Author: MJ O’Shea and Anna Martin
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L C Chase
Rating: 4.50 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 06/22/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance
Joe Fitzgerald hates New Orleans, but he’s stuck there until he convinces one stubborn local family to sell Lumière, the crumbling French Quarter restaurant they’ve owned for generations. The place is a wreck, and it’s hemorrhaging money. Joe figures he’s their best chance for survival.
Remy Babineaux despises Pineapple Joe’s and everything the chain stands for. He refuses to let Lumière become some tacky corporate tourist trap. Theme drinks and plastic beads in his restaurant? Yeah, right. Over his dead, rotting corpse. The last thing Remy wants is a meeting with the restaurant chain’s representative, but his father agreed to at least listen to the proposal. There’s nothing Remy can do about it.
Remy figures an anonymous hookup is exactly what he needs to decompress. When he ends up across the table from his fling the next morning, real sparks fly. Joe refuses to give up his prime location; Remy refuses to give up his legacy. It’s war, and they’re both determined to win at any cost. Neither of them counted on falling in love.
Devil’s Food at Dusk is the third book in the Just Desserts series but it can be read as a stand-alone. It is my first experience of the writing double of MJ O’Shea and Anna Martin and I adored it.
For Remy Babineaux his families’ restaurant Lumiere, where he cooks alongside his brother Andre, is his baby, his life, and his legacy. The New Orleans restaurant has been in his family for generations and working there is all he is ever wanted to do, all he ever wants to do. The restaurant needs extensive repairs though, it needs new ovens, a new air conditioning system, everything you can think of needs to be repaired or replaced but Remy’s family just doesn’t have the money and the building is crumbling down around him. They are literally one storm away from bankruptcy and it’s all he can do to break even with the current running costs.
Enter Pineapple Joe’s, a nationwide chain of tourist themed restaurants. Pineapple Joe’s wants to buy Lumiere, they want its prime location and they’ve sent corporate closer Joe Fitzgerald to New Orleans to seal the deal. Remy knows the condition Lumiere is in, he knows that the years of neglect have taken their toll but he won’t sell out to Pineapple Joes, his father may own the restaurant but its Remy’s life and his passion.
Joe Fitzgerald just wants to buy Lumiere and get back to his life in California, he doesn’t like New Orleans, he doesn’t like the heat and humidity. The two men meet up in a bar the night before the first scheduled meeting between Joe and Remy’s father Tom, they hook up but neither man knows who the other one is until they meet across the table the following day.
I loved this story. It’s sweet and sassy and full of warmth as well as the inevitable angst. Joe needs to seal the deal he needs to buy Lumiere, there isn’t another building in the French Quarter that ticks all the boxes, but he also likes Remy and the more he gets to know the man the more he wants to stay.
I’ve never been to New Orleans but I really felt I was there, and along with some wonderful characters I fell in love with the place. The family surrounding Remy, his brother Andre who pines for Magnolia, the tenant of the apartment above the restaurant. His teenage sister Grace just growing into her own sexuality. His Grandmother Estelle with her words of wisdom, along with Tom and his mother, they all made me feel as if they were my family too. Apart from Sal, Remy’s other brother, I hated him with a passion, he was sly and manipulative, a truly unsavoury character. And the star of the story, apart from Remy and Joe was of course Stella, Magnolia’s four year old daughter who managed along with Remy to teach Joe what love and family meant. I understood why Tom wanted to sell and I felt sympathy for his situation, he ran Lumiere before Remy and I think Tom was worried about the money and just tired and worn out. He didn’t realise just how much Lumpier meant to Remy until it was too late.
For anyone who wants to curl up with a delicious story where the main characters have to work for the ending they want then look no further than Devil’s Food at Dusk. All I felt was missing was the recipe for Drunken Devil Cake!
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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