Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
CLASSIFIED ADS: RESTAURANTS SANGUINI'S: A VERY RARE RESTAURANT IS HIRING A CHEF DE CUISINE. DINNERS ONLY.
APPLY IN PERSON BETWEEN 2:00 AND 4:00 PM.
Quincie Morris has never felt more alone. Her parents are dead, and her hybrid-werewolf first love is threatening to embark on a rite of passage that will separate them forever. Then, as she and her uncle are about to unveil their hot vampire-themed restaurant, a brutal murder leaves them scrambling for a chef. Can Quincie transform their new hire into a culinary Dark Lord before opening night? Can he wow the crowd in his fake fangs, cheap cape, and red contact lenses — or is there more to this earnest face than meets the eye? As human and preternatural forces clash, a deadly love triangle forms, and the line between predator and prey begins to blur. Who’s playing whom? And how long can Quincie play along before she loses everything? TANTALIZE marks Cynthia Leitich Smith’s delicious debut as a preeminent author of dark fantasy.
I'm sorry, but I was very disappointed in this book. It was a very quick read (only took me 2 hours) and it has a beautiful cover and a good idea for the story but the way it was executed just didn't work for me.
Quincie is the main character who is raised by her uncle because her parents died a few years ago. Her uncle manages the family restaurant until Quincie turns 21 and can take over.
When this book begins the restaurant is being renovated and her uncle has an idea to turn it into a vampire themed restaurant. (in the story vampires, werewolves, shifters, etc. really do exist although the story doesn't go into that)
The chef who had worked for them forever gets murdered one night at the restaurant and it looks like a werewolf did it because of the manner of death. So eyes start looking at Quincies best friend, Kieren because he is a werewolf (although he can't shift all the way). Not everybody knows this though and before she knows it Quincie is starting to doubt her best friend.
In the middle of all of this they have to find a new chef for the restaurant because it will be opening in a month. After going through some applicants, Quincies uncle finds a guy he likes and hires him. It is now Quincies job to transform him into a "vampire". Get him into the proper wardrobe and persona to play the part of the "head vampire chef"...
Having to work closely with the new chef like this draws Quincie and him closer and closer together and pulls her further away from Kieren.
Anyway, bottom line here, the set up of the restaurant and the transformation of the new chef took up the first half of the book, if not more and nothing happened. It was very boring for me.
By the time stuff started happening the book was almost over and so everything seemed rushed. There wasn't enough set up or background for the secrets that Quincie found out and what happens to her is "too easy" and it isn't elaborated on....
The character development was OK, but execution of the story could have been done better.
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