Author: Adam Fitzroy
Length: Novel (256 pages)
Publisher: Manifold Press (February 1st, 2014)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb: Chef Rupert’s picking up the pieces after a catastrophe; he’s lost his love, his business, his home, and even his dog, and he’s trying to make a fresh start. Linking up with Jake almost on a whim he soon finds himself involved in a strange tale of organic farming, migrant workers, greed and even possibly murder – in the midst of which the attraction is still there, but Rupert’s not sure whether the feeling’s mutual or if he’s ready to try for a proper relationship again just yet …
Review: This story is an honest look at life’s mistakes, adventures, relationships both good and bad, and the balance between relationships and commitments, how they both conspire to shift the path we take in life. Oh, yeah, and it’s also about solving a murder, or what local police seem to think is possibly a suicide. Rupert is still recovering from being burned by what he thought was going to be a lifelong love and a new and long-term career as owner/chef in his own restaurant in Australia. He’d given up everything, jumped out on a limb and taken off from his home in London to pursue his dreams with a man who would only crush them, and leave Rupert starting over. When he remembers Jake, a smiling confident man who caught his eye and curiosity while he had been in a committed relationship, he thought to look him up again only to find that Jake was in a tough place. Torn between his commitments to his boss Ren, who saved him many times, and his new-found affection and desire to help Jake, Rupert isn’t sure what to do. Should he just be concerned for himself after being burned in such a big way, should he be sure to pay his debts to Ren who helped pull him out of the mire, or is his concern and desire for Jake the most important thing? This was a smoothly written story that kept my attention from the out-start. We often have to make difficult choices in our careers, in our personal lives, and make sacrifices, but what is the right decision? This is the underlying theme to me, the mystery, and the challenges that Jake’s family and farm face seem to be secondary layers of detail that engage and stimulate the mind.