The McKenna Family Saga Begins
Sparks fly and desire ignites between reluctant lovers who got burned when they looked for everlasting love with the wrong partners.
The solitary yet satisfying lifestyle media consultant executive Alison Clarke carefully crafted for herself through hard work and determination is upended when she meets the uncomfortably good-looking Chef Darien McKenna at a charity gala to feed the hungry of New York City.
Despite doubts about his availability and their obvious age difference, she makes a reservation for one at Chez Nous, the upscale mid-town Manhattan restaurant where Darien commands the kitchen, hoping to attract the attention of the handsome executive chef.
Can chemistry and shared delight in food, wine, and film bridge the age gap and resolve mutual reservations about their longed for happily-ever-after?
Will their passionate romance flare and fade? Or will the lovers discover love is ageless when it’s meant to be?
“This scrumptious romance novel whet my appetite from the very first page. I did not want to put it down until I had sampled every tasty morsel. The story revolves around Alison Clarke and Darien McKenna who, after being hurt in past relationships, have put romance on the back burner while concentrating on their careers. But after Ali has a chance encounter with a handsome chef 20 years her junior at a charity auction, she is ready to take a chance on love again. Craving to get to know Chef Darien better, she makes a reservation to dine alone at his Manhattan restaurant. Her plan works as Darien leaves his kitchen duties to join Ali at her table. The conversation goes so well that Ali invites Darien home for … let’s just call it a sweet and satisfying dessert. At first, Ali is not certain the relationship will last, but Darien convinces her that she is the woman he wants to be with for the rest of his life. The character descriptions and attention to detail by author Teresa LaBella are fantastic. I can picture myself walking into Ali’s office and striking up a conversation with her as if we were old friends. And as a woman who doesn’t care for cooking, I would welcome Darien into my kitchen at any time. I am sure he would make preparing a meal a fun experience. I highly recommend you make a reservation to read this novel. A warning, however: it may make you hungry to taste other entrees from LaBella. – Lucinda R
OK, let’s get this straight. I don’t read romance novels … I mean, EVER. But I picked up “Reservations” and literally couldn’t put it down until the last page – and then I was sorry that this terrific story had come to an end! The characters of Ali, the classy media consultant from Brooklyn, and the younger Darien, the Manhattan chef, are so well-written I feel as though I have known them for years. Add to that the wonderful, and accurate, descriptions of various New York environs, believable drama (not too heavy-handed and true-to-life) and you have a perfect novel, one that deserves to be developed into a screenplay. This is a fun read, with characters you will appreciate and remember. I’d love to read a sequel! – Linda C
How refreshing that “Reservation” is not a love story either beginning or ending in tragedy. Instead you have the story of two people separated by age, education, occupation, and lifestyle who appeared to have given up on love but find passion and a kindred spirit in a New York City setting. The author leaves no doubt in the mind of the reader of the passionate love they share. Where this love takes them is a mystery this reader looks forward to discovering in the next novel of the trilogy. – Susan C.
While this doesn’t make for a riveting, page-turning type of read, it does offer a sweet, soft-lit fantasy that can perfectly satisfy a reader longing for less suffering and more romance. This reader recommends you pour a glass of wine (or, if you wish, grab the whole bottle), turn on the fireplace, pull the warm quilt over your feet, and drop into the liberating softness of this book. It will give your feminist sensibilities a satisfying boost.
(And then, when you’re done, you can move on to “Heartland” the second book in the trilogy, and see what further adventures are in store for these two.) – Misty U