Guest Review: Safflower (A Tales of Bryant Novella #3) by V.L. Locey

Two men are about to discover that dreams really do come true if you have love as your main ingredient.

People say Luis Duton has been incredibly lucky. Luis says that as well, but something’s been missing from his life. Even though he holds a glamorous position as cook/housekeeper/confidant for famed movie producer Caiden Dell, he dreams of attending culinary school. When he finally works up the courage to apply to one of the most prestigious institutes in all of Manhattan, he’s shocked when his application is approved. Overjoyed at first, he soon discovers that the heat is on big time as he battles with his insecurities along with one of his instructors.

With his dream about to go up in smoke, he goes to see a Broadway play to lose himself for a few hours. There he buys a box of candy from another young man with a dream: Fraser Wayne. Fraser’s passion is the theater, but his goal seems as far away as Luis’ at the moment. Drawn to the man’s devotion to his ambitions as well as the beauty of his smile, Luis soon finds himself caught up in a love affair ten times hotter than any kitchen. 


Reviewer: Shee Reader

I have not read the previous books in the series, but have read quite a few things by this author and enjoyed them. In particular I have loved books where VL has co-written with another author.

I feel novellas are quite a difficult thing to do very well. As they are shorter than a full book, character definition and world building has to be concise and effective. I felt a bit confused for several chapters until I was up to speed with the setting, but there were times throughout the story where I felt some of the characters were a bit…unlikeable and I didn’t really CARE about them as a couple. I did like Luis and he had been through a lot in his life and the life of an immigrant trying to make their way with all the prejudice and invisible barriers are stories that need to be told.

Fraser seemed a bit one-dimensional to me and I didn’t connect to him at all. My favorite character was the scary slavic chef at the cookery school. His firm but fair disgust with anything mediocre spoke to me and I warmed to him long before he helped and supported Luis when he was the victim of a racist attack.

The romance between Luis and Fraser was sweet but simple, there was no great communication between them which was a shame. I did like that Fraser kept on turning up for Luis and put his hopes and dreams clearly below Luis who had been exploited for his connections beforehand.

Maybe I’m feeling a bit too grumpy with life to fully enjoy this sweet little book, it may be exactly what another reader needs.

I was given a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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