Personal chef Beau St. Clair, recently divorced from his cheating husband, returns to the small Ohio River town where he grew up to lick his wounds. Jack Rogers lives with his mother, Maisie, in that same small town, angry at and frightened of the world. Jack has a gap in his memory that hides something he dares not face, and he’s probably suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Maisie, seeking relief from her housebound and often surly son, hires Beau to cook for Jack, hoping the change might help bring Jack, once a handsome and vibrant attorney, back to his former self. But can a new face and comfort food compensate for the terror lurking in Jack’s past?
Slowly the two men begin a dance of revelation and healing. Food and compassion build a bridge between Beau and Jack, a bridge that might lead to love.
Dinner at Jack’s by Rick R. Reed is a contemporary, second-chance romance. But that totally undersells it. When Beau St. Clair moved from Seattle to his small Ohio hometown after divorce, he takes a job helping the mother/caretaker of Jack Roger – a man so traumatized by events he can’t remember that he quit his job as a lawyer, and essentially the world. His mother has become overwhelmed with his attitude and needs. Jack and Beau share a connection neither can explain, but it opens a window of healing which Jack believed had been sealed forever.
Reed did an amazing job with this book. Everything in it – from the depths of depression to the evolution of love to the journey of starting anew – felt real. Jack’s disassociation with his life and his body was excoriatingly realistic. Beau is an all-around good man, who wants to help Jack, without trying to save him. This allows their relationship to blossom naturally.
Dinner at Jack’s is an emotional read with fantastically depicted characters, a stirring plot, and some recipes thrown in. I highly recommend it!