Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
The fourth in the Cookbook Series, each written by a different author, Marie Sexton brings us an amazing story in Lost Along the Way. It’s complex, heart-breaking, heart-warming, full of angst and simmering sexual tension, then topped with a sweet layer of love.
When Denver meteorologist, Daniel Whitaker, receives word that his parents have been killed in a car crash, his heart is broken. And it’s not only because they are dead—it’s because he’s been estranged from them for fifteen years and had only recently begun speaking to them again. Now his planned trip to his hometown of Laramie, Wyoming won’t be bringing the joy, healing, and peace he had thought it would. His parents rejected him when he told them he was gay and that he planned to spend his life with his soulmate, Chris. Though they aren’t legally married, he and Chris are still together, and Daniel thinks of him as his husband.
Three months later, Daniel finally makes his way to his parent’s home to begin the process of cleaning up and selling their house. He hadn’t needed to go there when they passed since they had made arrangements to be buried in their hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, and their neighbor, Landon Kushner, offered to take care of the house until Daniel could get there.
Landon is as far from Daniel’s imagination as he can get. Based on how beautifully he kept up the property, and the fact that he went through the kitchen and got rid of the perishables, Daniel pictures a neat and tidy middle-aged man. The reality is that Landon is gruff, built, sloppy, but sexy, with a beard that is far past neat and bordering on scruffy. But he has a heart of gold and offers to help Daniel sort and clean out the house. Daniel takes him up on the offer in exchange for giving Landon many of the knickknacks from the overly cluttered house. Each weekend they work together and Daniel sees more and more that Landon is all about joy and freedom. His wind sculptures—huge monstrosities of scrap metal are not ugly like Daniel first thought—they’re beautiful, wild creations that capture the spirit of both the land and the man who created them.
When “Recipes for the Heart: Mystical Meals and Dangerous Desserts” by Granny B. is delivered to Daniel’s address with Landon’s name on it, the real fun begins.
Daniel has been realizing more and more that he is happier on the weekends with Landon than he is on the weekdays at his job and with Chris. Chris has been cold and distant for months and turns down every opportunity to go to Laramie with Daniel. He also works evenings and weekends—when he is working and not losing another job. They have no sex life either, so as the stress of traveling back and forth and getting no support from Chris starts to wear on Daniel, he begins to wonder if they should stay together or break up. Then one morning after going for a jog, Daniel discovers that Landon has made bread from the Granny B cookbook and the sexual tension heats up. Each recipe in the cookbook solves a problem, or brings out an emotion, and apparently this particular bread brings on the sexual tension, so much so, that Daniel escapes quickly and goes home to shower. In the shower, he’s seized with images of Landon taking a shower at the same time across the street at his home. Though it’s in his imagination, the sex that follows feels very real, and it shows him that he really needs to do something about Chris.
What happens, and what Daniel finds out when he decides to make the meatloaf that is “for finding what was lost along the way”, shocks Daniel and turns his world upside down.
I really liked this story. I’ve always loved a slow burn/ust story and this one definitely has that and more. Plus, the characters are so well-described and their personalities so well-developed, that I felt like I knew them. To me, this is the best of the series to date. As I stated at the beginning of this review, it was romance at its best. This one is a beautiful love story of not only one man for another, but of family—both family of origin and family of the heart—and it’s one of those stories where the HEA is so worth the wait! Don’t hesitate to buy this book.
Cover Art by Reese Dante depicts a loaf of bread in front of an open cookbook. Since that bread features prominently in a very interesting scene in this story, the cover is perfect for this book and ties it to others in the series.
ebook, 128 pages
Published April 15th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
original titleLost Along the Way
seriesTales 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