This isn’t a bad book but it’s not brilliant. I could leave it and go do other things in the house and it would not call to me, keep me riveted reading it. Actually, when I started to review I realized I hadn’t finished it, so did a quick read to finish. It’s not a brilliant plot but its a nice story. I think the reason it didn’t excite me is that there are no strong feelings. The characters have issues about happenings in their past but I didn’t get the sense of passion or angst. The writing is good and the pace is good, but it felt superficial. I know there are other books that this author has written that I have liked, like the Aces Hockey series, but for some reason this series is not working for me.
Reese is working at the Conquistadors Tequila Bar. Her boss is Cade, who deals with the finances and supervises the staff. She’s working as a waitress but is having problems with the food served at the bar. She considers it sub-par, and lets her boss know. The bar cook, Sid, tries but he has no imagination and his offerings are very mediocre. I instantly realized that Reese must be a chef, and of course, she is. She was a coming up chef in New York but something traumatic happened and she had to leave New York and establish herself in San Diego for a while. It’s supposed to be temporary.
Cade is a manwhore, and the woman he had one-night stands with frequently upper at the bar, crying for another chance or for him to accept that they had something special. He always lets them down gently but all this groveling from the women causes scorn in Reese. So now I know that she’s attracted to Cade and the scorn is some kind of jealousy.
When it comes out that Reese is a chef and she starts helping with the menu and the cooking, the sales of the bar start rising. Cade and Reese are working together closely and develop a friendship that develops into lovers. Then we learn about their hangups; Cade had an abusive childhood and Reese had a horrible experience in the restaurant she worked in New York and has PTSD. She has a cute dog called Jack that is a foster and she insists she won’t stay with him, since she’s temporary there. Yeah, right.
The story was predictable and the good thing in the book was the chemistry between Cade and Reese. The sex scenes were skimmed over but the good times between the three friends and their girlfriends were enjoyed. It’s a good book, just not great.