my head that was very distracting and just did not allow me to see Dino as an attractive Hero type

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gabi

    I felt this story was a bit directionless. It shows the everyday life of a mechanic and a private investigator, but it doesn't go in depth. The mystery, if we can even call it that, reminded me of an episode of Miami Vice, complete with car chases; or Magnum PI (minus the very weird mustache). I liked the romance though. The very neat and tidy, organized and kind of old fashioned Dino with his best friend, the childish, fun-loving and reckless Seth. Polar opposites, but the easy-going friendship I felt this story was a bit directionless. It shows the everyday life of a mechanic and a private investigator, but it doesn't go in depth. The mystery, if we can even call it that, reminded me of an episode of Miami Vice, complete with car chases; or Magnum PI (minus the very weird mustache). I liked the romance though. The very neat and tidy, organized and kind of old fashioned Dino with his best friend, the childish, fun-loving and reckless Seth. Polar opposites, but the easy-going friendship made it easier for them to shift into something more.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nikyta

    I loved this book. Dino and Seth are not hard to love and the easy banter between the two cracked me up. Dino is a private investigator in his 40s while Seth is a mechanic in his 30s. They've been best friends for years now and don't actually have much in common. Dino is kind of uptight, likes to be in control, doesn't like one-night stands and is pretty old-fashioned with both his business and personal life. Seth is wild. He's a party boy who'll sleep with anything on two legs and has endless e I loved this book. Dino and Seth are not hard to love and the easy banter between the two cracked me up. Dino is a private investigator in his 40s while Seth is a mechanic in his 30s. They've been best friends for years now and don't actually have much in common. Dino is kind of uptight, likes to be in control, doesn't like one-night stands and is pretty old-fashioned with both his business and personal life. Seth is wild. He's a party boy who'll sleep with anything on two legs and has endless energy. He can be flamboyant one minute and uber-macho the next but above all else, he's a slob which annoys Dino to no end. They have an easy friendship, though. They're comfortable around each other and help each other out when they need to and it works for them. But, man, to me, they became even closer when they become lovers even when Dino starts to flip out, Seth anticipates it and knows how to handle it. Mostly. It works and they make a great couple. Aside from their friendship, which is so amusing, and becoming lovers this book is quite suspenseful and has an easy mystery with a James Bond theme to it. Literally. I loved it. The mystery and suspense kept me engrossed in the story and I actually read this in just a few hours because I didn't want to put it down. Dino and Seth are kind of addicting. And I really loved Dino's old-fashioned ways. It's like he stepped out of the 1940s or something, it was great. But beyond the mystery, Dino and Seth are, above all else, friends and Dino is straight. Not only do they get themselves into some deep waters but they have to work through the added conflict of Dino never having been with a guy and how having an intimate relationship could test the bonds of their friendship and possible ruin it. Overall, this was a great story and I definitely recommend it to everyone! :D

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tara♥ {MindforBooks}

    Okay I'm hooked. At times throughout this I wasn't all that convinced I liked it, it's a bit cheesy and has the feel of an old fashioned detective novel. Dino is an over the top PI circa the 1950's. I swear to god he actually called Seth 'red' at one stage. No joke. But as I read I got more and more comfortable with his voice and I got really into his and Seth's story and the investigation. It ended up being a really enjoyable, fun and easy read. It also helped that as the story progressed we go Okay I'm hooked. At times throughout this I wasn't all that convinced I liked it, it's a bit cheesy and has the feel of an old fashioned detective novel. Dino is an over the top PI circa the 1950's. I swear to god he actually called Seth 'red' at one stage. No joke. But as I read I got more and more comfortable with his voice and I got really into his and Seth's story and the investigation. It ended up being a really enjoyable, fun and easy read. It also helped that as the story progressed we got more and more Seth and he was an absolute joy to read. I loved how he and Dino are polar opposites but those differences just add to their friendship and later relationship. It also helped that he was majorly sexy and there were some scenes where I'm pretty sure he made me drool. (Picture this guy with red hair and imagine him sprawled out on a garden chair.) It did feel a bit wordy at times, you basically get the recipe for a Cioppino when Dino decides to make it for Seth but in the end I just enjoyed it and I kind of want to attempt Cioppino now. Do we need to know Dino's routine to the extent of what he thinks of paper work and what he has to do with it and how long it takes? No. But there was something relaxing about reading it. This is perfect holiday reading. Well really I love Seth but whatever. Straight on to Like Pizza and Beer for me. The blurb tells me we get a jealous Seth. So hellz ya!!

