Book Reviews

High Test (Dreamspun Desires) by Elizabeth Noble at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Age Gap / Interracial / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 01-December-2017

Book Blurb

The coffee is rich. Hayden isn't. But Neal doesn't need to know that—yet.


Hayden Owens is just your typical graduate student working his way through school as a barista for the Owens Coffee Company—no relation. But he keeps the “no relation” part to himself when he meets dashing architect, Neal Kirchner, a successful older man from an old-money family. Hayden doesn’t exactly lie, but he figures it can’t hurt for Neal to believe he’s a rich kid. After all, Hayden doesn’t want Neal thinking he’s a gold digger.


The closer they become, the harder it gets for Hayden to come clean. Something always seems to get in the way. When a company bankruptcy and a jilted, vindictive woman threaten to expose his charade, Hayden thinks it’s all gone down the drain. Luckily Neal is ready with some innocent trickery of his own.


Book Review

The fantasy of meeting an older, wealthy, sexy man who is completely smitten with you is as old as most fairy tales. At least, it is in my head. I was certainly looking forward to reading Hayden and Neal’s story as not only had the description grabbed me, but the author is a personal favorite as well. I can readily admit to doing quite a bit of sighing and dreaming throughout my read.

I empathized with Hayden’s position after meeting Neal. Of course, I had a sneaky suspicion that Neal knew more than he let on straight from the get-go. Hayden is absolutely adorable with an enormous amount of student loan debts that will probably prevent him from ever being able to afford a coffee in the place he works until he’s at least seventy. He doesn’t want to lie to this gorgeous man who seems to have an interest in a shy and bumbling young man, but he’s afraid to let Neal’s assumptions continue for fear he’ll lose spending time with him. Granted, Hayden hasn’t lied at all, he just hasn’t corrected Neal’s assumptions. It’s so very sweet watching Neal woo Hayden by stopping at the coffeehouse early in the mornings and memorizing Hayden’s schedule. (sigh)

This romance hit every one of my buttons for sweet, gentle, and nice. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a lot of variety in my reading, but sometimes I want something just like ‘High Test’ that has me believing in their love and egging them on. I loved the small amount of conflict that arose because I really liked the way the author wrote it and its resolution. I absolutely adored the slow-burn romance because when Neal and Hayden finally hit the sheets it was fairly explosive. More importantly, at least to me, is that they got to know each other as people before letting their lust rule their decisions.

There are many things that appealed to me in this book. The slow-burn romance and lack of insta-love, the writing is wonderful as the characters are all strong and complex, the real-life solution to issues, and the fabulous way the author incorporated Neal’s Hindu beliefs into the storyline without having it be a big deal. I wasn’t so jazzed with some of the, in my opinion, extensive descriptions of interiors that only made me see the huge difference in their economic status. However, since there is a huge difference, I could understand the author showcasing all of it from Hayden’s point of view.

A lovely, refreshing romance that I adored. I definitely recommend this read, especially if you love sweet and gentle.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dremspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook, print and audio
Length Novel, 202 pages/52776 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 01-December-2017
Price $4.99 ebook, $9.99 paperback, $9.99 bundle, $19.95 audiobook
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