Reviewed by Marieke
TITLE: Jesse’s Diner
SERIES: The Hope Collection
AUTHOR: Cardeno C
PUBLISHER: The Romance Authors, LLC
LENGTH: 112 pages
Two men with a shared history and a mutual attraction must be honest with themselves and each other so both their dreams come true.
Quiet, unassuming Tanner Sellers spends his time running a diner in Hope, Arizona. Not particularly social, twenty-two-year-old Tanner keeps to himself and enjoys his simple life, but he longs for someone to call his own. In his most secret fantasy, that someone is sexy Steve Faus. But Steve is his friend’s father and mentor’s widower and therefore off-limits.
Despite some challenges, thirty-nine-year-old Steve Faus has had a good life. He’s extremely successful at work, has a great relationship with his college-age son, and lives in a wonderful town. Eighteen months after losing his partner, the one thing Steve lacks is someone to share his life. If Steve is honest with himself, that someone is the young man he has known and cared about for years. Steve and Tanner want one another, all they need is a little push in the right direction to make both their dreams come true.
Tanner is only 22 but already owns a diner, Jesse’s Diner. Jesse was his mentor and friend, and left Tanner the diner after he died of cancer. Jesse also happened to be his best friend’s––Mike–– dad, and the partner of his biggest crush, Steve––only crush really.
Mike tries to talk him into changing the interior of the diner, that his dad would’ve wanted it. But Tanner feels guilty about inheriting the restaurant from Jesse, while Mike and Steve should’ve been the ones to get it. But Mike is in college and doesn’t want it, and Steve has a great job that pays way more than the diner ever would.
Then one day Mike calls Tanner to ask him if he could check up on Steve, because he’s supposedly acting weird at his job. That’s the start of a vast friendship and later on, love.
The love between Tanner and Steve is already there from the start, but it looks like we, the readers, are the only ones to see that. Their friendship develops over dinners from the diner, and their shared love for Jesse and Mike.
It’s fun to read how Steve tries to flirt with Tanner and how Tanner has absolutely no idea it’s happening. And even more fun to see how Steve finally gives in and lays it all out on the table. God, men can be so dense. There was one little (okay big) surprise in the story, but both characters don’t make a big deal out of it, which was nice.
When the clue of the story finally dropped, I already expected it. I think everyone would, but it was still pretty heart warming.
The story was shorter than I expected, so the ending was pretty fast and not nearly as satisfying as I would’ve liked, but it was still cute. The whole book was kind of fast paced, which can be fun if you like it. I happen to love slow burn and slow paced books, but even so, this was not by any means rushed or unfinished. Just not as slow and extensive as I wished it was.
Good story, lovely characters, well written.