Review: Dine with Me by Layla Reyne

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.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise : all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise! 

This book is approximately 69,000 words

This book made me wax nostalgic about the good ole days, and by 'good ole days' I mean pre-COVID. When we could all move about freely without fear of everyone that comes within 6' feet of us potentially being someone that could quite literally kill us and we were able to touch things freely without first ensuring we have hand sanitizer and/or gloves. Every time they talked of menus or the sommelier pouring their wine or even flying, I sighed. I remember those days fondly.

I digress.

The foodie stuff is on point. The chefery is on point too. Layla Reyne proves yet again that she believes in research but, unfortunately, that was the strongest point of the book for me.

The romance is lackluster. They have little chemistry excepting some periodic and apparently requisite cock hardness moments. I'm a fan of the sexy as much as the next person but cock hardness does not equate to soul matedness.

The specter of Miller's medical condition is the pink elephant in the room that detracted from their connection rather than enriched it. Is it that Clancy is actually falling for Miller or is it his doctor/caretaker mode conflating with Miller fitting Clancy's prototypical "type"?

Suffice to say, it all came together too quickly and too neatly for me. I like it when it's a bit messy and complicated. Though I'll give credit where credit is due, attempts were made to fit that criteria they just fell flat for me which is a shame since I liked much of the components of this story including the foodie/chef aspect to the age and size difference to the grumpy protagonist.

Not one I would recommend but my opinions are my own and YMMV.

A copy was provided for an honest review.

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