Title: A Cook’s Tale
Series: Ship Logs of the Santa Claus (Book 2)
Genre: gay romance, science fiction, M/M romance
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
The trials and tribulations of the crew and passengers of interplanetary transport vessel, The Santa Claus continues in A Cook’s Tale.After a horrific breakup, Erron Murfin is bitter, homeless, and friendless. When the cook’s position on the Santa Claus presents itself, Erron decides to escape his current circumstances and join the crew. On board he reconnects with family friend Gamin Wells, whose own secrets and issues begin to surface upon Erron’s arrival. The least of which is the reason the pair haven’t laid eyes on one another in over twelve years. As Erron settles into his new duties, the men on board take an interest in their newest crew member. Among those intrigued by Erron are polyamorous couple, Barrus and James. Despite Erron’s cautious nature, he’s drawn into a triad relationship with the pair. But there’s something about Gamin…Is Erron too damaged to confront his own feelings?Will his past prevent him from finding what he needs?
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Review by: multitaskingmomma
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
I began to read this with trepidation. The blurb speaks of a menage yet it also speaks of an erotic older lover which personally, I have a known weakness for.
I read The Luxorian Fugitive and I liked it. A Cook's Tale is different. I fell in love with Gamin. (Yes, the older lover.)
Erron came outboard The Santa Claus because he didn't know what else to do. He went there so he could survive after getting kicked in the butt and heart by his lover who chose a different path. No home, no apparent future and stuck with green hair, Erron applies and gets the job as a cook and hopes to reconnect with a family friend who went away: Gamin.
We first meet Gamin on The Luxorian Fugitive. He is a chef on board the Claus and described as a heavyset man who loved to sample his own cooking. He was jovial, courteous and much admired by the crew especially as he was the one who fed them well. In this installment, Gamin does not only look different, he is also different. He is still the heavyset man but he is more muscular if Erron were to tell it. There is also an air of sadness in him. Not to spoil a tale told so well, I leave that for you to find out the back story. (Hint: you need to read.)
Erron loved Gamin as a young boy growing up and Gamin had been his mentor. He has no idea what led Gamin to leave but now that they are on board the same ship, might as well get to know the man again. But first, there are Barrus and James who seem to really like Erron.
As Erron journeys forward with Barrus and James, there is a sort of disconnection going on. Erron does not know why, but Gamin is not acting right and seems to sink into a gloom of depression. Barrus and James find it difficult but eventually realize Gamin is part of Erron and are a package. What the two do not realize the relationship is much deeper.
This book is really Erron's tale just as the title says. It is his tale of how he grew up and matured on the Claus. It is the tale of Gamin who finally finds his voice and make known what he wants most in the world. It is also a tale of two lovers who are once again seeking a third.
I fell in love with Gamin, I said that. I also fell in love with Barrus and James and I really want more of their own tale. As for Erron. Well, this is his tale and it's best you read on so you know who he really is.
Unconsciously, Erron crossed his arms over his chest, but not for warmth. Danverse looked increasingly unhappy as he heard more about Erron’s state of affairs. The more he said the worse the expression became and Erron was convinced the job opportunity was fading faster and faster.
“Needed a job and came across the Subspace Link ad. I did a little research on the SantaClaus. It looked like a good fit for me and when I found out Gamin was part of the crew, I had to take a shot.”
“You know our head chef?”
“Yeah. He was my mom’s best friend when I was a kid. I never knew my dad and he was the next thing to a father figure back then. They had some major falling out back when I was nineteen and he stopped coming around. Mom wouldn’t say what. Then the Civil War broke out and in all the craziness, we lost touch. I didn’t even know he was alive until now. I figured I needed a fresh start, and touching base with him would be something I should have done ages ago.”
Danverse paused for an uncomfortably long moment as his stare intensified. Erron began to fidget in his seat as he watched his employment hunt begin again.
“Assuming I take you on, the job is every day, three meals a day. You’ll have down time, but not days off except when we’re in port. Gamin would be your direct superior, but there is still a chain of command. Living onboard isn’t a pleasure cruise, but it’s not a bad life. The crew is like a small town. We’re all in each other’s business, and we always look out for each other. I don’t have a tolerance for people who can’t play well with others.”
Erron’s eyes began to widen. Why was he telling him this? Surely the captain wasn’t saying yes?
“It sounds perfect. I’m not afraid of hard work and Gamin’s the reason I became a cook in the first place. Cooking makes me happy. I’m still waiting for you to tell me the down side.”
Danverse’s frown shifted into a sly grin. “Right now, I don’t think I’m seeing one.”
“Are you saying I can have the job?” Erron’s voice peaked as he fought to control the excitement rising in his chest. There was no doubt he seriously wanted the job, but he didn’t want it to be so horrifically obvious.
“Can you be at Landing Bay Gamma Seven One tomorrow by 09:00 hours? We’ll be in port for about a week, but I can have my security chief get you settled in before we ship out.”
The smile on Erron’s face made his cheeks ache, it was so strong. He was so elated, if he wasn’t careful he was going to be on the verge of tears. “You’re Goddamn right I can be there.”
Danverse lifted his glass in salute. “Well then, Mr. Murfin. Welcome to the crew.”
Start with Book One of Ship Logs of the Santa Claus!
Sergeant Liam Jacks is the security chief of transport vessel, The Santa Claus. He travels the planetary cluster with Marc Danverse, his best friend and captain, seeking to escape his tortured past and find some peace of mind.Having been through a civil war together, Danverse and Liam are close. Maybe too close….All that changes when mysterious stranger, Hadrian Jamison, an escaped Adonirati, books passage to Alpha Centauri. Can he be trusted? Can the stories of his past be believed?As Liam’s fascination with Hadrian grows, jealousy threatens to tear apart his friendship with Danverse.When Hadrian’s owner shows up, Liam is forced to go against orders in order to launch a rescue mission to save him.The ensuing conflict may be more than any of them expected.
About the Author
Like many gay men, when Mann Ramblings grew up, there weren’t any heroes he could relate to. The world held him back while he tried futilely to hide the real person inside. So much has changed since those hollow days. He finally found his voice, the voice that says it’s all right to revel in the so-called inappropriate joys, laughs, and loves that storm inside a man’s head. It took a long time to find that courage and now that it’s here, he plans to use it well.
While spending years more focused on visual arts, he never let go of his innate passion for storytelling—he wanted to write and draw comic books when he grew up. Once he discovered M/M fiction, a whole new world opened with new possibilities. Why couldn’t you have fantastic and dynamic tales with an M/M cast? He started reading the online tales of authors like, Night Tempest, Rob Colton, and Alicia Nordwell, which only fueled within him the need to create. Eventually he found GayAuthors.org, and with a little coercive nudge from Night Tempest, started sharing his tales with an unexpected level of positive response. That experience and support gave him the courage to cross his fingers and aim for the world of M/M publishing.
Born and raised in Michigan, Mann Ramblings continues to type away, wishing it was practical to use a noisy, old fashioned keyboard that clacks with each strike, if only to annoy his loving partner and spoiled miniature dachshund.