Thursday, August 20, 2015

Review: Love on the Menu by Dyann Love Barr

Celebrity chef Jordan Kelly wants to marry the love of his life, Tilly Danes. Unfortunately, the proposal isn't going quiteas planned. For starters, the Culinary Channel just hired his ex-lover as their new chef-and now she's been murdered.

Tilly might have a tiny problem with commitment, but she knows for a fact that Jordan is hiding something. Something big. And if he doesn't spill it soon, their future happiness is definitely on the chopping block...
Someone at the Culinary Channel has an appetite for killing, and no one is safe. All this danger might just bring Jordan and Tilly's relationship closer...if they can manage to survive.


Love on the Menu was a rough one for me. Super rough. Honestly, it was on the verge of being painful. Gosh, that sounds really horrible but dude. Dude. I wouldn't say that unless it was the absolute and honest truth. I'm a straight shooter and this review is going to be difficult to write. As horrible as I feel to have to write a less than flattering review for a book, sometimes it just needs to be done. I hope that it reads as constructive criticism ... that's how it is intended. Well, let's get on with this. 

I'm just going to start at the beginning and work my way through the book. From the very start, there are switching POV's. Hey, this is a good thing! I enjoy reading a book and experiencing two different view points. It seems to be the new "thing" these days. Anyhow ... Jordan Kelly ... that's the male lead in this book ... when I was reading, I could have sworn that it was Tilly (the female lead) who was talking. I found Jordan to come off as super feminine. Before someone twists this and makes me sound like some kind of hater, let me clarify. When you're reading a romance novel and you're getting the male and female POV flip-flopping throughout the entire book, it's helpful for the characters to just ... sound ... different. I was constantly getting Tilly and Jordan mixed up and I would have to go back and check to see who was talking. That isn't a fun issue to have with a book. Hell. The dude can sound girly, I don't give a crap but I need to be able to tell the difference between the characters otherwise, I'm just getting pissed off because I have no clue what the hell is going on all the time. 

Also right from the start, I felt TOTALLY lost. Like there was another book I should have read to know what the hell was going on. I checked numerous times all over the web looking to see if this book was listed anywhere as a #2 but it wasn't. Dude. It is a freaking number two. I know that it has to be. There was just too much back story that wasn't being explained for there not to be. Let me tell you, that needs to be clear SOMEWHERE. It's not fair to readers to pick up a book and not realize that your reading experience would be so much more pleasurable if you read the beginning of the series. It was like going in for a kiss and someone kicking you in the stomach. I was totally disoriented throughout the first (massive) portion of the book. And that takes a lot away from my overall views of the book because I was so damn confused. So please (authors, publishers, editors, whatever), if it's in a series, make that crystal clear. Go grab some paper and crayons and write that shit out like I'm stupid as hell, I don't care but let the readers know. 

After the issues that I had with the beginning of the book, maybe I just checked out. I found the entire to be disjointed and flat. I just didn't get that rush of excitement that I get when I read other romantic suspense novels. I should be on the edge of my seat with wanting to know what is going to happen but the only thing I was on the edge of my seat for was in anticipation of the book being over. I couldn't connect with any of the characters or the plot or the writing. Nothing. It was like a bad out of body experience. Not that I've had an out of body experience but maybe you get my point. 

I don't think that I will read anything by this author again. Kick me in the stomach once ... shame on me. Kick me in the stomach twice ... I don't have anything to say to that because I haven't thought that far since it won't be happening again. Now, please ... keep in mind that this book has received high ratings so far on Goodreads and Amazon. Maybe I'm soft in the head. I've got two school-aged boys and we're at the tail end of the summer, so that very well could be the case. I'm in the minority on my feelings for this one. So find a reviewer that you trust or go with your gut but this one isn't for me.

Oh!! BTW ... you'll find this book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Goodreads with a different name. The name that I received from NetGalley was Love on the Menu but everywhere else has it as Murder Love on the Menu. Which makes no damn sense. So if you're having trouble finding it online, maybe try that name. That would be another issue that could be corrected, whichever is wrong needs to be fixed ... FOR THE READER!

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

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