Book Reviews

Dinner for One (The Carlisles 1) by Meg Harding at Oceanside Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 29-November-2019

Book Blurb

Bastien isn’t used to bad reviews. His French restaurant is the toast of the town, and when a well-known critic insults it, he’s left off-kilter. Luckily for him he’s found a distraction. He’s just met an attractive writer at his niece’s school bake sale. He’s into food, into Bastien and the touch of kink they share, and there’s a chemistry between them that might make the perfect recipe.

James isn’t expecting to meet a good-looking French chef at a bake sale, but he’s not going to let the chance slide. It comes as a surprise when the chef turns out to be the owner of a place he knows—and has reviewed—and it puts James in a sticky situation. So he might have to omit some pertinent information to make it work… at least for now.

First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, July 2016.

Book Review

“Critic meets artist” is a wonderful trope, and with a chef and a food reviewer as the main characters of this novel, what can go wrong? I hoped for (and got!) some excellent descriptions of fabulous dishes, creative recipes, and playful uses of food in the bedroom – all of which would have had me completely happy about reading this book. But there is more! Bastien, the chef, and James, the food critic, are fun characters with a few quirks each, but they have to deal with a shock to their barely-begun relationship when James has to admit he was the one to write the first negative review Bastien’s restaurant ever received. This twist leads to a very unexpected and delightful turn of events that made this novel doubly enjoyable for me. Absolutely scrumptious!

Bastien works hard, takes his food seriously, and wants his restaurant to be a success. He was born in France but has lived in the US for a few years and is determined to present French cuisine in the best light possible. He has received only raving reviews, until one comes along that is mediocre, and it makes him angrier than he can express in words. Meeting an attractive man at his niece’s school bake sale cheers him up, and even though he has not dated in a long time, he and James hit it off from the beginning. Until he finds out who James is… and that is the end of everything as far as Bastien is concerned. The bad review is one thing, but lying to him about it afterward? Bastien is not going to take that lightly.

James likes food, he's even a pretty decent cook himself, so his job of reviewing restaurants is ideal for him. He usually takes his brother with him, who is far less critical, but the two of them together discussing some of the places they go to is utterly hilarious. When James meets Bastien at a bake sale at his nephews’ school, he realizes he has given the good-looking man’s restaurant a less than glowing review. But he doesn’t want to ruin his chances, figures he can always tell Bastien later – if there is a later, so he doesn’t say anything in the beginning. Until it all comes out, and Bastien is livid. James can’t blame him, but he is also determined to make Bastien forgive him – and he has an ingenious plan to achieve it. I laughed out loud when I realized what he was up to, and enjoyed every second of the long road back into Bastien’s good graces.
If you like chefs and the men they date, if you think that two men who start off on the wrong foot (without one of them even knowing it) deserve a second chance, and if you’re looking for a read that is funny, very sexy with a side of kink, and utterly sweet and adorable, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. It went straight into my reread-when-cheering-up-is-required file.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 200 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 22-October-2019
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link