Dine With me

Layla Reyne
Dine With me
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Carina Press
Release Date
September 2019
Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ

Life never tasted so good.

Miller Sykes's meteoric rise to award-winning chef is the stuff of culinary dreams, but it's all crashing down around him. He's been given a diagnosis that could cost him something even more precious than his life: his sense of taste. Rather than risk the very thing that defines him, Miller embarks on a last tour of his favorite meals while he still can.

But there's a catch: he needs a financial backer to make it happen, and he doesn't want anyone to know he's sick.

Dr. Clancy Rhodes has two weeks to come to terms with putting aside oncology to work at his father's thriving plastic surgery practice. When the opportunity to travel with a Michelin-starred chef presents itself, the foodie in him can't believe it. It doesn't hurt that Miller's rugged good looks are exactly Clancy's cup of joe.

As Clancy and Miller travel from coast to coast and indulge in everything from dive bars to the most decadent of culinary experiences, they're suddenly sharing a lot more than delicious meals. Sparks fly as they bond over their love of flavors and the pressures of great expectations. But when Miller's health takes a turn for the worse, Clancy must convince him he's more—so much more—than just his taste buds. And that together, they can win a battle that once seemed hopeless.

Book Review by Merissa (reviewer)
Sep 03, 2019   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
40 people found the following review helpful
DINE WITH ME is a change of direction from the Romantic Suspense novels I have read by Layla Reyne. And I don't mean in a bad way, as I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.

Miller is a chef, who has just closed down a restaurant, is getting a divorce from his best-friend/wife, oh, and by the way, has throat cancer too. There are many trials and tribulations he goes through, most of which are completely understandable, and you will certainly empathise with him as a character.

As for Clancy, he is a foodie and also a doctor. He has just agreed to work at his dad's plastic surgery clinic, although he has major doubts about that. His calling is for oncology, but he doesn't know how to let his dad down.

You travel with these two as they go from one special place to another, with Miller sharing his love of food. The attraction between these two simmers all the way through, overflowing at points.

With a fantastic supporting cast of characters, I thoroughly enjoyed the story as it panned out. I loved Miller's thought processes, and how Clancy worked.

There were no editing or grammatical errors that disrupted my reading, and I found the pacing to be perfect for the story.

Although we had an epilogue, I would still love to hear more from this couple! Absolutely recommended by me.
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Book Review by Pip (reviewer)
Sep 16, 2019   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
39 people found the following review helpful
DINE WITH ME is as much as a tribute to food as it is to romance: two weeks with an ailing celebrity chef (his self-imposed last rites, so to speak) and a foodie doctor on the verge of a career shift.

Layla Reyne takes a different direction with DINE WITH ME and by turning to gastronomy, automatically helped keep the pages turning as I lapped up the descriptions of food as much as I did of the growing tension and stark differences between Clancy Rhodes and Miller Sykes--one with an unfailing optimism for human life and the other, with a fatalistic view of life as well…because of their work and what they love most doing. In essence, their chance meeting when Clancy signs up for the food tour becomes a slow burn of smouldering looks, helpless moans and tingly feels over gourmet dishes, with some (un)timely intervention of family and friends on both sides.

Ms. Reyne walks the thin line here when it comes to relationships; Clancy's unusual--and frankly, rather unbelievable--family situation enables him to accept Miller's own without difficulty. I found the circumstances and the plot a bit more conveniently serendipitous and a bit more far-fetched than I liked, and struggled with the small niggle bits that had to do with characterisation.

It is difficult to reconcile Clancy's eager, enthusiastic puppy-dog demeanour with that of a 30-year-old doctor who'd seen too much in oncology, though it does play off nicely against Miller's stoic and gruff behaviour as he wrestles with his own mortality. Still, it all comes to an end rather quickly where I'd hoped Clancy could have played a bigger part in Miller's journey to recovery. Ms. Reyne focuses instead, more on food and the present rather than Clancy/Miller's relationship changing past the tour, then hops to conclusion a few years down the road that tells more than shows the hard journey to their HEA.

Still, there's a bit more poignancy and a lot more of the struggle for acceptance of change as the sobering thought of mortality lurks around the corner--it's just slower-paced though, and if food's the thing that revs your engine, DINE WITH ME offers something unusual and different.
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