Rating: 5 Stars

Publisher: Self Published

Genre:  Gay Romance, 

Tags: Contemporary, Ex Prisoner and Chef,  Hurt/Comfort

Length: 261 Pages

Reviewer: Kazza

Purchase At: amazon


Hayden Quinn’s worked his ass off to turn his restaurant into the thriving business it is today. Too hard to risk it all by letting an ex-con through his door. Yet, there Levi is. Six feet of attitude. Six feet of pure temptation.

No one warned Levi that getting out of prison would only be the start of his problems. He doesn’t need a boss who looks down his nose at him. Except behind that, there’s a heat. A heat that Levi can’t help responding to.

Together they burn hot, forging something that could be more than just lust. When Levi’s past comes knocking though, has he really got someone in his corner, or is he just as alone as ever?

In His Corner is a steamy hurt/comfort MM romance featuring a hot-tempered chef who needs his life shaking up a bit and a wounded character who might have a chip on his shoulder a mile wide, but deep down just wants someone to love him. When their fragile connection is put to the test, will their relationship endure, or will everything they’ve built crumble away to nothing?


This was such a delicious book, every pun intended. Just like the blurb says, when restaurateur and chef Hayden Quinn is approached by his parole officer brother, Darien, about a young man who’s just been released after two years in gaol, he’s less than enthused. Another café job fell through but Darien tells Hayden that if he could find a way to give him a job in his restaurant it would make all the difference to Levi Gutierrez. He’s definitely worth the effort. He’s had a rough deal. He’s also worked in the prison kitchen, surely that’s a start. Hayden thinks his brother believes in everyone and this isn’t the first time he’s approached him to hire a parolee. He doesn’t want an ex con in his café. He pushes back against Darien pretty vociferously but ends up reluctantly taking Levi on.

Levi went to prison for theft. He’s twenty-three now and has a combination of wariness and a tough demeanour. It’s very easy to have a lot of feels for Levi. He’s a young man of colour from a broken home and more than that, his grandmother raised him when no one else cared. It also seems like a legal aid lawyer and a basic justice system made an example of him. Anyway, he could certainly do with a break. I just really wanted to see that happen.

Where it’s easy to feel for Levi, it’s not so easy to feel for Hayden. As the book progressed along in the beginning, I wrote notes like – “you’re solidifying your dick status, Hayden” And “this is why I don’t like chefs.”  However, Hayden comes good… and then he surpasses good to become a terrific MC. I enjoyed his transformation immensely. I also want to add that there is a power imbalance in the book but the book also has a bit of grit to it. The setting. The characters, both of whom are stubborn in their own ways while also needing someone to help them see what’s possible. Then there’s the Faginesque character lurking in the background. So, I felt all these things fitted well within the framework of what the author was wanting to convey. As an aside, I don’t mind a bit of a power imbalance in my fictional reading. Also, the sex is smoking.

When Hayden’s lips closed around my cock, there was no stopping the sound that came from my throat. It was a sound that said yes, yes, yes with no need for speech. “You’re so fucking hot,” he moaned around my dick, the first words uttered in what felt like forever.

Levi is guarded and he has a bit of attitude, because why wouldn’t he? He is also hot as Hell and Hayden and Levi pretty quickly fall into a sexual liaison that defies sense. It’s based on lust. Levi hasn’t had sex for a long time and Hayden is married to his restaurant, so no hook-ups for him in some time as well. They both think the other is sexy as. We know this because we get a dual POV. For a while, the sex is always in Hayden’s office – on his desk, on a chair – and neither of them give a damn that employees are mere metres away, particularly Hayden, as it’s his business. It makes for good sizzle though. However, Levi challenges this on one occasion as he feels Hayden knows nothing about him and doesn’t seem to want to. What does that make him if he allows it? That, and then another situation, equals the catalyst for change. It was then that Hayden had some serious growth and I stopped writing snide comments in my notes and started cheering in earnest.

In the background is Darien, Levi’s kind, just-what-he-ordered parole officer. He is supportive in a way that wouldn’t make Levi feel like charity. Always a chocolate Digestive in his office, or some books that he happens to know Levi will gravitate toward. He was a bit forthcoming with information on one occasion, as were his and Hayden’s parents, but I enjoyed their overall dynamic because it was a nice balance.

Darien scooped them back into the bag, added the remaining biscuits, and held it out with a smile. When I left, it was with a lump in my throat that had nothing to do with whatever I was coming down with and everything to do with the surprisingly sweet gesture—the fact that Darien had thought of me, that he’d remembered something I liked and brought them into the office for our meeting.

I loved this book. I read it over three days because I’m slow and because I’m busy. In between other things I was doing, I’d jump straight back into the well named In His Corner as quickly as I could to see how Levi and Hayden were doing. It was a book that flowed well for me. I loved the characters. I appreciated that it wasn’t just smooth sailing all the way. The writing and the characters grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. Definitely one of my favourite reads this year. 5 Stars!