Book Reviews

Table for One by Connie Bailey at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Interracial / Multiple Partners / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 01-March-2018

Book Blurb

Exposing his body for work is no problem, but after his heart’s been broken, putting it out there again won’t be so easy.

 

Up-and-coming young executives Copeland Shore and William Donnelly have been friends and sometimes more for years. For Cope’s birthday, Will plans a very special dinner—at a nantaimori restaurant where the most enticing thing is the table. Dai—the naked man beneath their sushi—has both their mouths watering, but when it comes to Dai’s heart, there’s only room at the table for one, and Will gets there first.

 

Will’s everything Dai thinks he wants in a man… until he’s betrayed. The betrayal also ends the friendship between Will and Cope and leaves Dai shaken and unsure if he can put his trust in another man—not even when a second chance for love and happiness rises from the ashes of the broken relationship. Cope wants to tempt Dai to take a risk with him, but the pain of the past is hard for Dai to shake off… and Cope has obstacles of his own to overcome.

 

Book Review

This novel is unusual for more than one reason. First, the story is by no means a traditional romance – instead the main characters (and everyone else involved in the proceedings) are a reflection of the kind of men you might find out there in reality. From flawed and uncertain to sleazy and even slutty they populate the pages of this book and might just drive you nuts (I came close more than once!). Second, the look at Cope and Will’s jobs working for a clothing company and that of Dai as a waiter (occasionally naked) certainly had me paying attention. And third, the very cleverly constructed deception that goes on throughout most of the book is devious and leads to a lot of heartache, but I can see how certain unprincipled types might do exactly what Will does.

Cope is a troubleshooter for a clothing company, a self-confessed former romantic, and he wants to write poems. He is totally blind to the sleaziness of his boss, Will, probably because they have been friends since college and Cope just doesn’t want to see the truth – because then he’d have to act on it. Cope has been a player, but he is beginning to change his priorities in life and that creates tension. He has great sensitivity for others (when he wants) but needs to learn to "listen to himself". When he finds out about Will's betrayal, it catapults him into a new direction of his life and I cheered him on.

Dai is a waiter (occasionally naked so people can eat food off him, a Japanese tradition). Dai wants to be romanced and is looking for someone special, but he is a little naïve and makes a lot of allowances for things he doesn't like about Will while he still believes what Will wants him to believe. In a sense, Dai is "too desperate" for a partner to see the wood for the trees. The discovery of the degree and depth of Will’s betrayal ends Dai’s rose-colored view and he can move on to getting to know Cope.

Will is a Grade-A sleazeball and deserves everything that’s coming to him – and that is all I will say about him. He is not worth more effort – so congrats to the author for creating such a despicable villain.

If you like your romances nontraditional, with a lot of heartache, and major character growth, if you want to watch three men dance around one another in ways that are painful but entirely possible, and if you’re looking for a read that is as aggravating as it is full of food and fashion references, then you might like this entertaining novel full of flawed characters who make lots of bad decisions before they “see the light” and grow up.

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been purchased by the reviewer.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 224 pages/72421 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 18-December-2017
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
Buy Link https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/table-for-one-by-connie-bailey-9165-b