Title: Dinner at Fiorello’s
Author Name & Publisher: Rick R. Reed (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: May 1, 2015 – 210 pgs
Henry Appleby has an appetite for life. As a recent high school graduate and the son of a wealthy family in one of Chicago’s affluent North Shore suburbs, his life is laid out for him. Unfortunately, though, he’s being forced to follow in the footsteps of his successful attorney father instead of living his dream of being a chef. When an opportunity comes his way to work in a real kitchen the summer after graduation, at a little Italian joint called Fiorello’s, Henry jumps at the chance, putting his future in jeopardy.
Years ago, life was a plentiful buffet for Vito Carelli. But a tragic turn of events now keeps the young chef at Fiorello’s quiet and secretive, preferring to let his amazing Italian peasant cuisine do his talking. When the two cooks meet over an open flame, sparks fly. Both need a taste of something more—something real, something true—to separate the good from the bad and find the love—and the hope—that just might be their salvation.
I have to say that I really enjoyed this book, but I’m not surprised
because I have enjoyed every Rick Reed story I’ve gotten my hands on.
He just has such a way with words that it really is special.
There is some angst in this story as both our main men are dealing
with a great deal of baggage. Vito has loved and lost.. and that pain
is still very real and haunting while Henry is young and still
learning who he is. We see him go through his first heartbreak and
then some family crisis moments that are really hard for him to deal
with. However, the pain within is what draws the men together and what
also make this a good story.
Vito’s story broke my heart and it made me happy to follow along as he
works through it. While I felt for Henry and all that he was dealing
with, I got annoyed with his childish look on things at times. But, in
the end, I really liked both main characters and the story as a whole.
The narrator did a great job, especially bouncing between Vito’s
accent and other non-accented narration. It was an added extra that
was really neat to have in the book and emphasized Vito’s heritage.
Overall, a great story, a great audiobook.
Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love. He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). His novel, Raining Men, won the Rainbow Award for Best Contemporary General Fiction. Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.” Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.”