It’s a Dual!
Review #1 by Gloria Lakritz
Sr Reviewer and Review Chair for the Paranormal Romance Guild
A funny thing happened on my way to this book review. To explain, I sat down to my iPad, pulled up Ms. Mac Nicol’s book that I had downloaded got comfy and started to read. The book was riveting, I couldn’t put it down. Read it in one weekend! My Dualer Penny Nichols, had just sent me her review. I opened it to send to edits, and gazed at her words about chef and restaurant. To my amazement, I had not read the correct book, but got to read another book that this talented author has written…story I will review that in the future. The reason I am telling you this story in this review, is because I did get a better glimpse into this new to me author and her writing abilities. This author is not a one-shot wonder!
Both Gideon and Eddie were like night and day. Gideon Kent has had a near death experience. He was involved in a tremendous fire where his friend died, burning to death in front of him while he was badly burned and pinned to the ground, held down by a fallen beam. His career took a left turn when he returned to his So-Ho restaurant Galileo’s, since Gideon lost his sense of smell and taste.
Eddie Tripp is an up and coming sous-chef at Galileo’s. He is in all the write ups for the up and coming chefs making Gideon wince at the thought it should be him. But Eddie has not escaped Gideon’s dreams with his red hair and eyes the color of emeralds Eddie shares a flat with two other mates, Taylor and Leslie, great secondary characters. Eddie has some very sexy thoughts about his tall dark and angry boss Gideon.
Another interesting secondary character is Carmen, the right hand to Gideon and the needed female relief in our story aside from the prissy Leslie. The coming together of these two people with a push here and a nudge there works. The steamy scenes are just what the doctor ordered for Gideon and Eddie, as they both learn about being two becoming one. Ms. Mac Nichol has written a charming love story, with magical overtones. I loved it!
Review for The Bow Tie Killer I read in error Love and Punishment will be written soon….Look for it
Review #2 by Penelope Adams
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
Gideon Kent is the owner of SoHo’s premier restaurant Galileo’s and a chef who can no longer cook due to losing his sense of smell and taste in a horrific accident. Eddie Tripp is an up and coming sous-chef at Galileo’s. He is also the bane of Gideon’s existence with his flaming red hair, infectious smile and cooking skills to rival Gideon’s own. For Gideon everyday life is hell, a chef who can’t cook in his own restaurant and who has to watch not only another gifted chef shine but also lust after him as well. For Eddie life is pretty good, he gets to shine at what he does best and occasionally get glimpses of his oh so fine boss. Two men, similar and yet different, both longing for something else and neither sure if they should reach for it.
Ms. MacNicol gives us a fine little romance wrapped up with some good behind the scenes restaurant peeks and some really great secondary characters and stories. Gideon is very alpha male, with a temper that’s explosive and the looks that anyone would appreciate. He is understandably bitter about his handicap; he used to be one of the best chefs around and now can’t even cook in his own restaurant. He can be a bit overbearing and at times, a little hard to like. Eddie is just a pure joy, he is loyal to his friends, fun to be around, a little clumsy which is very endearing and has a smile that no one is immune to. How could you not like him? Both were great guys to get to know and watching them interact with each other was both fun and sad at the same time.
I’m a sucker for a good secondary character and there are a number of them in this book. They were well written and, frankly, I found myself wishing I could get to know them better. Eddie’s roommates Leslie and Taylor are as opposite as day and night yet they work and there has to be a story as to why they are so close. Gideon’s secretary/office manager Carmen is just one fun woman, she can handle Gideon with one hand tied behind her back. There is also a little secondary story going on in the background with Eddie’s cousin, which helped us understand Eddie a little more.
I love a good romance and this story certainly qualifies as such but I must caution, there are some pretty explicit sex scenes here. They fit into the story and aren’t just thrown in, but they are there so if that’s not your cup of tea, this book might not be for you. My one little niggle was the ending seemed a little rushed. No, it’s not one of those horrid cliff hangers and there is a definite ending but it just kind of left me wishing we had maybe a page or two more for closure. That aside, this is a pretty fast paced book and for lovers of romance, food, angst and a little comedy, this is just what the doctor ordered.
GLORIA: Good to meet again Penny, It certainly has been a while. Make yourself comfortable, and let’s talk Susan Mac Nicols Men of London Series……I must admit my Faux Pax at first reading the wrong story. I had another book from this same author stored in my kindle and just started reading. To my surprise and maybe horror, I couldn’t understand your speaking of a chef that lost his sense of taste. I was horrified because I was reading about a serial killer…..talk about slicing and dicing. To get on with our review, I loved the opposites of the two main characters didn’t you?
PENNY: LOL, well look at it this way, you got a two for one deal. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a dual but my sword remains sharp so I’m ready. I did enjoy the two main characters being opposite, I’ll admit I liked one over the other but that is what made it more interesting. Coming from a long line of restaurateurs ranging from my grandmother who owned a restaurant to two brothers who are chefs, one brother who is a line cook and another brother who manages hotels/restaurants, the topic of a chef who couldn’t smell or taste just pulled me in. I will admit I was a little surprised that Gideon didn’t get back in the kitchen though. I’ve seen my brother cook things he doesn’t eat and so doesn’t taste and just has someone else do the tasting for him.
