Book Reviews

Taste (A Horizons Novel) by Mickie B. Ashling

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Alex on 07-May-2021

Book Blurb

San Francisco architect, Lil Lampert, is tired of the same old, same old, and a trip to visit good friends is just what he needs. But a day at the Taste of Chicago gives him more than he bargained for in the delectable form of a younger man who shares his passion for interior design, architecture and sexy lingerie.

By all appearances, Grier Dilorio is the quintessential bad boy---all leather, speed, and tattoos. But Lil slowly uncovers another side—selfless, responsible, and tender, especially toward Luca, the son he's had to deny is his own.

What should have been a brief interlude turns more meaningful. Lil offers practical advice and unconditional love, infusing Grier with the courage he needs to own up to his mistakes and fight for his parental rights. And Lil gets to sample fatherhood, an experience he never dared to dream he'd have. Can these two men turn their time together into something permanent or will a taste of happiness be all they get?



First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, April 2011.


Book Review

Book two of the ‘Horizons’ series is about independent spitfire Lil, Jody’s best friend, finding love in the form of Grier, a stunning Italian hunk whose winning smile hides a generous heart and a host of familial problems. This is a wonderful contemporary romance full of pluck, spark, and difficult choices as the two men discover they want more than the hookup their chance meeting promises. I loved Lil and Grier’s story…their rich, spectacular journey kept me awake until the wee hours of morning.

Thirty-seven-year-old Lil is an attractive, successful designer who’s always lived life on his own terms. When he’s lonely any number of men are willing to be his for the night and that is just fine by him; he doesn’t need entanglement. Just because his best friend has found love with football player Clark Stevens and the two men are over-the-moon happy, does not mean Lil wants the same thing. Lil is visiting his friends in Chicago when he happens across the exquisite, twenty-five-year-old Italian hottie, Grier. Grier offers to show Lil some of the town’s finer points and Lil accepts, excited at the prospect of seeing the town through Grier’s eyes. Lil doesn’t expect more than pleasant conversation and a possible hookup with the drool-worthy, man, because Lil has already decided Grier is way too young for him. Grier, however, has other ideas, and after meeting Grier’s young, half-Filipino son, Luca, Lil finds himself getting drawn deeper and deeper into the entangled emotion called love.

More than a simple man meets man romance, this book is a brilliant read because it unabashedly details some tough topics with an unjaundiced and original eye, which added an engrossing realism and a genuine warmth to a super-hot story.  Woven throughout the tale are hints of the challenges encountered by cultures that immigrate to America and struggle to adapt to American ways while hoping their children can better themselves. The trials faced by the generations of these children who grow up in America and try to remain true to the expectations of family obligation while opening themselves to the opportunities afforded by America. The strain on men and women from such backgrounds when faced with homophobia from family members in the stead of familial support.  And the difficulties a gay man faces when fathering a child with a once friendly, now hostile woman.

All of this and more add beautiful nuances to the engrossing romance of Lil and Grier as they navigate the waters of love. Both Lil and Grier were wonderful to inhabit and I admired both for their brave choices. Grier’s stubborn determination to win Lil, despite Lil’s age protests and Grier’s family obligations, made Grier truly heroic and desirable. And Lil’s take-charge concern for the unfair pressures that Grier and Luca face revealed independent Lil’s heart–of-gold ability to place his own needs second. Conflict, tension, heat, and romance combine to make a fantastic contemporary that is smart, sweet, realistic, and very, very hot!

Thank you, Mickie B. Ashling, for this original and compelling story.

“Romantic, Genuine, Spectacular!”





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 246 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 10-December-2020
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link