by Opal Carew
Published by Swerve on July 26, 2016
Sub-Genre/Theme: Contemporary, Erotic
Format: ARC, Ebook
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I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley.
Just one taste isn't enough…
I ran into Rex Keene—literally—when I was trying to catch my flight and his muscled, tattooed arms stopped my fall. Then our flight gets canceled, and we're stranded in the same hotel room together...it ended up being the steamiest night of my life. All I knew is that I had to see him again.
I just didn’t expect him to show up a week later in the restaurant I manage…as our new head chef. But the generous, tender man I spent that night with is gone; instead he’s arrogant, demanding, and terrorizing the staff.But he won’t give up until we’re together—and I’m not sure I can stay away. Which man is real? Who is Rex Keene?
I’ve been looking forward to reading Meat by Opal Carew for a while. Let’s take a minute to appreciate this cover. The apron! The tattoos! The spatula! Because he’s a chef who specializes in meat, get it? I give this cover an A+. As for the book itself, the story didn’t quite live up to all my expectations, but overall I still enjoyed it.
Rebecca is the manager of a hotel restaurant who’s traveling after having buried her beloved aunt. Her aunt was like a mother to her, so she’s still working through the grieving process. While in the airport, she runs into Rex, a mysterious but sexy stranger who lends his shoulder to Rebecca to cry on. They’re on the same flight, but it gets delayed due to a snowstorm. Rex and Rebecca wind up spending a hot night together, but neither of them wants to end things there. They exchange contact information so that they can keep in touch and hopefully pursue a relationship.
Meanwhile, there’s turmoil back at Rebecca’s restaurant. A new owner is taking over and there’s a new head chef in charge–someone who’s letting go of staff and making all kinds of unpopular changes. When Rebecca returns to work, she discovers that the new head chef is none other than Rex.
There’s a lot of subplot going on at the restaurant, including a mystery with someone who’s involved in illegal activity. I found that part of the story pretty interesting, even though the reveal of the culprit didn’t come as a huge surprise to me.
There are also some unique elements in this book, like the fact that Rex is very…special, let’s put it that way. Don’t forget that this book is called Meat for a reason (and I’m not referring to the fact that he’s a chef). That part of the book is very over-the-top, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t pretty fun at the same time. Also, there are some light BDSM elements but nothing too heavy or intense going on. For example, Rebecca calls Rex “master” which isn’t my thing but it seems to work for both of them, so right on. Personally, I didn’t care for the ending, but the majority of the story was enjoyable for me.
I had a couple issues with the writing, which got a bit repetitive at times–Rebecca tends to start all of her sentences with “Oh,” especially during the sex scenes. For example, “Oh, Rex,” “Oh, yes,” “Oh, please.” And for some reason, the word “delightful” is overused a bit. Since this is a novella, I understand that there isn’t as much space to develop the relationship more, but it moves rather quickly for my liking. Other than that, the writing style appealed to me.
Overall, this was a pretty fun read and I recommend it.
Rating: 3.5 stars