Reviewer: Connie Payne
Title: Menu for Romance - 2nd in the Brides of Bonneterre series
Author: Kaye Dacus
Release Date: July 2009
Genre/Sub-genre: Inspirational Romance
Year/Setting: Present day, Bonneterre LA
Overall Rating: 3.5
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: None
Kaye's Website: kayedacus.com
This isn’t your typical boy meets girl romance. In this case boy has already met girl. Yes, Chef Major O’Hara has known Meredith Guidry (executive director of event planning) and been in love with her for almost eight years, but he’s keeping a big secret from her. It’s for the best that he not tell or show her that he loves her. He already knows what her reaction would be should he reveal the family secret, so instead of letting her make up her own mind he does it for her.
Meredith has loved Major for years as well. It’s come to a point, though, where working with him becomes almost awkward and painful. How she’s prayed that Major would return her feelings, but it doesn’t seem to be God’s will. Determined to move on with her life Meredith prayerfully makes a New Year’s resolution: Not to be alone next New Year’s Eve.
It must be divine intervention that she runs into a handsome contractor, Ward, on New Year’s Day. They have a lot in common from family to the love of renovation projects. If God sent her this man, even if he doesn’t make her heart flutter (too much), then she’d give it her best shot, get to know him, date him. Besides, it’s apparent that Major is attracted to another woman, Alaine, one who has been thrust into his company, though through no effort of his own.
Major soon begins to suffer seeing Meredith together with another man. Maybe he should trust her and tell her...No, she doesn’t need that kind of burden or responsibility. As much as it pains him, he’ll support her should she marry Ward.
God, however, has a way of intervening and taking situations into His own hands. Sometimes it’s apparent what He’s trying to tell them, and at other times Meredith and Major put their own translation on the "signs" they think they’re given. Somebody’s going to have to be knocked down before these two can come anywhere close to trusting each other and accepting what God and life has dealt them.
The unrequited love in this story is touching. That Meredith and Major have worked closely for eight years and never let on that each had feelings for each other is admirable. The aspect of "…should I or shouldn’t I profess my love" lent an air of drama to the story. Unlike Major’s feelings for Meredith I unfortunately had a hard time believing Meredith’s feelings for Major were genuine; she felt a zing or two when she was with Ward, then she didn’t, then it was a half-hearted flutter and so on. I couldn’t quite sympathize with her on that score.
Anne, Jenn, and Forbes made their appearances from Stand-In Groom lending a familiar and comfortable feeling to the story. The characters, including Meredith and Major, felt real, relatable, and less too good to be true as in Stand-In Groom. The biblical and personal spiritual references were evenly placed and spaced without being too pushy.
On the whole, Menu for Romance was enjoyable. With the misunderstandings and hurdles they have to jump, you simply can’t help but cheer Meredith and Major on, wishing them nothing but a HEA.
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