Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Release Blitz ~ Dinner at the Blue Cafe by Rick R. Reed ~ (Review + Giveaway)

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Dreamspinner

Paperback: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Dreamspinner

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Length: 67,000 words

Cover: Aaron Anderson


A monster moves through the night, hidden by the darkness, taking men, one by one, from Seattle’s gay gathering areas.

Amid an atmosphere of crippling fear, Thad Matthews finds his first true love working in an Italian restaurant called the Blue Moon Café. Sam Lupino is everything Thad has ever hoped for in a man: virile, sexy as hell, kind, and… he can cook!

As their romance heats up, the questions pile up. Who is the killer preying on Seattle’s gay men? What secrets is Sam’s Sicilian family hiding? And more importantly, why do Sam's unexplained disappearances always coincide with the full moon?

The strength of Thad and Sam’s love will face the ultimate test when horrific revelations come to light beneath the full moon.


From the moment Thad stepped through the front door of the Blue Moon Café, the décor cleared up any mystery about what kind of food they served. The little café, with its mahogany bar along one wall, its grouping of maybe a dozen tables, and its faux-tin ceiling, could have been straight out of central casting for “Italian joint.” Thad saw the requisite checkered tablecloths, the oil paintings of Italian landmarks like the canals of Venice, the Coliseum, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and St. Peter’s Square. And yes, each table sported a candle plugged into the opening of an empty green-glass Chianti bottle. A TV sat above the bar, thankfully turned off.

“Buona Sera” by Louis Prima played from the overhead speaker system. Thad was certain the rest of the evening would be peppered with the likes of Dean Martin, Jerry Vale, Rosemary Clooney, and of course, Sinatra. Underneath the music was the usual restaurant orchestra: conversation, laughter, the clink of glassware and the tinkle of silverware.

The scents of garlic, oregano, basil, and tomatoes perfumed the air. Over a counter at the rear of the restaurant, Thad could see into the kitchen: a wood-burning oven, chefs busy at their stations, the occasional upsurge of flame as one of them poured alcohol into a pan and ignited it by tipping the pan. Thad’s mouth began to water.

He already liked this place.

And he liked it even more when he saw the bartender, who was busy drying wineglasses and reaching up to hang them upside down on a rack above the bar. He was a compact little guy, olive skin and shaved head. His muscles tested the endurance of the black T-shirt he wore, and even from his vantage near the hostess stand, Thad could make out the thick black five o’clock shadow that covered his jaw. He was just the kind of guy Thad fantasized about. One who would take him roughly and be in charge.

Stop it, now! I’m in Green Lake, not Capitol Hill. This guy probably has a wife and two kids at home and would not appreciate how I’m imagining how he would look should the seams of that tight T-shirt burst and reveal a defined and hairy chest. He wouldn’t cotton at all to my thoughts of wondering how his asshole would taste, for cryin’ out loud.

Or maybe he would….

Thad grinned and bounced up and down a couple of times on his heels, feeling strangely energized and definitely a little smitten.

Shut up, horndog. Behave yourself.

3.5 Stars! 

This was most definitely different than I went in thinking it would be. I guess I had a preconceived notion that it would be similar to other Shifter books and would center around mates as well as a murder mystery. Of course, that is not at all what the author wrote or intended for Thad and Sam's story.

The book starts off wonderfully descriptive and dark with us watching through the monster's eyes as he hunts and subsequently kills his human prey. It was so well done, I could picture it perfectly. I have to admit that these moments were the best, in my opinion.

When the story switches to Thad, I thought it lacked something to truly grip me the way that it had previously. I didn't quite care for Thad and found him slightly annoying. Him meeting Sam just did not do it for me at all. I did not feel chemistry between them and it moved too fast.

Sam doesn't quite seem to add up and he is a bit of a mystery to Thad. A mystery that Thad can't help but be wary of. Sam's monthly disappearances seem to coincide with the murders happening and the fact that it surrounds times of the full moon add an even scarier event to it all. Could it be possible that Sam is a werewolf? What is Thad going to do?

Sam did nothing for me. I didn't care for him at all and like I've mentioned I felt zero chemistry between him and Thad. It just didn't work for me and I have a hard time getting completely drawn into a story when I don't care about the characters. I'm not sure what could make his character better or make me feel that missing connection so it's hard to explain. I just disliked him from the very first introduction.

I liked the suspense and the way we got to feel what the beast was feeling and thinking, what he saw through his eyes and how it all translated to him. As horror, I think it worked and had me reading with enthusiasm. As a romance, I don't think it worked at all. I didn't care for any of the major characters, I didn't feel anything as far as their relationship was concerned and I found myself only truly looking forward to what points pertained to the mystery itself.

***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.***

Author Bio 

Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love.

He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). He is also a Rainbow Award Winner for both Caregiver and Raining Men. Lambda Literary Review has called him, "a writer that doesn't disappoint."

Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever "at work on another novel."

Stalk Rick

Facebook Page:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

No comments:

Post a Comment