Posts Tagged With: the roundabout

Fiction for Foodies

I’m thankful for a million people, places, and things, but when it comes to the holidays food is always my main squeeze. Feel awkward? Family overload? No football game? There’s always a comforting smorgasbord of delicious savory and sweet baked goods waiting on stand-by (I love you olives, rolls, and pumpkin pie!).

What butter….er…better booklist could I share than one in which food plays an integral role in the story? If you have some tasty reading recommendations, please share them in the comment section below ūüôā

 

Perfect Pairing

Perfect Pairing (Bywater Books, 2016) by Rachel Spangler
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Big business & food truck dynamo clash over delivery, but find themselves sandwiched together.

 

a little bit of spice starting from scratch

Starting from Scratch (Brisk Press, 2010) by Georgia Beers
An oven full of cookies leads a graphic designer where she least expects.

A Little Bit of Spice (Brisk Press, 2015) by Georgia Beers
Sales manager for a family brewery tries for a supermarket sweep of a regional chain.
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Chef Cute Girl give me some sugar

Chef Cutegirl (2016) by Nicolette Dane
The competition heats up between two reality cooking show contestants in “Chef Cutegirl”

Give Me Some Sugar (2017) by Nicolette Dane
Struggling bakery owner & business consultant try to salvage the crumbs in “Give Me Some Sugar”.
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(1) (2)

 

confucius jane katie lynch cover

Confucius Jane (Forge Books, 2016) by Katie Lynch
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Romance blooms over noodles and fortune cookies in New York City’s Chinatown.

 

the roundabout gerri hill

The Roundabout (Bella Books, 2016) by Gerri Hill
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Parking spaces and lovelorn denizens of a queer community conspire for some faux-mance between a new business owner and popular restaurateur.

 

all you can eat order up

All You Can Eat (2014) & Order Up (2016) from Ylva Publishing
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Collections of salty, sweet stories for insatiable readers.

 

side order of love

Side Order of Love (Bella Books, 2009) by Tracey Richardson
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Cooking superstar caters a golf tournament. Can love compete with a missed vacation?

 

Half Baked by Edie Bryant

Half Baked (2017) by Edie Bryant
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Could this be an Imagine Me & You situation, but with cake? 

 

chef special

Chef’s Special¬†(Brisk Press, 2016) by Susan X. Meagher
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Can dreams withstand the heat of a professional grade kitchen?

 

Taste

Taste (Bold Strokes Books, 2016) by Kris Bryant
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Can a romance between a culinary instructor and student last longer than forty-five minutes, 375 degrees? Will their shared ingredients bind them or separate as the course cooks?

 

sugar

Sugar (Bella Books, 2004) by Karin Kallmaker
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Will the bake-off pay off, for both heart and wallet?

 

first course ja armstrong

First Course (2017) by J.A. Armstrong
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Business and pleasure go on a date at this fledgling restaurant.

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Categories: contemporary, fiction, lgbt | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Roundabout – audiobook review

Image result for the roundabout audiobook

Leah Rollins rolls (yeah, I went there ^^) into town with the vague idea that she wants to start a business.What kind of business? Well, she hasn’t gotten that far, but at least¬†she’s shed a tech career that no longer fits. Casting off from California, a small town in the Ozarks¬†gives her a fresh start far from her known universe. As long as she can find bottles of her favorite California wines at the grocery store, she’s content. Megan Phenix¬†and her older sister Nancy run a popular restaurant, The Phenix Grill. Eureka Springs¬†being a pond with a limited selection of fish to choose from, Megan often finds herself the recipient of unwelcome advances from other women. After two relationships in which her girlfriends cheated on her, she’s more than happy to never date again. Yet, no matter how many times she tells women she is not interested,¬†at all, they persist. “Oh, you’re just playing hard to get” they tell her.

When the two women first meet, Megan is running red from Mary Beth’s attempts to blackmail her into a date. The last thing she wants to deal with is the parking spots in front of the business next door. Leah treats Megan’s rage over the parking with a sort of bemused tolerance.¬†The older woman seems like a solid oak tree weathering Megan’s tempest. However, both women share a desire to avoid dating. They soon devise a¬†plan to faux date, hoping to lead women off their scent. The more they struggle to convince Mary Beth and the rest that they really are a couple, the more they learn about each other. Romance isn’t far behind.

Mary Beth drove me crazy (“crazy” being a very mild term for how I feel), especially whenever Nancy would brush off her sister’s irritation and concerns with an “Oh, she’s just playing around, don’t take it so seriously”. Some variation of this refrain was oft repeated by Nancy when Megan was struggling with her stalker/harasser. Everyone in town cackles and gapes over the photos of Megan that Mary Beth posts on Facebook. Photos that were taken of a woman undressed without her consent. Only an outsider, Leah, attempts to intervene. At least Megan¬†never let Nancy talk her into accepting this outrageous behavior. Through to the very last second, Megan held everyone accountable. If this had not been the case, I would have been very disappointed. A small dating pool does not equal an “anything goes”¬†environment, as far as toxic actions and comments go.

Thankfully, Gerri Hill creates a compelling, frustrating interplay that makes Megan and Leah’s dating charade convincing. I also enjoy how the characters examine their thoughts on age and their reasons for dating certain types of people. I love how Megan stood up for herself, even when everyone around her seemed to tell her that she deserved to be treated in a way counter to positive mental health. Leah’s character demonstrates how (when some folks might consider 51 “too old”)¬†it’s never too late to shed what doesn’t work anymore for a newer, truer path.¬†

Nicol Zanzarella delivers an engrossing listening experience as she embodies the story through strong characterization. The emotional weight bore by the main characters reveals itself through her versatile narration. Leah’s voice reflects the strength and patience inherent in a person who truly knows who they are, no matter the situation or location. Zanzarella’s portrayal of Megan, on the other hand, conveys agitation and annoyance through quickened pace and a raised, insistent pitch.¬†Mary Beth’s manipulative and infuriating behavior is enhanced two-fold. If I thought I couldn’t loathe her more, Zanzarella’s narration proves otherwise.¬†The rest of the cast is similarly formed, attention paid to their individual quirks flavoring the identity of the small community.¬†

The Roundabout takes listeners on a satisfying, roundabout route to love and affirmation. It is an emotionally engaging story paired with fantastic narration. Gerri Hill is an author that I can pick up and know a satisfying literary experience awaits. Make sure to add this one to your TBR (TBL – listen) list today!

The Roundabout by Gerri Hill
Narrated by Nicol Zanzarella
Produced by Audible Studios
Length: 6 hours, 36 minutes
ASIN: B01MU81ZCG
Released: February 2017

Available as an audiobook from Amazon and Audible. 

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Categories: audiobooks, fiction, lgbt, romance | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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