Title: Dinner at Fiorello’s
Author: Rick R. Reed
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Characters: Henry Appleby, Vito Carelli
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance, Series
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.
I’ve read several books by Rick R. Reed, but Dinner at Fiorello’s is my favorite. One of the things I really love about Mr. Reed’s work is his ability to get to the heart and soul of his characters. They are well-written and often breathe off of the written page.
Henry has a major dilemma. He’s being pushed to follow into his father’s footsteps and have a career he has no desire to achieve. At first, Henry is a little lost. He’s confused about his life, worried about disappointing his parents and making the wrong move. When he comes across the small restaurant Fiorello’s, there is something about it that really pulls at him. He instinctively knows he must work there and try something different. When he does, he take chances and loses a lot, but he ends up gaining so much more in the process…because Henry discovers who he really is and what kind of man he wants to become.
Vito has experienced loss. As the head chef at Fiorello’s he’s a hard worker, takes pride in his job and gets satisfaction for job well done. He’s pushed others away because of his grief, but when young Henry begins to work at Fiorello’s, Vito can’t help but feel something for him.
I really liked how these two men connected with one another. Sure, there is an intense chemistry between them, but there was also a very strong emotional connection they shared that really leaped off of the written page. I loved watching these two men become friends and then lovers. The pacing of their story is perfect and all in all Dinner at Fiorello’s was a deeply satisfying read.
Dinner at Fiorello’s is a well-written, thought provoking, sweet and sexy read that was a true joy to read. I loved every minute I spent reading this book and can’t wait to read more books in this series.
Dinner at Fiorello’s is the second book in the Dinner series. I admit, I haven’t read the first book, Dinner at Home, but had no issue with being lost in the story as it definitely can be read alone in the series. I’ll be reading the first book in the series very soon and hope Mr. Reed will write more books in the series in the future.
Reviewed By: Gabbi
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