We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Genre: MM Contemporary
Publish date: 3/10/15
Review: Carlo and Garrett have been best friends for years and they are co-partners in an upscale, very popular restaurant, Ransom. Garrett is the chef who is also the star of a reality show and he’s busy and very particular with his kitchen, not so much with his love life. He’s had a lot of bed partners. This would be okay except it’s slowly destroying the hope of Carlo, who loves Garrett and has always believed they would be together once Garrett realized what they meant to each other.
Carlo has been patient and deals with Garrett’s sort of diva behavior without much protest. That is, until Garrett decides they are going to open Ransom West, in California. He springs this on Carlo after telling him that filling in his place as chef of the current Ransom will Matt, Garrett’s boyfriend. I don’t know, that seemed the height of cruelty to me, even for someone as completely oblivious as Garrett even if it is all about saving Garrett from a network mess.
I admit to very, very conflicted feelings about Garrett because I found him incredibly selfish most of the time. There were times I honestly couldn’t think of why Carlo didn’t just move on. I guess I agreed with Andi!
The interesting thing is that once Carlo finally realizes he needs something for himself and he decides to open Rotolo’s with his cousin, Joey, you hope that Carlo will get some happiness. When Garrett hears some gossip about Carlo pining for someone, he is outraged. How dare someone not realize how great Carlo is!! So off he goes to seduce his friend, not be a boyfriend of course, but seduce him.
Between Garrett seducing Carlo, Carlo and Joey opening Rotolo’s and Garrett trying to do long distance not-boyfriends as well as open Ransom West amidst problems, there is a lot going on for both of them. It’s difficult and it’s frustrating. Particularly Garrett’s just complete refusal to be totally with Carlo, even though that’s what Carlo needs.
Garrett has some food quirks that made think of Chef Ramsey for some reason. Everything is very particular, he can’t eat much of anywhere because he’s always dissecting how it can be done better. The meatball sub/amuse bouche made me smile because that summed up the two of them so well.
It takes a long road, some pain and a ton of frustration to get these guys where they need to be. I really wavered on this book because I loved Carlo, I liked the staff at Ransom very much, especially Andi, Hector and even Matt, and I loved the idea of the plot revolving around the restaurant world and especially the food. It’s actually Garrett that rubbed me the wrong way. Regardless of his past, his history and his quirks, I wanted him to treat Carlo as he deserved.
Readers who are foodies and/or fans of difficult characters in particular will enjoy this story. It is well written, interesting and flows well. Recommended.