Author: Teodora Kostova
Release Date: April 21st 2016
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance
I went to war, running away from myself. I came back in pieces to find out who I really was…
It took me nearly ten years, two tours in Afghanistan and losing a leg to come to terms with who I really am.
Two years after coming back from war, I can say that I’m finally content. I’m as fit as ever, my prosthetic leg allowing me the freedom to move and exercise as if nothing has changed. I own a small bakery in the centre of Cambridge, and I have a loyal circle of friends that I can always count on.
Yet, there’s something missing. A part of me craves the intimacy, the deep connection to another human being. But another – bigger – part of me is terrified of letting anyone in.
My internal conflict didn’t stand a chance when I met Jay. He stormed through my defence walls like a hurricane, wrapping around me with gentle force until I had no choice but to surrender.
Surrendering has never felt so good.
Will Jay want to stay when he sees the real me? When he sees the nightmares and insecurities clawing at my soul? When he realises the burden I come with may be heavier than we both can carry?
My name is Amir Gopal and this is my story.
I found the setting of Amir and Jay’s romance difficult to determine. We know that Amir is British but on several occasions the words and phrases he uses sound distinctly American, and the actual location of the story – Cambridge, England – is not revealed until much later. Although this is only a small detail, and based entirely on my personal enjoyment of a novel, it has impacted on my overall rating.
However, the soft gooey centre of Cookie’s is a worthwhile reward for the reader and Teodora Kostova’s latest release has all the elements for a great mm contemporary romance. It is sweet, endearing and Amir’s story, in particular, pulls at the reader’s heartstrings.
Jay and Amir are different but it is touching to see how they come together, and Teodora Kostova entwines their individual stories well. Jay is from a privileged background, though admittedly studying his father’s choice of degree at university. His family are accepting of his sexuality and he feels supported by them.
Amir’s father reacted violently to his admission that he was gay, and left him and his mother when Amir was 16. Amir enlisted in the army to prove to others that he was no less of a man but now carries the emotional and physical scars of his decision with him.
Amir and Jay are two young men who become better people when they are together. Jay is caring, loyal and accepting of everything Amir is, and Amir gains confidence when he is with Jay and begins to appreciate his self-worth. It is the characters’ growth which connect the reader so deeply to the story and I think Jay and Amir are perfectly imagined by the author.
However, Cookies is not just about the romance. Amir is a British army war veteran, who was injured in Afghanistan. Through Amir’s suffering, we are reminded not only of the horrors of war and its lasting effects but that many of our troops belong to British ethnic minorities. Teodora Kostova clearly researched military PTSD thoroughly and Amir’s portrayal is honest, genuine and emotional.
Like its namesake, Cookie’s has far more hidden underneath the surface, is sweet, delicious and definitely leaves the reader asking for more. Maybe Shane and Greg’s story next, please?!
About the Author
Hi, my name is Teodora and I live in London with my husband and my son. I’ve been writing ever since I can remember, but it became my full time job a few years ago when I decided that everything else I’ve tried bores me to death and I have to do what I’ve always wanted to do, but never had the guts to fully embrace. I’ve been a journalist, an editor, a personal assistant and an interior designer among other things, but as soon as the novelty of the new, exciting job wears off, I always go back to writing. Being twitchy, impatient, loud and hasty are not qualities that help a writer, because I have to sit alone, preferably still, and write for most of the day, but I absolutely love it. It’s the only time that I’m truly at peace and the only thing I can do for more than ten minutes at a time – my son has a bigger attention span than me.
When I’m procrastinating, I like to go to the gym, cook Italian meals (and eat them), read, listen to rock music, watch indie movies and True Blood re-runs. Or, in the worst case scenario, get beaten at every Nintendo Wii game by a very inventive kid.
Don’t be shy and get in touch – I love connecting with my readers.