  15. 5 out of 5

    DaisyGirl

    2.5 Stars I didn’t care for this one. It was slow moving, the mystery was kinda boring, and the characters were one-dimensional. The premise had promise but in the end, this book didn’t deliver. Dino (a private investigator) and Seth (a mechanic) are old pals who kindle a romance. I love friends-to-lovers stories but this one missed the mark. I didn’t feel the chemistry between the two MCs. There was a familiarity bred from years of friendship that they often took for granted. Other than Dino's r 2.5 Stars I didn’t care for this one. It was slow moving, the mystery was kinda boring, and the characters were one-dimensional. The premise had promise but in the end, this book didn’t deliver. Dino (a private investigator) and Seth (a mechanic) are old pals who kindle a romance. I love friends-to-lovers stories but this one missed the mark. I didn’t feel the chemistry between the two MCs. There was a familiarity bred from years of friendship that they often took for granted. Other than Dino's random thoughts comparing the risk of losing their friendship against the possible gain of romantic involvement, there was none of the tension or expected hurdles that you typically encounter in a friends-to-lovers story. Also, Dino and Seth are both bi; Dino newly so. That’s okay but their horn-dog ways grated on my last nerve. They oogled anything with boobs and a short skirt, which just baffled (and irked) me. I don’t know what the author intended by this behavior trait but it was a turn-off. Bottom line: Not my cuppa.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    3.5 stars. I wasn't really expecting much from this book when I bought it. I picked it because it seemed the most promising out of the four August books of the month for the M/M Romance group, but I probably would not have read it without that incentive. I'm so glad I did, because this book is so much fun. The plot is pretty forgettable, but the characters definitely aren't. Seth and Dino are an awesome pairing. They are believable as best friends and really hot as lovers. Their dialog is clever 3.5 stars. I wasn't really expecting much from this book when I bought it. I picked it because it seemed the most promising out of the four August books of the month for the M/M Romance group, but I probably would not have read it without that incentive. I'm so glad I did, because this book is so much fun. The plot is pretty forgettable, but the characters definitely aren't. Seth and Dino are an awesome pairing. They are believable as best friends and really hot as lovers. Their dialog is clever and their camaraderie feels completely natural. I could happily read about them just going about their daily lives, no plot necessary. The secondary characters are great too. I loved Dino's elderly female neighbors, and there's one scene featuring a joke-telling waitress which is worth reading the whole book for. Recommended as a fun, light summer read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Emma Sea

    A book I wanted to like more than I did like. For starters, I immediately pictured Seth as actor Ian Tracey (most recently from Supernatural, but I was seeing him as the barman Spider from Canadian TV show Tropical Heat circa 1993). Weirdly specific, right? And not how Seth is actually described. The book is well-written. I loved that sex for the boys didn't have to mean penetrative sex. It had a plot that made sense. Martini is charming. Maybe that was the problem; too much damn charm. I don't t A book I wanted to like more than I did like. For starters, I immediately pictured Seth as actor Ian Tracey (most recently from Supernatural, but I was seeing him as the barman Spider from Canadian TV show Tropical Heat circa 1993). Weirdly specific, right? And not how Seth is actually described. The book is well-written. I loved that sex for the boys didn't have to mean penetrative sex. It had a plot that made sense. Martini is charming. Maybe that was the problem; too much damn charm. I don't think I could take him seriously because he was such a Mary Sue. Wines and dines old ladies, can dance, romantic . . . too perfect and therefore not believable. I already bought the 2nd book, but I wasn't inspired to read it once I'd finished this one, and that's never a good sign. Will try again later in the year.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ottilee B.

    A four point five read for me. Liked the action/adventure of it all, then two 'older guys' who decide they really like their friend That Way and wouldn't it be great if they knew?? One (used) to bang anything with a pulse while the second was not into 1-Nighters. The juxtaposition ("difference") between the two was funny for the most part. I forgot it was an "ofy" but thrilled to the sex scenes describing two men, one who has no clue what's next.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Candice

    3.5 stars I enjoyed this story and it had a little bit of everything, action/adventure and romance. Even though I had a little bit of hard time seeing the attraction these two had, it was nice that we first got to see their friendship and then the slow build up of their relationship. It wasn't an insta love, jump into bed type story. I found it to be solid read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kelly H. (Maybedog)

    Good story, right amount of suspense, excitement and romance but the character's morals are lacking, imho. I know that some of it (view spoiler)[not calling the cops on some serious crime, just ignoring it (hide spoiler)] is to set up another part of the story, but it still bugged me. I will definitely read the next book in the series. Good story, right amount of suspense, excitement and romance but the character's morals are lacking, imho. I know that some of it (view spoiler)[not calling the cops on some serious crime, just ignoring it (hide spoiler)] is to set up another part of the story, but it still bugged me. I will definitely read the next book in the series.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Erotic Horizon

