Monday, December 1, 2014

Chef's Table by Lynn Charles: Guest Post #Review #Giveaway @LynnCharlesNet @GoddessFish @InterludePress

Chef's Table
by Lynn Charles

Expected publication: December 2nd 2014
Genres: M/M, Contemporary, Romance
Chef Evan Stanford has climbed the New York City culinary ladder one proper rung at a time, earning himself the Rising Star James Beard award and an executive chef position at one of New York City's favored restaurants in Hell's Kitchen. But in his quest to build his reputation, he's forgotten what got him there; the lessons on food—and life—from a loving neighbor back home in Illinois.

Patrick Sullivan lives a contented life in Brooklyn cooking at Johnny's diner, keeping the memory of his grandmother and her Irish cooking alive even in the foods she never taught him to prepare. When Chef Stanford comes into his diner requesting and enjoying one of his grandmother's specialties, he's swept up by Evan's drive, his passion, forcing himself to reconsider if a contented life is a fulfilled one.

With much in common, the two men—and Evan's particularly spoiled pug Dini—begin a journey through their culinary histories falling into an easy friendship. Even with the joys of their newfound love, and the guidance and support of friends old and new, can they tap into that secret recipe of great love, great food and transcendent joy?
Carly: Today I'm pleased to be welcoming Lynn Charles to my blog for the first time. I've asked her to tell us about creating a recipe for love and she did an awesome job!
Lynn: So, I must start with a small preamble. This prompt sort of tripped me up. So, I went to Google to see if I couldn't jump start my brain with something clever or cheesy or, well, let's use the puns to their full capacity here, appetizing. 

And what I found there put a whole new spin on cheesy, taking it straight to saccharine and cloying. While groaning at that reality, all I could hear were my characters offering their own ingredients for the recipe for love. And then I had my answer. 

Here's what they had to say to the question, "Give me one ingredient for the recipe for love." 

Ross: Cleavage. Love lasts for about an hour for me. 

Natalie: Tenderness 

Robin: That little heart palpitation that stirs you every time they walk into the room 

Jay: ::lifts his hands up:: That move. "Yes, honey." Punctuated with a kiss just in case. 

Johnny: Knowing when to buy her flowers and when to just let her stew 

DiSante: Enough money to send her off to Cabo every six months 

Mimi: Chemistry—like when Patrick makes marshmallows for Christmas. Sugar syrup and gelatin mixed together become this big white fluffy ooze of sugary goodness. That's what it should be like when two people mix together. 

Angel: Letting her see that you're not the big dumb brute you pretend to be 

Perci: Maybe DiSante isn't as creepy as I thought. I'll take the money and go. 

Rosey: You know what I've never had before but I have now? Laughter. That's the best feeling in the world—laughing with someone. 

Roger: Ehh, I'm not so good at that love business. A little extra time maybe. Everyone's always in such a damned hurry. 

Patrick: Passion, in all its forms. 

Evan: There has to be a secret ingredient: that one thing between the two of you that drives each other mad—the good kind of mad—that will still every argument, that will soften every harsh word, that will reignite every dulled day. And no, you may not have ours. 

I'm not sure how their love stew would taste, but it surely would be a fun ride. And really, that's what love should be. A fun, joyous ride. A little sweet. A little acid. A lot of chemistry and patience to let it all marry together into one delicious dish.

Evan was used to distractions in the kitchen. His job was buoyed by auditory distractions: printers clicking a constant tick-tick-tick of new orders; cooks chattering about the food, their horrible mothers-in-law and how drunk they'd gotten the night before; expeditors shouting orders and the general clang-sizzle-hiss of food prep all served not only as a droned soundtrack, but also a constant distraction. You learned to work with it, if not for it. 
But this distraction—Patrick's lips moving up the curve of his neck, hot breath tickling his ear right before the damp warmth of his tongue traced the shell of it; Patrick’s arm wrapped firmly around his waist, hand dipping knuckle deep into the waistband of his lounge pants, the other covering his own hand on the sauté pan handle, "helping" him flip the asparagus over the heat—was a distraction he could not get used to.
Not that he wanted to. Not at all.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A delicious romance from start to finish, CHEF'S TABLE is a heartfelt and entertaining story about discovering who you are while experiencing the incredible journey that is finding love.

Ask any of his acquaintances and they would tell you that Chef Evan Stanford lives a charmed life. Having worked his way from busboy to executive chef, he has developed a reputation for hard work, creativity and excellence both in and out of the kitchen. However, if you asked Evan, you would discover that not everything is as it seems. His overwhelming success is marred by the sense that something is missing, or was lost along the way... but what?

Patrick creates simple yet delicious dishes in a local diner. His love for cooking is only surpassed by his love of living. Content with his place in life, Patrick can't help but be swept away by the passionate and driven Chef that shows up in his diner one night and keeps coming back for more.

Opposite personalities attract over their mutual love of the flavors, textures, and adventure of creating new and delicious dishes. Each young man challenges the other to look beyond what is comfortable and reach for something more.

CHEF'S TABLE is an engaging story with passionately written characters, mouthwatering word pictures and emotions so honest they were nearly tangible. Evan and Patrick have a unique chemistry that represents the ideal of unconditional love and the supporting characters are both hilarious and enchanting. A true feel-good romance with a happy ever after, CHEF'S TABLE reminded me of the importance of family, love, living life to the fullest and appreciating every day for the gift it is.

Lynn Charles’ love of writing dates back to her childhood, but took shape as an adult, when she found herself expressing her grief in a years' worth of journaled letters to a lifelong friend who passed unexpectedly. She has been writing works of fiction in the online fan community since 2002, where thousands of readers have enjoyed her stories.

She lives in central Ohio with her husband, two adult children and a small menagerie of animals. When she’s not writing, she can be found working at her county library, riding bikes with her husband and strolling local farmer’s markets in search of ingredients for new recipes.

Chef’s Table is her debut novel.
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  1. Thank you so much for hosting me and for your lovely review. It was fun picking at my character's brains one more time!

    1. It was my pleasure. Thank you for sharing your book with me!

  2. Thanks for the review! I'm definitely reading this, sounds like a nice reading. =)

  3. Congratulations on the new book! I love the entire post . And the recipe for love was cute.

    1. Thank you so much. It was a fun post to write.

  4. I enjoyed the excerpt and Congratulations on the release of your new book it sounds really good.

  5. loved the little special ingredients for love! :D

  6. Love the premise!

    Trix, vitajex(at)aol(Dot)com

  7. I liked the guest post and the review.

  8. I agree with Evan. There is a special something, isn't there??

    1. I'd say it's almost required.

    2. I'm fortunate to have that with Mr. Teach. It sounds like you have a good one, too!

  9. Great comments everyone! Thank you so much for stopping by today. =)