Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Life never tasted so good.
Miller Sykes’s meteoric rise to award-winning chef is the stuff of culinary dreams, but it’s all crashing down around him. He’s been given a diagnosis that could cost him something even more precious than his life: his sense of taste. Rather than risk the very thing that defines him, Miller embarks on a last tour of his favorite meals while he still can.
But there’s a catch: he needs a financial backer to make it happen, and he doesn’t want anyone to know he’s sick.
Dr. Clancy Rhodes has two weeks to come to terms with putting aside oncology to work at his father’s thriving plastic surgery practice. When the opportunity to travel with a Michelin-starred chef presents itself, the foodie in him can’t believe it. It doesn’t hurt that Miller’s rugged good looks are exactly Clancy’s cup of joe.
As Clancy and Miller travel from coast to coast and indulge in everything from dive bars to the most decadent of culinary experiences, they’re suddenly sharing a lot more than delicious meals. Sparks fly as they bond over their love of flavors and the pressures of great expectations. But when Miller’s health takes a turn for the worse, Clancy must convince him he’s more—so much more—than just his taste buds. And that together, they can win a battle that once seemed hopeless.
I love stories that mix food with romance. The two just naturally go together, a exploration of the sensual, the ability to explore new cultures through new tastes and dishes, just the spices alone can be so heady. Just like falling in love itself. They are, as they say, a perfect blend.
When the chef or in this case, the author, gets it right.
And here in Dine With Me by Layla Reyne, the author gets it word for word, recipe by recipe, and scene by scene splendidly right.
I am not familiar enough with this author’s stories to know if this is the exception or the rule, but I mean to find out. From the layered characterizations that spoke to me to the many restaurants and dishes served up throughout the novel that speaks of the author’s love and appreciation of food and the chef’s in the kitchens, everything about Dine With Me was a journey to delight in and remember.
The author can go to making your mouth water for truffles to having your heart wrench over the pain being felt by the characters,Miller Sykes especially. Clancy and Mike, as well as sall the other people here are so well crafted they become alive, and you fall into their lives from the moment you meet them and begin their journey.
And oh what a trip that will be… no spoilers here…but trust that it’s one you would wish to take yourself. It sounds as though the author was intimately familiar with each and every place and for that Im envious and happy for her. Those descriptions of the dishes and food are rich, you can almost smell the aromas, taste the umami, and let the savory and salt undertones melt in your mouth. OK, bring a drool cloth.
That ending? It was everything I wanted and more. It made my heart overflow. Just what I need in my contemporary love stories and maybe even more.
So yes, run , don’t walk and get Dine with Me by Layla Reyne. I love this story and only wish I could have lingered a bit longer is only to savor in this couple’s happiness and taste more of that incredible food by proxy.
Cover art by Carina Press does everything but make that table twinkle. Pull out a chair for me.
Expected publication: September 16th 2019 by Carina Press
ISBN 148805391X (ISBN13: 9781488053917)
Edition Language English