Friday, November 23, 2012

For Men Only: A Loveswept Classic Romance by Sally Goldenbaum

A brash single dad and a beautiful, ambitious cooking teacher follow the recipe for romance in this delectable treat from beloved author Sally Goldenbaum.

The first time they met, Peter Webster had been the blind date from hell.  Ellie Livingston hoped never to see him again.  Now Pete’s a student in the cooking class she’s designed just for men, and he looks good enough to eat!  But Ellie’s afraid that a relationship is off the table: Falling for a man with kids--no matter how adorable--would simply be biting off more than she can chew.

Since his wife left him, Pete has learned that his gourmet cuisine--like his speciality, peanut butter and egg sandwiches--just won’t cut it for two growing children.  He’s also learned not to trust beautiful women.  But Ellie, with her sparkling passion and spicy personality, is for real, even if she doesn’t see him the same way. Now it’s up to Pete to go off the lesson plan and cook up a little trouble--in the kitchen and the bedroom.


At first glance everything about this book is appealing.  The cover looks very nice.  It draws you in.  The book description has you thinking this could be a very interesting read.  Then, that’s about it for me.  I desperately want to say that I love this book or even like it, but unfortunately I can’t.

Peter is a partner at an advertising firm who receives a gift from his sister and kids for his birthday in the form of an eight week cooking class.  Ellie is twenty-seven years old and the youngest of six children.  She generally drifts from job to job until she decides she wants to open her own cooking school, since cooking is her passion.

Peter and Ellie first met on a blind date.  Neither one had a good day, but didn’t want to cancel the date at the last minute, so they went on it.  Nothing about the date was good.  The food at the restaurant which Peter picked was horrible.  The singing waiter’s fake mustache fell into Ellie’s cold soup.  Peter and Ellie were involved in a car accident, with a cab.  Honestly, hearing about the story is funny.  As long as you weren’t one of the people in the story.

Throughout the book, you have Peter wanting to have a relationship with Ellie, but Ellie is afraid of what having a relationship with a man who has kids will do to her career.  Since Peter’s ex-wife got on a plane to New York and never came back, a certain part of Peter wishes that Ellie wasn’t so career driven, not that he wants someone to just sit at home and take care of the house and kids.

This book was originally written in 1994.  You would think it would be able to withstand the test of time.  For me it didn’t. I just found it hard to hear the words, “my darling, my love”.  I mean maybe that worked in 1994, but I just don’t think it does in 2012.  It’s not like either one of the characters are royalty. The story takes place in Chicago.

For me, it’s not that this book was bad.  I just had a disconnect with the characters a quarter of the way through the book.  By the end it was better, but my disconnect was already there.  These characters are faced with having to make sacrifices for love and they have to ask themselves if this is the person they really want to make those sacrifices for.

Book Source: NetGalley

Rating: 2 (It was okay)

For Men Only is a Loveswept Classic romance. It can be purchased for Kindle.

Sally Goldenbaum has spent the last couple of years writing mysteries.  You can find out more about her and her mystery series on her website.

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