Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Rules of the Chef

Author: Nicole Dennis
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Publisher URL: www.totallybound.com
ISBN/BIN: 978-0-85715-679-2
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary Series
Rating: 3 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Chef Dakota Mitchell loves his restaurant, Southern Delights.  When his friend and business partner sells his hotel portion of their Bed and Breakfast—Southern Charm—Dakota’s saddled with a new partner he doesn’t want. 

The Ashford Hotels wants to start a collection of unique boutique hotels and plans to start with Southern Charm as their first acquisition. When Samuel Ashford arrives he’s ready to make huge changes to correct its rundown appearance, but didn’t count on the resistance of his new partner. He also doesn’t expect the sizzling attraction to a man he argues with constantly. Can Dakota and Sam come to an agreement and make a life together?

Rules of the Chef is the first book in the new series, Southern Charm by Nicole Dennis. I liked the premise for this new M/M series. I mean what could be better than two good looking guys at the beach and one of them is a great chef. Who doesn’t love a man who can cook?

I enjoyed how the story began. Dakota’s passionate about his restaurant and obviously loves his friend and the bed and breakfast they own. His quirky relationship with the people who work at the B & B and their bantering dialogue made me smile. He seems like a likable guy but the moment Sam arrives, the problems begin. Dakota doesn’t want to make changes and he acts like an arrogant ass. From this point on his personality is definitely flawed and pretty unappealing during most of the remainder of the book. Sam’s supposed to be attracted to Dakota but his attitude is so terrible that I don’t know why he would be. At least they don’t jump into bed immediately.

What I liked: Getting to see Dakota and Sam shopping. I enjoyed the early morning fish market scene. It was funny and added a nice growth moment to their relationship. There are a few secondary characters that were nice additions—Mal and Elise in particular, and I’d like to know more about them. There are also a few townspeople that made appearances who I assume we’ll see again in the future.

Where I have issues: Aside from the landscaping at the Southern Charm I didn’t have a good feel for what else needed to be fixed. Dakota’s a businessman. He should have had a better handle on his kitchen. And Sam—the idea that he spent days sorting paperwork is crazy. Why didn’t he have help? And they kept talking about Chandler, the wonder accountant, but he never appeared. I guess we’ll see him in the next book. My biggest complaint is the abrupt ending after the last minute drama involving Sam. I find this kind of ploy to sell the next book, not only disappointing, but annoying. It left me feeling like the book had stopped at the mid-way point and I was missing the last half. Not a good emotion for a reader.

As, I previously said, I like the premise, so I hope the series get the glitches worked out because it has so much potential.

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