Saturday, August 26, 2017

Dinner at Fiorello's by Rick R. Reed in the Feel-Good True Romance Bundle

Henry Appleby has an appetite for life. As a recent high school graduate and the son of a wealthy family in one of Chicago’s affluent North Shore suburbs, his life is laid out for him. Unfortunately, though, he’s being forced to follow in the footsteps of his successful attorney father instead of living his dream of being a chef. When an opportunity comes his way to work in a real kitchen the summer after graduation, at a little Italian joint called Fiorello’s, Henry jumps at the chance, putting his future in jeopardy.

Years ago, life was a plentiful buffet for Vito Carelli. But a tragic turn of events now keeps the young chef at Fiorello’s quiet and secretive, preferring to let his amazing Italian peasant cuisine do his talking. When the two cooks meet over an open flame, sparks fly. Both need a taste of something more—something real, something true—to separate the good from the bad and find the love—and the hope—that just might be their salvation.

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Dreamspinner Press

Also Available in Feel-Good True Romance

Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

5 The Feels stars.

Dinner at Fiorello's is a cross between coming-of-age and second-chance romance. Emotional, fast-paced, the book had an addictive, emotional quality.

Henry is a recent high school graduate, so his narration was befitting of Young Adult on the cusp of New Adult. I'm a sucker for coming-of-age. The boy has been locked-in by his father's life choices. Where he will intern, where he will go to college, where he will work as a grown adult, living in his father's shadow, by his father's rules, never living his own life.

Henry is on the outs with his lifelong best friend. His father is a demanding taskmaster, and his mother is absentee. The only person who is in his corner is his family's housekeeper, the woman who raised him.

Henry is a sweet, caring, and giving boy, motivated to carve out his own life. So when he sees an ad on Craigslist for Fiorello's, he jumps at the chance to go into the food-industry... where he meets Vito.

Vito is almost a decade older, but life choices and harsh reality has him acting more like twenty years older, not a man in his late twenties. Vito's narration follows closely to second-chance romance. Struggling to reach out and connect with his human emotions, Vito would rather be a workaholic and hug his two giant dogs. But he has a hard time ignoring the boy who is growing on him.

Henry and Vito take a journey of self-discovery, with the romance weaving in the background. The story itself is focused on character development, not romance and between-the-sheets action, creating very lifelike, easy to relate to, and highly emotional characterizations.

Dinner at Fiorello's is one of the reasons why I adore Rick R. Reed. I highly recommend to those who love an emotional journey featuring all the hurdles MM Romance generally provides.

This is an absolute gem of a story. You really should just go and read it and you will know what I mean without needing the rest of my review!

We are given the story of two very different men, at different points in their lives, and yet a look across a busy kitchen and they are fated to be in each other's lives (one hopes – forever). Both Henry and Vito get to tell us their deepest secrets, and we share their losses, their loves, and their lives. I love how they are travelling on completely different planes and yet find each other. I love Henry's innocence and naivety, and Vito's old man world-weariness (even though he is not even 30!). And I enjoyed all the characters that stood around them, whether positive or otherwise – for they all contributed to creating the men that we are given a chance to meet.

Mr. Reed, you excelled yourself with this wonderful tale, thank you.

RICK R. REED is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery, and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love. He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation, and The Blue Moon Cafe). His novel, Raining Men, won the Rainbow Award for Best Contemporary General Fiction. Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.” Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.”

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Dinner at Fiorello's by Rick R. Reed in the Feel-Good True Romance bundle to read and review.

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