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REVIEW: The Muffin Man – Kim Fielding

The Muffin Man - Kim Fielding

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Dan

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About The Book

Morli is a prince on a mission—but he’d rather be baking.

Baxter is a lonely production artist stuck in a pandemic lockdown.

They are literally universes apart. But with a little help from a magic shop, a raven, and a dead great-aunt who was possibly a witch, Morli and Baxter are joined together on a cross-worlds adventure. Battling killer brambles in order to rescue an enchanted princess seems simple compared to their real challenges: discovering their strengths and creating a future together.

The Muffin Man is part of the Magic Emporium Series. Each book stands alone, but each one features an appearance by Marden’s Magic Emporium, a shop that can appear anywhere, but only once and only when someone is in dire need. This book contains reluctant heroes, sentient sourdough starter, lots of carbs, and a guaranteed HEA.

The Review

The Muffin Man is an interesting take on a fairy tale and the fantasy genre with lots of little references scattered throughout. It’s not anything totally out of this world but is just skewed enough to make the reader stop and think ‘huh’. Overall, it’s a sweet, low angst story that does end with the advertised happily-ever-after. It’s worth picking up for anyone looking for a little light escapism.

The characters, Baxter and Morli, are distinct and thought-out, but a little too good. They’re both really nice guys with limited flaws. They don’t argue, or lash out, or make bad choices. They fall for each other very quickly, perhaps indicative of how lonely they both are, or just as a side effect of the tropes in sweet romances.

They come from very different worlds and time periods, yet somehow manage to navigate these cultural differences without any conflict or serious misunderstandings and become loving life-long partners within months (or maybe weeks) of meeting each other.

The book touches on family drama, as well as the modern COVID-19 pandemic, but these issues don’t end up providing any real barrier to anything. In fact, difficult families and a frightening virus are what galvanize these two characters into a relationship.

The plot is a little scattered overall and sometimes it was a little too sweet and easy, but it was a good read. It didn’t stir up any difficult emotions or threaten our queer characters with any discrimination or hate crimes, which is a rare feat for books with a historical bent. It was fun and light, which many readers will find refreshing. 

The Reviewer

Dan Ackerman is a writer and educator who has lived in Connecticut for their entire life. They received their BSED from CCSU in 2013 and wrote their Master’s thesis on representations of women in same-sex relationships in contemporary Spanish literature and cinema. Currently, Dan is studying for a second MA in ABA and works in a center school for students with a variety of intellectual, developmental, or multiple disabilities. In their spare time, Dan continues to read and write, supplemented with a healthy amount of movie marathons and gaming.  

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