Melissa reviews A Taste of You by Irene Preston Published March 10th 2015 by Fated Desires Publishing, 146 pages
Garrett Ransom is America’s hot chef du jour. He has a Michelin-starred restaurant in New York City, a hit reality TV show, and a new man in his bed every week. Yes, he secretly thinks his business partner, Giancarlo “Carlo” Rotolo, is hotter than a ghost pepper, but he would never jeopardize their friendship with a fling. Then Garrett overhears some juicy gossip among the crew and realizes he’ll have to break Giancarlo’s cardinal rule, no banging the staff – for Carlo’s own good, of course. Just a taste of Carlo should be plenty. Long-term relationships aren’t on Garrett’s menu.
Giancarlo’s been in love with Garrett forever. He’s sure Garrett will eventually realize they are destined to be more than business partners. But when Garrett installs his latest boyfriend as their new chef d’cuisine and announces plans to leave Carlo in New York while he opens a second restaurant on the west coast, Carlo is forced to re-evaluate his life.
Can a high-strung British chef and a nice Italian boy from Brooklyn find the perfect fusion of fine-dining and family-style?
A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: The cover and the blurb. That’s it. 🙂
Having said that, I did like this book. Garrett Ransom is the hot chef going with a TV show in California, and plans to open a new (2nd) restaurant there too. Garrett is pretty obtuse when it comes to the outside world and how to interact with people. He’s probably got OCD as well as possibly a spectrum of autism. He’s a temperamental chef, yes, but he’s obsessive with it to a point that comes across as very unhealthy.
The good news is that Garrett’s business partner and long time friend Giancarlo “Carlo” Rotolo is there for him. Carlo and Garrett met in college and have been friends ever since; best friends for 10 years. But Carlo has also been in love with Garrett since they met, with Garrett being totally oblivious. Everybody knows how Carlo feels about Garrett, and one night at the restaurant, Garrett overhears two employees talking about Carlo and his love for some “jerk.” Well, of course the jerk is Garrett, but Garrett doesn’t know that and he decides that Carlo doesn’t deserve to be treated badly by this “jerk” and is determined to seduce Carlo away from him. And he does. 🙂
Carlo can’t believe his good fortune and doesn’t ask too many questions of Garrett about their relationship because he doesn’t want to rock the boat. He know that Garrett isn’t with anyone for long and he wants their time to together to last as long as possible. What I found interesting is the fact that Garrett seems to care very deeply for Carlo but just doesn’t realize he is in love with the man himself.
The story is told from alternating POV’s and that was very helpful in understanding where each man was coming from. BUT!!! It didn’t always help because huge shifts happened without it being on page. It’s hard to articulate here in a review but simply put, a character will feel one way about something and then off page change their mind and all of a sudden on page we get the result. It was bizarre and little hair pulling because I didn’t always understand what the hell was going on. Like at the ending (see spoiler above). It totally came from out of nowhere. There was no hinting, no lead up, just BAM!
Overall the book was good, I thought it could have been fleshed out more to include those off page thoughts/actions. Including the sex! *Don’t forget to mention* there is a lot of off-page sex. There is some lovemaking on page but most of the time it fades to black. But again, overall, an enjoyable read. I do recommend you read it; it’s a short story with flawed characters who I thought were pretty well developed.