Damn it Goodreads! I want half stars!
*shakes fist*Rating 1.5 stars, rounded to 2.
It's time to let the reign of bitchiness continue. Dinner at Home
should have been a slam dunk for me. I'm a foodie and God knows I love books with food involved. However this book? Um....
Please, I need to know! How do you have a book that starts just about every chapter with a recipe (which I wrote down and will try just about all of) and have paragraphs
of cooking descriptions, down to detail about chopping onions, yet have no food smexyness AT ALL? EVER?
I mean I expected at least one smexy scene while Ollie and Hank were cooking but...I don't think we even saw them cooking together on page?!
And then there is Olli and Hank's relationship. Where did the actual relationship development go off to? One page Hank is breaking into Ollie's car and several pages later they are living in the same house, have an excellent working relationship and what seems like a good friendship. Then BAM - they're lovers. No on page progression. No gradual getting to know each other, no angsty silent yearning, no covert looks. Because of that I didn't believe their romantic relationship at all. Which meant what little sex there was fell flat. Gahhhh.... So much good shit missing!!!!
I was totally thrown off and pulled out of the story by Hank's mother and sister when they showed up on page. Hank's mom is portrayed at first like this shrew of a woman who kicked Hank out and doesn't want the responsibility of caring for her granddaughter, she wants to send said granddaughter to Hank even though Hank has no job and is living in a homeless shelter. Then suddenly there is a big thing, they are holding each other and crying and it's all "Mommy I love you". Dude, you can't go 180 like that! It almost physically hurts to get yanked out of the story!
And then the sister Stacey? Like a few paragraphs of a religious nut and then oh, maybe not so much? It's like, my daughter can't live in this house of homosexual sin but hellz yeah I'll take a plane ticket for me and my kid to come for Thanksgiving with you gay guys and oh...a few lesbians too.. No problem....
To top off the crazy sauce sundae we also have Rose. She delivers a horrible back story towards the end of the book and then...that's it! It's a horrible story. Awful. But..um...why did we need it? In my opinion it didn't do anything to move the story forward (much like the excessive food preparation paragraphs) but rather filled up space between characters actually doing something!
Oh, also, I can't forget to mention the 4-year old niece that shows up periodically in the book. The way she talks? Way too old for a 4-year old. Even a 4-year old with a shitty, hard life. She sounds more like a 70-year old crotchety bitch. So, while I'm thinking she was supposed to provide some levity and comic relief it totally missed that mark for me.
Much of the emotion was told
rather than shown
which is a huge pet peeve of mine. Things along of the line of saying that Ollie was too depressed and/or upset to eat rather than giving us a few lines where he is picking listlessly at food he prepared. Whatever, I can't even be bothered to go back and look up instances but they're there. Trust me.
So overall, I didn't like this book. I didn't hate it either. It got half a star because the recipes were delicious looking (can't wait to try to spaghetti sauce and meatballs because I love to experiment with that). I guess this was more effective as a really short cook book than it was a work of M/M romance for me...