Author: Ros Clarke
Release Date: 14 February 2012
Number of pages: 52 pages
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Source: review copy provided by publisher
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Excerpt
Grade: 4.5 stars
Goodreads appetizer: Table For One is a short, contemporary romance from Entangled Publishing's exciting new Flirts line.
When food critic Claudia Thomas gets dumped on Valentine’s Day, she finds herself occupying a table for one at London’s hottest new restaurant. If her job wasn’t on the line, she’d skip the whole affair, but her editor’s waiting for a review—and with luck, an interview with sexy chef Ward Nicholls.
Ward, intrigued by the single woman in a restaurant full of couples, sets out to tease her palate. Claudia has never tasted anything so luscious as the special meal Ward prepares for her, but when the seduction moves from the restaurant to his bedroom, Claudia discovers the only thing more tempting than his food is the chef himself.
Their connection is instantaneous, sizzling, and spicy—until Claudia comes clean about her job, reopening a wound Ward had thought long-healed. Could one accidental lie of omission end a delicious relationship before it even has a chance to start?
My Thoughts: One tends to be sceptic when they see that a story is only 52 pages long, wondering how anyone could tell a good story with a beginning and an end, developed characters, detailed and rich writing, in short a riveting and enchanting story that doesn't leave the reader unsatisfied? Well I can only say that after you read Table for One by Ros Clarke (a mere morsel of story if you only look at its page count) you won't be a sceptic anymore. She demonstrates how it can be done and does it masterfully!
Claudia has one of the best jobs in the world (at leats in my opinion): she is a restaurant critic. She spends her days and nights eating out at fashionable restaurants, sampling their specialties and then writing about her enjoyment of the meals. That's how she meets Ward, one of London's top chef and "Seventh Sexiest Man in London".
What could she say in her review? The scallop was delicious, especially when served by the sexiest man she’d ever met. If he were the Seventh Sexiest Man in London, what on earth were the top six like? They probably gave women spontaneous orgasms on sight.
Ward besides being a droolworthy male specimen, is an incredibly creative and visionary chef. His goal is not just to create succulent and extraordinary culinary treats but bring people to experience emotions through eating his creations.
He couldn’t serve the Valentine’s Night menu to a woman who’d been stood up. She didn’t need food to fall in love to. She needed food to make her feel fabulous. He had just the thing in mind.
“You didn’t just like that food, Claudia. You let it seduce you.” He was wrong. She hadn’t just let his food seduce her; she’d let it thoroughly debauch her. And she had enjoyed every moment.
The culinary seduction is masterfullly interwoven with the romantic one giving the reader a feast for the senses. Ros Clarke's evocative descriptions of gourmet meals and especially the characters' enjoyment of these succulent bites will give you goosebumps and shivers of excitement and pleasure by proxy.
Besides the wonderfully vivid descriptions that brought the gourmet creations to life at times there was no transition between the scenes, it didn't really hinder the reading experience, just made the story not that fluent.
Verdict: If you only have half an hour or an hour and want to sink your teeth into a well developed entertaining story Table For One is the perfect choice, I'm sure you won't find anything lacking with the story, though you most certainly will be left craving some delicious treats ;-) Table For One is an explosion of the senses, a virtual orgasm for the tastebuds. It was a culinary and sensual experience, if only I could have tasted some of the foods Claudia sampled *sighs* (or look at the delicious eyecandy that Ward is ;-)
Ending: 9/10 - Great ending, sexy and flirty, left me with a happy sigh :-) (And the reuinion scene was pure genius, completely original.fresh and witty)