    Characters Dino Martini – The P.I. who travels around in a convertible, love things to go a certain way and has some class to him that surprises even his best friend at times. Dino is also the man with no illusion about how a relationship should work and nothing and no one can make him change is stance – that is until his best got hurt. Seth Donnelly – Hell on wheels and loving every minute of it. He can be had quite easily and by most anyone and he’s the first one to tell you all this. He’s one t Characters Dino Martini – The P.I. who travels around in a convertible, love things to go a certain way and has some class to him that surprises even his best friend at times. Dino is also the man with no illusion about how a relationship should work and nothing and no one can make him change is stance – that is until his best got hurt. Seth Donnelly – Hell on wheels and loving every minute of it. He can be had quite easily and by most anyone and he’s the first one to tell you all this. He’s one thing though, through-out everything he is loyal to Dino. The Plot Old school P.I. Dino Martini knows who has his back when he needs backup and his good friend Seth Donnelly has never let him down in all the years that they have been friends. When he needs a second on one of his standard job – things goes better than expected, but the trouble that follow them leads to all kind of issues. Dino is adjusting to not only a new home but a new office and is not ready or expecting trouble to follow from what should be an easy take. As the situation develops Seth is put in harms way and all of Dino protectiveness come out of the blue and neither of them are prepared for the repercussions that follow. Predictability Yup they are there, however this story line is always a strong one to go with. The opposite nature of the main protags breaks up the predictability and with Dino’s stability coupled with Seth’s hyperactive nature Ms.Parker really made LIKE COFFEE AND DOUGHNUT stand out. Smut/Ick Factor From the outset of this friendship as that is what these two guys are to each other, you cannot see them together romantically – they are totally different in mannerism and there whole outlook to life. However the best things are generally the things you think will never work and these two made it work. I wont say i loved the actually smut in this one, but the build up and the little moments – OMG i loved them. Seth took the initiative to go after Dino and he never looked backed, he lured, he teased, and we got some up close and personal tension filled moments. Dino was the level headed one of the bunch, and I respected his approach to starting a relationship with Seth – after all Seth was as easy as you can get. Positive The blurb firstly attracted me to this book, who can resist an old school detective and a less than orthodox side-kick. The pace started off a little slow, which wasn’t a bad thing as during this time Ms. Parker shows the dynamics of the relationship between the protags and this certainly helps later on in the book. The main protags are very likable – Dino – I liked him, he has some style about him that you can’t help but to appreciate, not only does he know which way the cookies crumble in relation to his job but he has an old world charm to him that attracts cute little mechanics and sweet old ladies alike. Seth – I would like to say a quiet storm but Seth was so not quiet, he was a storm alright and he made as much ruckus as he knew he could get away with. Generally the life of the party with little or no shame and i loved him. The mystery was enthralling enough and as much as you kinda knew where it was going – I like the fact that Ms. Parker kept true to some of the age old principle of criminals – “Honour among thieves” I love a good baddie and the little diamond in this was as nasty and as crafty as they come – nicely done by Ms. Parker. The bulk of this book revolved around not only affection realized but making conscious decisions in uncertain times, however the few side stories that are present in this book all tied in to the main plot which was good, as all road literally leads back to Seth and Dino. I love a story where the protags have to work to make the relationship happen and believe you me – Seth had to do some smooth negotiation to get Dino to agree to anything. I really enjoy the thrust and pare’ of these two- I could see the future for them. Support cast will captivate you, not only were they stereotypical but they gave the book that little bit of humour and tragedy that balanced the overall picture of the book. Bottom Line. My first book by this author, and i like what i have read. Not only were the characters likeable, but enough of my fantasies were all rolled up in Dino to really enjoy his style. Seth with his bouncy personality and attitude is that adrenal rush that make the book a page turner. I will be adding Ms.Parker as one to watch – I like her style. Negative I felt there was not enough development on the background of the main protags – I am not sure i actually missed it until i started thinking about the reason why these guys were the way they were. Ms. Parker has a nice flow with the story and with the angst happening in and around Seth and Dino that to be honest i didn’t really miss the info until the end of the story…. Cover When i initially looked at it, it looked like any tropical holiday setting. Not sure if it’s because i have a thing for sunset but i like this cover. It conjures up a whole lot of something…

