Monday, April 18, 2016

Book Review: "Reserved" by Tracy Ewens

"Reserved" by Tracy Ewens has already been published and is available as a paperback and digitally. I don't usually read romances but somehow this book ended up on my list of books I said I'd review and I'm so glad it did. As I said, I never would have chosen it but it was serendipity that I ended up with it on my list. It was fantastic, a five out of five star read. 

I'd have to say I'm really hard on romance writers in general because I expect so much out of them (because I don't usually read them!). I expect no silly behavior that one wouldn't see in your friend or next door neighbor. I want a romance to be timed well, not to be rushed. I also expect, probably even more than I do with mysteries, for the characters to be well fleshed out and believable. I guess I'm saying that I don't suspend disbelief in the romance genre like I do with the mystery/thriller genre. That seems unfair but I I'm tickled pink to be able to say that this romance ticked off all the boxes above and more. I was shocked, to say the least. Here's what the general book is about.

Makenna Rye Conroy is a widow. She lost her beloved Adam five years ago only a few weeks after their only child, Paige, was born. Makenna has coped beautifully, she's a great mom and she has a terrific job as the manager of her brother's popular restaurant. She also helps out at the family farm. Travis works along side Makenna's brother as chef. Travis loves to make people happy with food and he's excellent at his job. He and Makenna have been friends and verbal sparring partners for years until one day Makenna is looking at Travis differently. She knows she has no time for romance and Travis isn't the kind of boyfriend she needs. He dates casually and Makenna is anything but a casual date. Travis knows this and that's why he has always thought of her as unattainable. But maybe it's time to change his mind and attitude. Over time Makenna and Travis start seeing that they may have more in common than they ever expected. Maybe there could be something special cooking in the kitchen that isn't food.

As I said, this was a five star read for me and it was so delightfully unexpected. It was like a wonderful lemon sorbet after a good meal. I read a lot of mysteries with dark plots and although this was not a trivial book it was so wonderfully palate cleansing. I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes good, strong characters who are trying hard to find more meaning in life. I loved how the author let the reader slowly learn the inner workings of the characters' thoughts and then let that imbue their ongoing behavior.

This would be a spectacular summer read. If you want something that's not depressing but has substance and terrific characters that you can relate to, this is the romance for you!


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