I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Just a Taste by Shannyn Schroeder
Series: O'Leary's #5
Published by Lyrical Press on January 19, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Grief has brought them together again—will love open the door to their future? When it’s an O’Leary in the picture, finding out is just part of the adventure…
Carmen Delgado is left reeling when her father dies. Taking care of him has been her sole purpose for so long, she’s forgotten what it’s like to have dreams of her own. And with steady, sexy Liam O’Leary inheriting a share in her dad’s successful food truck, Carmen is suddenly free to explore her life’s possibilities. She never expected Liam to provide the kind of temptation she’s not sure she can resist…
A talented chef, Liam O’Leary has been itching to open his own restaurant for years—and the death of his mentor is a reminder that time passes too quickly. Gus’s Taco Taxi isn’t exactly what he dreamed of, but he can’t desert Gus’s daughter. Working side by side is an unexpected pleasure—and grownup Carmen is alluring in all new ways. Is love on the menu—or will old fears and insecurities drive them apart?
When Carmen Delgado’s father died, she was left adrift as her life had been committed to taking care of him and helping with his business. Her father was also Liam O’Leary’s mentor, encouraging him to pursue a culinary career. While he loves being a chef, he’s not all that happy working for his current restaurant employer. When he goes to pay his respects to Carmen, it’s a foundation to reconnect and form a new relationship, business and personal.
I really liked Carmen and Liam, she with all of her latent business and cooking skills and he with his natural charm and love for all things cooking. It was really very interesting to learn about food truck management as it’s a current phenomenon with lots of regulatory issues. I also found it clever how their relationship developed around the food truck, boils and all.
The romance, however, was missing the essential ingredients to hook me. They were both very nice people but the transition from friends to lovers just lacked passion and Carmen’s cousin Rosa just made things confusing.
I would have also preferred to see more depth to the story involving Liam’s mother and her feelings about Carmen. It felt unresolved and downright insulting, leaving me in a not-so-good place. That includes sister, Maggie, main character in the next book. I’m not sure I care to read her story now.
This was a very interesting story, even though the romance was lukewarm. I was enjoying the family dynamics, too, until the storyline involving Liam’s mother and Maggie. Normally, this is one of the highlights of the series and it just struck a wrong chord. But, Liam’s interactions with the rest of his family made for some really delightful moments. Maybe the next book will resolve these issues.
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