Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a contemporary M/M romance from Killian Brewer. LUNCH WITH THE DO-NOTHINGS AT THE TAMMY DINETTE is a sweet story about a young man finding a home and family (and love!) where he least expected it.
Catch the excerpt and $25 GC and book giveaway below!
Marcus intends to sell the house to finance his dreams, but a group of lovable busybodies, the Do Nothings, a new job at the local diner, the Tammy Dinette, and a handsome mechanic named Hank cause Marcus to rethink his plans.
Will he return to the life he knew, or will he finally put down roots?
How about a little taste?
Over the course of the next month, Marcus fell easily into the rhythm of his new life in the diner. The black ring around his eye faded, and thoughts of Robert and his mangled car began to fade as well. Francine and he perfected their frenzied dance around each other behind the grill when the diner was filled to capacity. As he worked, the familiar tools of spatula, whisk, and knife once again became extensions of his hand, and the smells of bacon frying and eggs cooking made his appetite for food and life return. The silly names the sisters invented for customers made Marcus belly laugh, the sensation of it bubbling up in his chest an almost-forgotten pleasure. With each passing day, it grew easier to rise early in the morning and catch a ride to the diner with Francine or one of the girls.
The only part of the day he dreaded was life outside the diner and returning to a too-quiet house filled with photographs of people who shared his face and name, but who were complete strangers. The house was in theory his home, but it still seemed as if he was intruding on someone else’s space. He hadn’t bothered to unpack the few clothes left in his duffel bag or put away the clean clothes from the laundry basket on the bedroom floor. In the silence of his grandmother’s house, he would hear the ringing of Robert’s plaintive texts, the nagging thoughts about what to do with his wrecked car, and the haunting words of his mother, “Baby, it’s time to move on.”
More and more, he lingered well past the end of his shift at the diner to avoid going to the house. Usually he would end his day by wandering over to the Do Nothing’s corner booth to check on the latest town gossip or to see how preparations for the hoedown were going. Marcus would shuffle his way into the booth and tuck himself between Helen and Inez so that the women could explain to him who each person they gossiped about was. Most of the names meant nothing to him until he began to connect them with their usual orders, just as he had at the Waffle Barn. The more stories the Do Nothings told about the customers who hurried in and out of the diner daily, the more the citizens of Marathon seemed like friends. He would sit happily silent and let the women’s laughter and rapid-fire words sooth his work-weary muscles as he sank into the padding of the booth.
But not today.
He had finished cleaning the cooking area, flung his apron onto its hook, and headed into the dining room. He’d been tired but, for the first time since Robert had pressured him to quit working at the Waffle Barn in Atlanta, he’d felt useful again. As he’d reached the kitchen door, he’d caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror. Despite the hard work and grueling heat of the kitchen, he’d seen that he wore a pleased smile, a smile he wasn’t sure he had worn since the days after his mother and before Robert. He’d straightened his back and nodded at himself in the mirror. Hello, stranger. Where’ve you been? With the smile lingering on his lips, he had glanced through the porthole window in the swinging door and seen Hank Hudson standing at the counter.
Marcus Sumter is a 22 year old man with no family–not since his diner-waitress of a mother literally left him at a roadside truckstop diner shortly after his 18th birthday. She’d raised him on her own, always on the run from one angry landlord or another, and his father had died before he was even born. Marcus had been living with an older man, Robert, who wanted to keep him as a kept-boy, but Marcus didn’t like that, and Robert’s anger too the form of a black eye. While staying home out of sight, Marcus receives a certified letter–the fifth one–informing him that his unknown grandmother has passed and he needs to come to Marathon, Georgia to claim her estate. Marcus packed what little he owned and took off.
His arrival in Marathon is immediately upset by an accident of car-crushing proportions. But, the good ladies of Marathon, the “Do-Nothings” friends of his late grandmother take him under their wing. They want nothing more than to keep Marcus with them, and even arrange for him to get a job at their beloved Tammy Dinette. And, meet men that favor his, uh, persuasion. It’s a heartwarming and adorable set of romantic schemes, actually. Marcus loves being a short-order cook, and only applied for culinary school because Robert wanted to “make something” of him, but being in Marathon, surrounded by loving friends and neighbors teaches Marcus that he’s something already, and the slow-burn romance between Marcus and Hank the local mechanic is something pretty special, too.
I loved the setting, and quiet cadence of the book, easily felling transported to rural Georgia and loving every second of that. Marcus is a good guy, and he deserves a home. I kind of wished we’d learned what happened to his mother, but that’s a small complaint. I really enjoyed how Marcus dealt with Robert, and the big and small eccentricities of life in small town Georgia. The collection of characters was a loving portrait of people I just wanted to know better! Don’t excpet any sheet-buring sexytimes though. THis one’s pretty-much fade-to-black, but the center of the story is love, and family, and making your own when you get the chance. Highly recommend.
Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for a chance to win a Grand Prize $25 Interlude Press Gift Card + Multi-format eBook of Hold. Five other winners receive Lunch With the Do-Nothings at the Tammy Dinette eBook.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!
About the Author:
Killian B. Brewer grew up in a family where the best way to be heard was to tell a good story, therefore he developed an early love of storytelling, puns and wordplay. He began writing poetry and short fiction at 15 and continued in college where he earned a BA in English. He does not use this degree in his job in the banking industry. He currently lives in Georgia with his partner and their dog. Growing up in the South gave him a funny accent and a love of grits. The Rules of Ever After is his first novel.