GLORIA: I would imagine I could try to cook some things that I have already eaten and then lost taste, but ingredients like meat, fish or pork would change the flavor because each one you get would have its own individual flavor. But you miss the point I think, my thought was it had to do with the trauma of why it was lost, no? Having a buiding burning around you, pinned by a beam, seeing your best friend dead or dying while being burnt to a crisp…..Uggggh every time I think about it…..want to upchuck myself. So the deep, sometimes pissy alpha finds his new up and coming chef just what the doctor ordered. Eddie was a breath of fresh air in this story, kind, patient, fun loving, loyal….I found him totally adorable. Who whould have thought the adage from Twilight applied, ‘So the Lion fell in love with the Lamb’
PENNY: Ahh, but there is the rub, he wanted to be back in the kitchen and that was what made him so grumpy most of the time. I did like Eddie, he was so cute and often saved the story for me since I didn’t always like Gideon. The secondary characters and their stories intrigued me and I really wanted to get to know them better. I’ll admit I’ve researched later books and found some of them appear so I know where part of my tax refund will go.
GLORIA: Yes and I can even lend you one! About a serial killer…..I must say I really liked this story. Although a romance, it had that touch of mystery about it, which was a bit different from just a romance with some angst to put the bump in the road. I did have ‘one niggle’ as you always call your pet peeve about a story….I needed more of the back story of the fire and his friend who died. Aside from that a good read wouldn’t you say?
PENNY: I agree with your niggle, it would have been nice, but like you said it still was a good story and you can’t ask for more than that. See you for our next dual, I’ll keep that sword sharp.
GLORIA: I will as well Penny…..Till we Dual again!!!
Susan Mac Nicol Discussing Love You Senseless
Book 1 in the Men of London Series
1) A chef who can’t smell and taste is an unusual plot line, how did you come up with it?
My sister and mother are both incredible chefs. My sister in particular lives for her cooking and owned a restaurant in Cape Town for a while. She mentioned in passing how she’d struggle as a chef with not being able to smell anymore, and that it would affect her livelihood. I was intrigued by this idea, which quickly formulated into a plot line about a chef who was injured in an accident and could no longer do the thing he loved. How would it affect him, what else would he do, and how would he cope? Gideon came into life as a grumpy, bitter man who needed a sexy and vibrant redhead to snap him out of it. Enter the irascible Eddie J
2) There is a hint of paranormal with Taylor, have you considered exploring the paranormal genre?
I’m fascinated by all things supernatural, the occult, witchcraft and the paranormal. I use Wiccan philosophies to live my life so writing a story about something different and hinting at an afterlife was a natural thing for me. I also write two books about warlocks and water sprites, magic and mayhem, in my Double Alchemy series, which was reviewed by PRG and in fact won one of your awards in 2014. I love the idea of there being more to the world than what we see and hear and Taylor wasn’t meant to be psychic when I first decided to introduce him; he simply evolved that way when I wrote Love You Senseless, telling me this was him and I’d better acknowledge it J I knew at some stage I’d incorporate him and his abilities into a new book, and Sight and Sinners was that book.
3) Do all of your books have a sub plot of mystery?
I think most of them do, or at the very least have an element of suspense. I’m a huge fan of detective and mystery and horror stories, and the unexpected so I think this love translates into my stories. Some of them, like Suit Yourself, are just great fun and I love popping humour in my books too. It’s a great way to bring a reader into a story.
4) Because I read the wrong book first….I must ask Did you enjoy being in the mind of a serial killer?
Ha. This is where I tell you that my favourite TV programmes are NCIS, CSI, Profiler, Fortitude, Castle, Criminal Minds, Dexter Ripper Street and Hannibal. I think there’s a pattern emerging…I love psychological dramas and people’s mind games.
I reveled in creating Blair’s character, getting him to appear so normal yet so twisted inside. I think that’s the worst kind of horror in a person. That outwardly they can appear so normal and inside be such a tormented, psychotic mess. It’s the whole thought of what could be buried beneath the surface that appeals to me. Blair was beautiful to look at, charming yet rotten and evil to the core and I loved writing him.
5) I just checked Your Men of London Series. We have only touched the tip of the iceberg…..will you allow us to review more? Are they stand-alone?
The Men of London (MOL) books are all standalone stories in themselves but feature previous and upcoming characters from the set. You can read them on their own but as with any series, it’s best to get a sense for the series by starting with book 1. It’s more rewarding and I promise you my chaps are worth getting to know.
I would LOVE you to read more of the MOL series, so if you fancy any one of the titles, just let me know. The same applies to any of my books you might not have read yet.
Thank you so much for featuring me and reading and reviewing my books. It’s much appreciated!