Reviewed by Dan
TITLE: Dinner at Jack’s
AUTHOR: Rick R. Reed
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 220 Pages
RELEASE DATE: October 3, 2016
Personal chef Beau St. Clair, recently divorced from his cheating husband, returns to the small Ohio River town where he grew up to lick his wounds. Jack Rogers lives with his mother, Maisie, in that same small town, angry at and frightened of the world. Jack has a gap in his memory that hides something he dares not face, and he’s probably suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Maisie, seeking relief from her housebound and often surly son, hires Beau to cook for Jack, hoping the change might help bring Jack, once a handsome and vibrant attorney, back to his former self. But can a new face and comfort food compensate for the terror lurking in Jack’s past?
Slowly the two men begin a dance of revelation and healing. Food and compassion build a bridge between Beau and Jack, a bridge that might lead to love.
But will Jack’s demons allow it? His history could just as easily tear them apart as bring them together.
Dinner at Jack’s was a book that dealt with second chances. We start out with a glimpse into the MC, Beau St. Clair’s, past. He was living in Seattle, and met and was instantly connected to a man named Jackson on their first date. But Beau had to leave town to travel to Ohio for Christmas…and when he got back Jackson didn’t answer or return his calls or emails.
Bereft, he stumbles through life and falls for another man, who he then marries. But four years later, he finds a response to a personal add on their joint computer and finds out his husband is a cheater.
Divorced and licking his wounds, he returns to the small (8,000 people small) town in Ohio where he grew up. He has a divorce settlement and some cash, so isn’t in a hurry to find a full time job. He rents a place to live and then answers an add on Craigslist for a mother looking for someone to cook occasional meals for her shut-in son. Beau is eminently qualified for the job because he is a Personal Chef, with years of experience.
The money isn’t an issue for him, so he decides to help the woman with her son. A son that is a nightmare. He throws his meals against the wall when he doesn’t like what she has prepared for him. Can Beau break through to the man? What will happen when Jack starts to remember the incident that made him the way he is?
I really liked this one. I liked the characters and the interplay between them. The only thing I was a little skeptical of was the “recipes” in the middle of the story, but I’m guessing it was because this was one of the author’s Romance with Recipes books. The recipes were also at the back of the book, as well as embedded in the story whenever Beau prepared a meal. I personally just kind of skimmed them or skipped them, but some readers might like the detail. That said, at the end of the book I read through them and found at least a couple that I’m going to try myself!
I highly recommend this one. If you’re not reading Rick R. Reed’s books, you should be.