Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Robbie MacIntyre manages a small post office in the old Station House on the outskirts of sleepy Barton Hartshourn northwest of London. He’s stunned when the owner, Maggie, a close friend, bequeaths him not only the post office, but also Station House.
The rest of her estate is left to an American writer, Jason Young, and when he moves to the village, Robbie is thrown by the attraction he has for the man who has more of a claim on the Station House than he does.
Then there is a box that holds several rare first editions and a cookbook. Only when the secrets of the ingredients in a particular recipe are finally revealed does everything begin to make sense, and a love cut short seventy years earlier is finally discovered.
The first book in the new series, Tales of the Curious Cookbook, this story takes place in England where Robbie MacIntyre manages a small post office-slash-bookstore-slash-coffee-shop-slash-art gallery in the old Station House owned by his good friend Maggie Simmons. He’s been doing this work for about ten years—ever since Maggie offered him the position to help ground him when he was at loose ends after he graduated with a degree in art. He’s devastated when Maggie passes away and even more shocked when he finds out that she’s left the Station House to him.
But more intriguing is the fact that she left her home, Apple Tree Cottage, to an American. Jason Young is the great grandson of Maggie’s sister who immigrated to America after the war. He’s a writer who happens to be gorgeous and in need of help when the water tank at the cottage rusts out and floods the place. Robbie offers him a place to stay and a shoulder to lean on, and the two become friends.
While the cottage is being worked on, they retrieve a box holding several rare first editions of one of Robbie’s favorite mystery writers and an old handwritten cookbook, Recipes for the Heart: Mystical Meals and Dangerous Desserts, by Granny B. The book is organized by sections and marked by emotions. For example, there are recipes for foods that are for sadness, or finding what was lost, or inspiring passion. The one Robbie most likes is for applesauce cake because it was Maggie’s favorite, and he hasn’t been able to match it exactly even though she had given him the recipe. This cake is for finding love. The mystery in this story is what happens when the guys stumble upon information about Maggie’s past which includes a lost love and a separation from her sister and her family. There’s humor and heartache, romance, and adventure to be found. And when the new recipe for applesauce cake, aka the recipe for love, is followed, the boys finally find their way to their HEA.
This is a sweet short story, perfect as the kickoff for the new series. RJ Scott’s style is very evident throughout the story up to and including the building of a wonderfully matched pair of MCs. I recommend this to all who enjoy a bit of a history mystery and a little whimsy with their M/M romance.
Cover Art by Reese Dante depicts two apples propped on a table in front of a propped up open cookbook. Since apples and Apple Tree Cottage feature prominently in this cookbook series, the picture fits the book perfectly.
ebook, 66 pages
Published April 1st 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
original title For a Rainy Afternoon
edition language English
series Tales of the Curious Cookbook
Tales of the Curious Cookbook series:
6 works, 5 primary works.
Five fun and fanciful stories about a rather curious cookbook!
Authors and Their Stories:
RJ Scott – For a Rainy Afternoon (Tales of the Curious Cookbook) by R.J. Scott
Amy Lane – Food for Thought (Tales of the Curious Cookbook) by Amy Lane
Marie Sexton – Lost Along the Way (Tales of the Curious Cookbook) by Marie Sexton
Amber Kell – Cookies for Courting (Tales of the Curious Cookbook) by Amber Kell
Mary Calmes – Just Desserts (Tales of the Curious Cookbook) by Mary Calmes
RJ Scott – Tales of the Curious Cookbook by R.J. Scott