A novel offers a contemporary romance about a young, widowed mother who surprises herself when she starts to fall for her brother’s longtime best friend.
Ewens (Taste: A Love Story, 2015, etc.) introduces heroine Makenna Rye Conroy five years after her husband’s untimely death. Makenna is raising their daughter on her own and making ends meet by working in her brother’s trendy California restaurant, known as The Yard. She finally feels that she has gotten her life back to a stable, comfortable place where she can relax and focus on her daughter. Yet one night she experiences an unsettling dream about her brother’s closest friend, Travis McNulty, and suddenly, her focus shifts almost entirely to him. While Makenna manages the finances at the restaurant, Travis, one of the head chefs, exhibits a talent and passion for exquisite dishes. Despite the fact that she has worked side by side with Travis for quite some time, his appearance in her dreams makes her wonder if her mild attraction to him actually runs deeper. The reader learns that Travis has a long-held hankering for Makenna, but he never fancied the feelings would be returned. When he finally sees an opening into Makenna’s life, he doesn’t want to let the opportunity pass. As she and Travis grow closer, Makenna worries that their relationship will upset the delicate balance she has finally achieved between toiling at the restaurant and raising her daughter. Through many compelling scenes at the restaurant, Makenna’s family farm, and even the fussy private school her daughter attends, Ewens shows the central couple dancing in circles around each other for much of the tale. All the while, the author peppers the book with unique details about the restaurant where the pair works, the trendy and singular dishes served, and the quirky clientele. The story’s pacing is fast and engaging, and romantic suspense should keep readers turning pages. Although readers will likely predict the tale’s outcome, the couple’s journey is worth following.
A wholesome and uplifting tale of second chances and gourmet mac and cheese, perfect for romantic foodies.