  22. 5 out of 5

    ttg

    Overall, a very enjoyable m/m mystery romance. I should say "mystery" because it's not really a mystery-who-done-it, but more like a…mystery-suspense? Adventure? PI story? Anyways, the meat of the story is really the character growth and interactions between the two main characters of Dino and Seth, and how their relationship develops from best friends to something deeper and more intimate. Along the way, one of Dino's PI cases shifts from routine to dangerous, and they both get pulled into some Overall, a very enjoyable m/m mystery romance. I should say "mystery" because it's not really a mystery-who-done-it, but more like a…mystery-suspense? Adventure? PI story? Anyways, the meat of the story is really the character growth and interactions between the two main characters of Dino and Seth, and how their relationship develops from best friends to something deeper and more intimate. Along the way, one of Dino's PI cases shifts from routine to dangerous, and they both get pulled into some dicey directions as they try to get themselves out it. My favorite part of the book is Dino and Seth's relationship and the way they bounce off each other. The author did a great job on their voices--they sound like real guys, and I appreciated that. I liked Dino as the main POV, but I loved Seth. His character felt very realized, and he lit up the scenes he was in. They also were very interesting together because they were so different, but at the same time, it was neat to see them attempt to break their usual routine and do little nice things for each other. (e.g. Dino thinking of what bakery Seth liked, Seth putting in a coffee maker at his place for Dino, etc.) My only issue with the book was that I felt Dino over-narrated a little, which sometimes is a danger for first person narrators. (For instance, I always get pushed out when an MC, especially in first person POV, describes something that they do as being sexy, and aren't being ironic, sarcastic, or self-deprecating at that moment. It just seems like too much telling, not enough showing. I'm being told he's doing something sexy, but I don't really feel it.) But overall, I really did enjoy the book, and also it felt pretty long. (Not in a bad way.) It took me a couple days to read it, and I was devoting some time to it, so for $3 for the Kindle version, I felt it was a really good deal for a solid reading experience. I definitely liked it enough to pick up the sequel right after finishing.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Xing

    Rating: 3.5 stars Life Coffee and Doughnuts features a 41 year old PI, Dino Martini, and his sidekick/best friend/mechanic Seth. Dino's a classy guy who likes to charm old ladies. Seth likes to have sex with random women (and their boyfriends) in his garage. It's definitely a match made in heaven. Told completely from Dino's point of view, Like Coffee and Doughnuts is a light-hearted read that's low on the angst. Don't expect a dazzling and thrilling mystery, or anything that pushes your emotional Rating: 3.5 stars Life Coffee and Doughnuts features a 41 year old PI, Dino Martini, and his sidekick/best friend/mechanic Seth. Dino's a classy guy who likes to charm old ladies. Seth likes to have sex with random women (and their boyfriends) in his garage. It's definitely a match made in heaven. Told completely from Dino's point of view, Like Coffee and Doughnuts is a light-hearted read that's low on the angst. Don't expect a dazzling and thrilling mystery, or anything that pushes your emotional gauge to the limit. What we have here is a nice story with a likeable main character, and even more likeable love interest, and a bunch of charming old ladies.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Maygirl7

    I loved the retro feel to this book. How old-fashioned Dino was and his attachment to the social mores of a world gone by. I, also, loved how the relationship between him and Seth gradually deepened and only slowly did they become sexually involved with each other. There was a lot of depth to it; not just the usual -- meet, heat, hump, and marry.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I love this book - it's one of my comfort rereads.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Elisa Rolle

