Del Abbot is 38, and living in his grandparents' old place in Enterprise after his marriage broke down and he lost his restaurant in the divorce. He's a chef, even had his own show on cable for a while, but now he's looking for a new start, if he could just figure out what exactly that entails. When the O'Dwyer family barrels into his life one night, Del can't refuse to help. What begins as a trip to the hospital becomes a regular child-minding gig while Justin struggles to find his feet. And the more time Del spends with Justin, the more they both want more than friendship. But small town life comes with its own bigotry, and, in Justin's case, that bigotry has always been close to home.
What follows is an emotional story full of doubts and fears. The pain and fear of abuse jumps off the page at times. These are two men who seem to have a power imbalance, but they are equally able to lift the other one up, inspiring one another to a better life. It's a story of finding someone you love who can save you. It's impressive and beautiful.
Justin's backstory of being born into the bad family in town, a family full of drunks and thieves, is exceptionally developed and explored. I love the approach the authors took with this aspect.
The writing is amazing, the characters wonderfully complex, and the storyline absolutely riveting. This writing duo of Tia Fielding and Lisa Henry is fantastic, taking the reader on one hell of an incredible journey. The character growth is astounding in this hurt/comfort read.
Family Recipe is one of those special books that begs to be read in one sitting.
If you enjoy loveable characters who need a break in life, this one is a must read. And, wow, the mushy and heartfelt ending is perfect.