Kim Junseo owns a Korean fusion restaurant he built from the ground up, and he keeps himself busy running it and taking care of his 5-year-old daughter, Hee-Young. Though on the surface he seems successful and happy, he’s also lonely – and terrified of relationships, since his marriage to his ex-husband Noah ended in disaster three years ago.
When Junseo comes to Nic Moretti’s classroom to throw Hee-Young a birthday party, sparks fly. Nic thinks Junseo is impossibly handsome, funny and sweet. Junseo’s drawn to Nic’s goofy, gentle spirit and thinks he’s beautiful. Junseo doesn’t even think twice about volunteering to teach Nic’s class about food and cooking. One thing leads to another, and soon they’re bonding over kimchi fried rice at Junseo’s restaurant and salami and cheese sandwiches at the Getty Villa as the heat builds between them.
Then Junseo’s abusive ex-husband Noah re-appears in his life, claiming good intentions, but Nic’s afraid that Noah’s going to try to worm his way back into Junseo’s life and hurt him. Junseo, struggling to deal with old demons he thought he’d buried, pushes Nic away. With Nic and Junseo’s relationship on the rocks and Noah refusing to keep his distance, Junseo feels like his whole carefully constructed world is crumbling around him. He has to decide which is more important: keeping up his perfect façade, or keeping the man who has so sweetly captured his heart.
Well, this was a lovely surprise. A new to me author- but still a new author as this is only her second book- but I am a sucker for books that feature restaurant workers.
Junseo is a single dad who owns a Korean fusion restaurant in LA. His daughter goes to a private school and never stops talking about her teacher Mr Nic. Turns out that Mr Nic enjoys being a kindergarten teacher, but longs to be a professional musician. When they meet, sparks fly between them.
Both men are wary based on their pasts, as well as the little girl one is a father to and the other is a teacher to. But once they get a moment alone, holy hotness.
I really loved that both men were nice guys. No one was a jerk that had to learn to love. Sure, they both had erected walls around their hearts, but really, those walls crumbled pretty easily. There could have been a lot of angst, and there was a little of it, but they really seemed to look on the bright side of things, even if they didn’t know they were doing that.
Nic’s circle of friends were funny and added to the story as opposed to being just filler. His mother and his sister are also featured through email and calls and the Philly in them shone through. From talking about the secrets of making gravy to his mother mailing him tomatoes from Jersey. Yes, these things happen in real life. When I lived in CA, my family would mail me tomatoes from NJ.
Junseo seemed to really only have his best friend and his mother in his life. Well, and his daughter. HIs mother was a very central piece of his life though, teaching him to cook when he was younger and helping him care for his daughter now while he worked.
Junseo and Nic were really perfect together. They were sweet and romantic and really hot. The way Nic loved Hee-Young as well was so evident. She was never treated as an extra who had to be worked around.
There were a few silly things that bugged me. But, you know I am a picky reader. So, I don’t think I will even mention them because they didn’t detract from the story at all.
Very well written, likable characters, a cute AND hot love story. And since this is book 1- there are more to come! I will definitely snatch up book 2 when it comes out.
4 Pieces of Eye Candy