Friday, May 5, 2017

Book Review: Devil's Food at Dusk by M.J. O'Shea & Anna Martin

Joe Fitzgerald hates New Orleans, but he’s stuck there until he convinces one stubborn local family to sell Lumière, the crumbling French Quarter restaurant they’ve owned for generations. The place is a wreck, and it’s hemorrhaging money. Joe figures he's their best chance for survival.

Remy Babineaux despises Pineapple Joe’s and everything the chain stands for. He refuses to let Lumière become some tacky corporate tourist trap. Theme drinks and plastic beads in his restaurant? Yeah, right. Over his dead, rotting corpse. The last thing Remy wants is a meeting with the restaurant chain’s representative, but his father agreed to at least listen to the proposal. There’s nothing Remy can do about it.

Remy figures an anonymous hookup is exactly what he needs to decompress. When he ends up across the table from his fling the next morning, real sparks fly. Joe refuses to give up his prime location; Remy refuses to give up his legacy. It’s war, and they’re both determined to win at any cost. Neither of them counted on falling in love.

I've read the two previous books in this series - I absolutely adored Soufflés at Sunrise - so I was excited about this third offering. Unfortunately, I did not connect with the storyline or the characters. The overall premise of the book is interesting, but the one-dimensional characters and unnecessary filler made the story suffer in my opinion.

I know many readers did not like Joe, but I felt the opposite. To me, he was just a guy trying to do his job. For all of Remy's posturing about the restaurant, the readers (and some of his family members) could see what was really going on. Granted, there was a huge conflict of interest when it came to Joe and Remy, but they were both at fault for that. As for Remy, I loved his passion for the culinary arts, the family restaurant and his family, but he seemed a little too entitled, way too stubborn and too whiny for my liking. The fact that he would have rather sent his family into financial ruin for the sake of nostalgia and his own pride, rubbed me the wrong way. His brother, Andr
é, was nice enough, but relied too much on his family for just about everything and didn't seem like he could be his own person outside of them. The various storylines involving Remy's friends and family received more time than needed and weighed the book down. I also felt that the ending felt abrupt and a little too perfect, making me wonder why the conflict had been drawn out so long if it was only going to be wrapped up nicely after one gesture; granted, it was a huge gesture.

All in all, this was an okay read for me.

2.5 stars

Buy link
Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

~ M

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