A Stella Review: Home Skillet (Culinary Kings #1) by Cate Ashwood & Sandra Damian


RATING 2,5 out of 5 stars

Sometimes the only way to move forward… is to go back.


I don’t know what’s more shocking—the sudden end to my marriage, or the fact that I’d married a woman at all. But now I’m broke and homeless, kicked out of my Upper West Side apartment while my ex-wife walks away with everything we’ve ever worked for.

So what’s an executive chef stripped of his dignity gonna do?

Go back to Jersey with his tail between his legs, that’s what.


I can’t say that spending a decade pining after my best friend was the best use of my time. While I’d pretty much become an expert at the whole unrequited love thing, I’d resigned myself to the fact that Jimmy and I were never gonna happen. But when Jimmy turned up on my doorstep in his hour of need, I jumped at the chance to offer him my bed—er, couch. I mean, what are friends for, right?

Now that he’s released from the shackles of matrimony, I can’t wait to show him exactly what he’s been missing out on all these years.

What I didn’t anticipate was him showing me that maybe I’d been missing out too.

There is nothing wrong with Home Skillet. The plot was interesting, the characters worked well together. There was a growth in the romance, a happy ending. The book is well written but I had no doubts because I know how well Cate can write. These are all the reasons why I gave the novel that (not so low as I meant) rating. I’ll be more than honest and say that I would probably put it on my DNF list if I didn’t have to review it. And I’m so sorry to say it because Cate Ashwood is one of my favorite authors, but I spent three weeks reading Home Skillet, I put it down and restarted it a couple of times and then just resigned myself to finish it in small doses.

Considering all the positive things I previously mentioned, I should have liked the novel but nope, it simply didn’t work to me. And the reason stays in the characters.  I loathed them from the start. Especially the first half of the book, I found both of them heartless, cold. I saw Jimmy taking advantage of Ben, after years spent ignoring his best friend and focused just on creating his success. I can’t like people who put their career before their feelings, and I couldn’t like Jimmy. Moreover I saw Ben spending the same years working a shit of a job and becoming a shallow person. I blamed Jimmy for this and I couldn’t overcome my dislike of him. Sure from a certain point in the story he gained points but it was too late to start enjoying the novel.

I will definitely read more from these authors and the next installment in the Culinary Kings series, this one was a huge disappointment for me.

The cover art by Cate Ashwood is well done but I can’t see Jimmy and Ben in the models on it.



Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 196 pages

Published May 31st 2018 by Kydala Publishing, Inc.


Edition Language English

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