Dinner For Two by Eileen Griffin

Dinner For Two by Eileen Griffin
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (30 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Sonia Davenport has dreams of coordinating and planning special events. When she’s given the opportunity to plan a dinner for her boss and his shareholders, she jumps at the chance to make everything perfect. Helping her plan the special night is the head chef of the restaurant, Tony Mancinni, who is not only charming but goes out of his way to make Sonia feel special during the entire planning process.

The dinner party almost turns disastrous when an employee mixes up the orders and sets out the wrong food. In a mad rush to save the dinner, Sonia and Tony realize their attraction to each other when things heat up in the kitchen. However, Tony has to convince Sonia that he wants more than just an extra set of hands in his restaurant—he wants her to stay the night so he can convince her to stay for good.

When Sonia’s boss asked her to organize a dinner party for a highly select group of important shareholders, she knew this was her big chance. A personal assistant, she knew she could be much more of an asset than a simple copy-girl and coffee acquirer. Months of careful planning later, she’d booked and decorated the restaurant Mangia carefully and all was ready. The chef and part-owner of Mangia, Tony Mancinni, was a delicious sight and great help to her. But on the big night when the food order deliveries were mixed up Sonia and Tony need to work together in the kitchen, and things get a little steamy.

As a massive fan of cooking shows and cozy mysteries that involve cooking, I found this chemistry-heavy romance set in the restaurant kitchen a lovely read. The characters are interesting and fresh and kept me turning the pages. I must admit, I found Tony’s diatribe to his poor delivery person a little over the top and embarrassing. While his anger at the mistake at such a critical point was understandable, I felt perhaps the writer had decided his Italian temper might have gotten the best of him, or maybe he’s just a volatile chef. His soft spot for Sonia, however, kept any negative characteristics mostly under wraps. Even with this temperamental outburst it all somehow seemed to mesh well and create a partly funny, partly sexy romance that will have you salivating.

I found Sonia’s distraction while she and Tony make the Italian wedding soup also quite amusing. I thought the fact she could seem to worry her job was on the line but still thinking about “sucking something” simultaneously not quite realistic. Sonia might have no real talent in the kitchen, but with Tony to guide her she willingly follows where his hands (and ass and lips) lead. While there was plenty of chemistry between Tony and Sonia, they certainly burn up the sheets later on.  The attraction between Sonia and Tony though felt solid and believable to me and the sex was steamy and well written.

This is a well-cooked story and sure to appeal to some readers. If you can check your brain at the door, grab a glass of wine or bubbly and relax enough to just go with the flow, this is a story I think you should give a try. There’s plenty of chemistry and raunchy sex and enough good ingredients I think plenty of people should give it a taste.

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