Tasty Rebirth: DINE WITH ME–A TBT Review

Hi there! I’m sharing a Throwback Thursday review for a M/M contemporary age gap romance from Layla Reyne. DINE WITH ME is a standalone romance between a chef having a swan song, and the young physician who’s determined to save him. I’ve also enjoyed thrillers like VARIABLE ONSET and sports romance like RELAY from this author, among other books.

DIne with Me coverAbout the book:

Life never tasted so good.
Miller Sykes’s meteoric rise to award-winning chef is the stuff of culinary dreams, but it’s all crashing down around him. He’s been given a diagnosis that could cost him something even more precious than his life: his sense of taste. Rather than risk the very thing that defines him, Miller embarks on a last tour of his favorite meals while he still can.

But there’s a catch: he needs a financial backer to make it happen, and he doesn’t want anyone to know he’s sick.

Dr. Clancy Rhodes has two weeks to come to terms with putting aside oncology to work at his father’s thriving plastic surgery practice. When the opportunity to travel with a Michelin-starred chef presents itself, the foodie in him can’t believe it. It doesn’t hurt that Miller’s rugged good looks are exactly Clancy’s cup of joe.

As Clancy and Miller travel from coast to coast and indulge in everything from dive bars to the most decadent of culinary experiences, they’re suddenly sharing a lot more than delicious meals. Sparks fly as they bond over their love of flavors and the pressures of great expectations. But when Miller’s health takes a turn for the worse, Clancy must convince him he’s more—so much more—than just his taste buds. And that together, they can win a battle that once seemed hopeless.

My Review:

Miller Sykes is a renown chef, and a gay man who’d just turned forty. And two weeks ago he learned he had throat cancer. While it’s a treatable cancer, the treatment will likely destroy Miller’s sense of taste–and that would mean the end of his career as a chef. Against medical advice, Miller has declined treatment, divorced his longtime female partner, Sloan, and closed his restaurant. He’s planned a two-week swan song, touring the country with a partner (or a couple) who choose to pay the way through Miller’s culinary “greats” stopping at restaurants and other establishments to have amazing last meals.

Clancy Rhodes is a newly minted, board-certified physician and surgeon. He’s always had a deep desire to work in oncology, but his father is a plastic surgeon and it’s expected that he join the practice, doing reconstructive surgeries, as necessary. It’s not ideal, but it is secure. Clancy has two weeks before joining the practice, and as a huge foodie, he’s excited to spend those days on Miller’s culinary adventure.

The chemistry between these men is strong, and despite their age and experience gap they find lots to chat about, both cooking and life-wise. It isn’t long before Clancy begins to recognize that Miller is ill, though Miller refuses to fully disclose his private medical affairs. Though, their attraction continues to simmer and reach a boiling stage where Miller can’t help but physically connect with the bright and witty young doctor. It seems like they could really make something of this fling, in Clancy’s eyes, until he learns about the cancer, and Miller’s plan to not have any treatment. Naturally, that’s a huge problem for Clancy.

This book is a bittersweet read, but it’s not hopeless. The love story that develops between Clancy and Miller is sweet and fresh and the exact right moment for these headstrong men to meet. While Clancy resigns himself to a career that’s not ideal, his expertise proves invaluable to Miller as his illness progresses. Miller’s treatment decisions, made in despair, prove to be less than rock solid as Miller experiences both his own mortality at hand, and a love worth fighting for. I really enjoyed how each man took charge of their lives, and worked for their futures and their passions, discounting the power of their immediate hurdles. There is so much love and good and happy that develops between them, and the end is truly delicious. I really enjoyed it.

Interested? You can find DINE WITH ME on Goodreads, Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. I read a review copy of this book provided by NetGalley.

About the Author:
Layla Reyne is the author of the Fog City, Agents Irish and Whiskey, Trouble Brewing, and Changing Lanes series. A Carolina Tar Heel who now calls the San Francisco Bay Area home, Layla enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart pounding romance.

Catch up with Layla Reyne on her website, Facebook, twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Goodreads, or sign up for her newsletter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!