    The quality of some new authors (new at least for me) it's always amazing, Elle Parker's first book has the feeling of some old classic spy story, like those B/W movies with Humphrey Bogart, but at the same time the sparkling atmosphere of a sunny beach in Florida, that I read is one of the "gayest" place in United States. Like Coffee and Doughnuts I believe refer to the two main characters, Dino Martini (yes, yes, not so hidden reference to Dean Martin), and Seth Donnelly: Dino is like an expen The quality of some new authors (new at least for me) it's always amazing, Elle Parker's first book has the feeling of some old classic spy story, like those B/W movies with Humphrey Bogart, but at the same time the sparkling atmosphere of a sunny beach in Florida, that I read is one of the "gayest" place in United States. Like Coffee and Doughnuts I believe refer to the two main characters, Dino Martini (yes, yes, not so hidden reference to Dean Martin), and Seth Donnelly: Dino is like an expensive but full of savor coffee mix, the one that when you open the pack smell like paradise and sunday morning, and Seth is like a chocolate doughnuts, all messy and unhealthy, but you can't avoid to eat them and then lick your fingers. Coffee / Dino is old fashioned like the real Italian coffee (sorry, American coffee is not the same...), and like the coffee, you have to stop and savor it, you can't drink it while hurrying somewhere else; Doughnut / Seth is a burst of energy, hyper-calories that you have to run a marathon to digest. Can two men as different match and love? yes, as well and good as coffee and doughnut go together. Dino and Seth are best friends; it's not clear how two men as different, also in age, Dino 42, Seth 33, met, but now they are buddy friends. Dino always goes to Seth when he needs an helping hand, and Seth never denies his. Apparently Dino is the safe and steady friend, but actually, if you think at it, it's always Dino who is asking for something and it's always Seth that is putting out (no pun intended) for Dino. Dino plays the role of the "adult" man, the one who doesn't do flings and who is probably waiting for the real thing, man or woman is not important, Dino is more looking to the right soul mate, regardless the gender. Seth instead is for the "now and soon" theory, and everyone is willing is good; again man or woman doesn't matter, even if probably Seth has a penchant for men. On the outside, not Dino or Seth are the typical gay out and proud, but actually the one who is less flickle, is the one who seems gayest to me: Dino, with his Martha Stewart's attitude, the tendency to build a nest everywhere he poses, is the one who more seems to me the perfect poster boy for the flamboyant gay guy. Dino is the one who can cook, who spends a lot of time in front of the mirror deciding what to wear, who actually knows the difference between dress for work and dress to date. Dino is the wine and homecooking type, Seth is more the beer and takeout one. From all of this, you will expect from Dino to be the one to make the first move, to be adult enough to recognize that Seth is the perfect man for him, and that, above all, Seth is years that is waiting for him to make that move. And instead, even if younger and sluttier, it's again Seth who proves to be the more open with his feelings. I believe Dino has some inner complex still unresolved, he is buying himself with the story that he is not the type for flings and that he wants a real relationship, but I think that it's more the case that Dino fears to commit. Maybe Seth is rushing a bit the thing, maybe with all his bursting energy, he is scaring away Dino, but all in all, I like his approach to life, he is like a thunderstorm, and you can hardly stop him. As usual I was carried away from the characters and how much I like them and I said pretty nothing on the story... well I started saying that this book remind me an old PI movie, and it's true; all the right step to have a good PI story are there, and Dino plays well the role of the unwilling hero, he is more the PI to do the job behind a laptop, but when faced with a real case, he knows his things around it. The crime sub-plot is nice, even if remains down-tuned, like all the story: this is not a novel for gunshot and car-racing, this is more a novel for quiet shadowing and nice morning after in bed together. http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/66...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Emilia Barnes

    Nothing about this book, not the title, nor the cover, nothing prepared me for it being pretty good. But it was. Imagine my amazement. Imagine how pleasant a surprise that was! It's got a sort of noir-ish P.I. thing going, sort of a gay Rockford Files, I guess, which I am totally down with. The mystery is coherent, though it's not going to rock your world. What is more impressive is the relationship development. This is a classic friends-to-lovers situation, where the two MCs are attracted to ea Nothing about this book, not the title, nor the cover, nothing prepared me for it being pretty good. But it was. Imagine my amazement. Imagine how pleasant a surprise that was! It's got a sort of noir-ish P.I. thing going, sort of a gay Rockford Files, I guess, which I am totally down with. The mystery is coherent, though it's not going to rock your world. What is more impressive is the relationship development. This is a classic friends-to-lovers situation, where the two MCs are attracted to each other, but are friends first and aren't sure, at least on one side, whether they're quite compatible. The thing is worked out really nicely. It had some genuinely funny dialogue, the language suited the genre... no, I can't say anything bad about it. I'm going to read the next one.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    There was nothing about this book that I'd want to change -- except I want more. But I see there's a sequel, so even that wish is granted. This book had a delightful friends to lovers romance, engaging characters, both major and secondary, and an exciting but thoroughly plausible thriller plot that felt integral to the book rather than tacked on to fill the spaces between the sex. It's beautifully written, too, with a fresh, assured voice that makes it effortlessly readable. Loved it to bits!

  29. 5 out of 5

    M

    Although I kind of enjoyed this book, it was just so... cheesy. I literally cannot think of a better adjective to describe it. The title should have been my first clue, yeah? But just in case I hadn't noticed exactly how cheesy it was by the end of the book, Unchained Melody ends up being the soundtrack for the finale. But you know, I'll forgive the cheesiness because it's kind of tongue-in-cheek, at least I'm hoping. Nothing is worse than unintentional cheese.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Pjm12

    I found this story of old-fashioned Dino and snarky Seth very readable. The crime elements blended nicely with the growing romance. There's nothing like a hint of danger to make a boy accept the reality of falling for his best friend. Parker's style was easy and affectionate. Much to enjoy. Will be hunting down number 2, and hoping that talk of a third turns out to be true.

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