At her pre-wedding dinner, Nora Darkin, the daughter of a wealthy entrepreneur, discovers her fiancé is not the man she thought he was. As her father hoists his glass to toast them, she makes an announcement: there will be no wedding to her father's right-hand man.
Due to the fresh rift driven between her and her father, Nora escapes to the quaint town of Dreara. Determined to live her life her own way, she makes new friends and pursues her lifelong desire of becoming a chef. Ethan Danes, a neighbour with his own broken heart, helps soothe hers.
Just as Nora discovers what it means to be happy, and she begins to fall in love with Ethan, a woman from his past re-enters his life…
She lifted her eyes to meet Liam’s. The ice in his eyes had not melted. She dropped her gaze.
Instead of flirting with her appetite, the large marinated tiger prawns made her stomach queasy, and the oriental noodles looked like neglected yarn left out in the rain. From the way he dissected his steak, Liam’s appetite was just fine. She gritted her teeth as his knife scraped the porcelain plate.
Unable to bear the silence between them, she leaned forward and whispered, “I hate it when you ignore me.”
“What do you want me to say?” He chewed the last of his food and waved for the waiter. “We’re done.”
The waiter nodded and scuttled over to remove their plates.
When the waiter was out of earshot, Nora hissed through clenched teeth, “I wasn’t done.”
Liam took a swig of water, probably wishing it were something stronger. “You didn’t look like you were hungry.”
“Stop treating me like a child,” she snapped.
“Stop acting like one.”
Nora’s cheeks heated. She contained her anger with difficulty. “That’s really insensitive.”
“What do you want from me, Nora?” A vein pulsed in his neck. “What exactly do you want me to say?”
“Say you want me to be happy.” Her eyes brimmed. “Don’t ask me to get rid of my best friend.”
He loosened his tie—and then slammed his fist on the table, knocking over Nora’s glass of water. The silver stream raced straight for her lap.
The waiter appeared as if from nowhere to replace the white tablecloth with a new one. Nora forced a smile and whispered an apology. The waiter nodded, and a minute later he left.
Ignoring the curious looks they got from the other diners, she dabbed at the moisture on her black jeans. “You can’t always explode every time I refuse to do what you want.”
Liam ignored her. “Ask to pay. I want to leave.”
Nora flinched, but abided. Paying wasn’t so bad—so long as it was fair. On their first and second date, he
paid. On their third and a few more after that, they went Dutch. After one year, he asked her to pay for an occasional meal until it became an unspoken arrangement between them. The only thing Liam had paid for himself in three years was her engagement ring.
I'd have to say that I am a little torn on my rating for this book. It held my interest up until about 70% of the book. I'll start with what I liked about the book. Nora has always done what her father wanted her to do. She broke off her relationship with the first man she had ever loved because her father didn't approve of him. She later meets Liam, a man who works for her father. They soon become engaged and he starts to show his true colors. Finally standing up for herself, she leaves Liam the day before their wedding. This was the first step she took in finding her independence. I thought for sure that she would stay with him to make her father happy.
Next, she decides to get away from town and go to Dreara. Some time away can give her time to think about what she really wants. She makes some new friendships and even meets a new guy named Ethan. They have both been scarred by love and aren't ready to take their friendship to the next level....yet. Ethan encourages Nora to go to cooking school. One of Nora's lifelong dreams was to learn to cook and open her own restaurant. Nora shows such tremendous growth throughout the story. I will tell you that she does eventually start a relationship with Ethan, but I will leave it at that.
Now for my gripes...
I can't tell you much without spoiling the story. I feel that there were too many conflicts towards the end. I understand why they were there. They were beneficial in turning the story around. I was glad that she worked things out with her father but I feel like she turned into an indecisive teenager at the end. It was a lot of back and forth and it really turned me off. I seriously wanted to throw something. The romance was a bit tame and I would have liked more of the swoon factor.
About the Author
Liz Grace Davis grew up in Angola, Namibia, South Africa and Germany. She now lives with her husband in Vienna, Austria.
Growing up, Liz spent most her days in libraries, diving into the world of books. In her spare time she reads a lot, travels, creates jewelry and designs digital scrapbooks. That's of course when she's not weaving stories. She's in her element whenever she is doing anything that requires creativity.
Liz is the author of a young adult fantasy novel, Tangi's Teardrops, and a romantic women's fiction novel, Chocolate Aftertaste.