Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Quick Looks: Just A Taste

Just a Taste
By Deirdre Martin

Contemporary Romance

The Premise: Vivi Robitaille and her half sister Natalie have moved from France to the U.S. to follow their dream of opening a little bistro. They end up leasing a place in Brooklyn, right across from Dante’s, a family owned Brooklyn institution. Current chef and proprietor Anthony Dante’s wife died just over a year before, and since then he has devoted himself to his work. Dante’s is his life, and he takes everything related to it very, very personally. He’s not happy when the two mademoiselles show up to begin work on their restaurant, especially since Vivi is so opinionated about everything culinary. What starts as nothing but a rivalry between two talented chefs slowly becomes friendly competition and eventually attraction. Both characters, however, have issues from their past to overcome. They also have a few problems in the present: Vivi’s sister is supposed to be handling the finances, but the only place she seems willing to spend money is at Saks; Anthony’s brother and co-owner Michael has just retired from his professional hockey career, and has all sorts of helpful advice on everything from hiring to the menu.
Vivi and Anthony have a lot of baggage to unload before they can live happily ever after.

What I Liked: I really loved the Brooklyn neighborhood setting, and the way the clash of cultures between Vivi and Anthony worked into the story. The supporting characters were very well portrayed, especially Aldo the headwaiter and Insane Lorraine. This story is related to Martin’s series featuring the New York Blades hockey team, and it was fun to see some of the characters and story lines cross over. The chemistry between the hero and heroine was good, particularly all the culinary bickering and one-upmanship.

What I didn’t like: Food! Food! Food! Hard for a dieting blogging librarian to avoid breaking down and ordering take-out!

Overall: Very tasty. I will definitely read more from Deirdre Martin.

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