Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Book Review: Menu for Romance by Kaye Dacus
The Chef and the Party Planner Each Seek the Kind of Love that Requires No Reservations
After eight years of unrequited love, Meredith Guidry decides it’s time to move on, to try to find someone who’ll love her in return. So she makes a prayerful New Year’s resolution to meet someone new and end her single status by year’s end. And when the handsome contractor she hires to finish remodeling her house asks her out, it looks like her prayer may have been answered. But dating the handsome contractor doesn’t seem to do anything to lessen Meredith’s feelings toward a certain chef she works with every day.
Executive Chef Major O’Hara has foresworn relationships, knowing he could never saddle the woman he loves with a family situation like his. When he’s offered the opportunity of a lifetime—to open his own restaurant—he must weigh his family responsibilities and feelings for Meredith with the desire to move forward in his career. Should he leave his comfortable job—and Meredith—for this once in a lifetime chance? And can he create a menu for romance to win Meredith back before he loses her forever? Will God serve up a solution before it’s too late?
I do believe that I have found the author who can consistently provide me with my contemporary romance fix! Now, I've only read 2 of her books so far, but I stand by my first statement because both of those books have been THAT GOOD! Her Brides of Bonneterre Series has everything I love in a contemporary romance: the heart-stopping kissing scenes, the fun (but at times, flawed) characters, and a good dose of Southern charm.
Now, most books that try to have a Southern flair either get it right or get it wrong, and unless you're from the South, you might never know which bucket a book falls in. Pleasantly, Menu for Romance fell into the "got it right" bucket. :o) If I'm not mistaken, Kaye is a from the South, so she's certainly stuck to the all-important writing rule of "write what you know." Bonneterre is a fictional town in Louisiana that has an old-South charm. There's a great love of family and friends there, not to mention the beautiful plantation homes that make one "ooh" and "ahh."
Then, there's the Southernisms....things that I immediately noticed because they are already prevelant in my family (particularly obvious in my redneck brother). A man is not called a man, but a "fella." You don't say "everyone"--you say "y'all." You come out of the womb with a John Wayne movie in your hands. And your tea better be "so sweet that if you run out of syrup, you can pour it over your pancakes" (borrowed that line from Christian comedian, Mark Lowry).
So, with all that Southern loveliness floating around, it should be easy for a couple to fall in love and start a relationship, right? Well, almost. Falling in love was obvious to everyone except Meredith and Major...which caused me to get a tad frustrated, but I was still understanding. See, Major has a family secret that would be utter mortification if it got out to his friends. And even though he's known Meredith for 8 long years, he's never been able to share this secret with her, his best friend. So, he tries to put her out of his mind and his heart until another "fella" comes a'courting. Equally, Meredith tries to move on past her 8-year crush on Major until she sees a certain woman making goo-goo eyes at him. But God had other plans in mind for these two, if only they'd just open their eyes. Trust me, it was well worth the wait once the light bulb came on for both Meredith and Major. :o)
So, if you're a Southern gal like me, and love a great romance, then may I wholeheartedly recommend that you get yourself down the road to Wal-mart and buy yo'self a copy of this book! (For those non-Southerners out there, most everything can be found at Wally World in our small towns.) And if they don't have it at Wal-mart, then get to beggin', borrowin', or stealin' (well, maybe I shouldn't encourage that last one). No matter...get yourself a copy of Menu for Romance and the book before it, Stand-In Groom. You'll be really glad that you did. :o)
**Click here for my review of Stand-In Groom.
**Many thanks to Barbour Books through NetGalley for providing a copy for review.