In the Distance (In the Kitchen Book 3) by Nikka Michaels and Eileen Griffin

Carina Press Presents http://ebooks.carinapress.com/1B442965-C83A-4162-9AAF-8C8B7054CF71/10/134/en/ContentDetails.htm?ID={EEB8C335-52AD-4057-8FE3-8DA4E98AB89B}

in the distanceBlurb

Tyler Mitchell has worked hard to rebuild his life after his family kicked him out. A culinary student and sous chef who spends his spare time volunteering with kids, he’s happy enough even though he has no time to consider a relationship.
Trevor Pratt is finally getting over losing the one person he wanted to spend the rest of his life with, but it’s taken screwing every cute guy in Manhattan to get there. He’s vowed to repair the friendship he broke along the way, but that’s hard to do when his friend’s new employee catches his eye. Despite being warned to stay away from Tyler, Trevor turns on the charm.
Romance is a terrible idea. Trevor is ten years older and a relentless playboy. Tyler is still unsure of his place in the world. Neither of them is ready for life-changing love, but as things heat up, their chemistry in the bedroom might just take that decision out of their hands.

Review

Tyler has trust issues. He was kicked out of his “loving” family for being gay, forced to the streets, but rescued by Ethan and Jamie – two restaurateurs who help him to become a sous chef and get him enrolled in school.

Trevor is Jamie’s best friend, the proverbial playboy, and is 10 years Tyler’s senior. Trevor sees Tyler and wants to bring him out of his shell, help him to explore his new sexuality, but knows he will bail at any sign of drama or permanence.

Tyler is captivated by the older man but leery. Both Jamie and Ethan tell Tyler to stay away from Trevor, in fact they practically forbid it. But he can’t stay away and a tenuous relationship begins.

Oh, Tyler lives in Seattle and Trevor in New York – so there’s that, too.

Through some stolen weekends and many phone conversations and texts, the couple draws closer, but Trevor refuses to take it that ultimate step, fearing for Tyler’s heart.

Just when it seems the couple might be crossing some bridges, trust on Tyler’s part, commitment on Trevor’s, something comes up. They reconcile. Then something else comes up. They reconcile… etc.

Finally, after facing his awful family, coming to grips with what he really wants for his future and deciding that he has to value himself first, Tyler essentially boots Trevor to the curb.

When faced with absolutely no connection to Tyler, Trevor also begins to re-consider his values, fears and desires and decides that nothing is going to keep him from Tyler, especially not Tyler’s fears.

**

First let me say that I didn’t read books one and two. But I read the blurb and this sounded really intriguing and it sounded like a standalone.

I believe you didn’t have to have the background from books one and two – per se- but it would have made the story so much richer. Trevor and Jamie and Ethan have a LONG history together that totally shapes the story. Add to that, this is a long book, much of it filled with Jamie/Trevor/Ethan interactions that probably held more appeal for followers of the series.

There was a lot to like in this story. The characters are very well developed, and there is as much development of the secondary characters as the MCs. The emotions feel mostly authentic and each hurdle is handled realistically and thoroughly.

The May/December aspect was maybe downsized and rolled into the lack of experience/trust/playboy hurdle more than an actual issue of age.

The distance is handled really well, and very realistically.

What I didn’t like:
I never felt that connected to Trevor. The authors did too good a job setting him up as an unfeeling ass, and though he was good to Tyler, Tyler was so shiny and good that he really needed someone as wonderful to balance him out. (Tyler works all the time, volunteers when he’s not at school or at work, won’t take a handout, is demure about his talents, etc., etc.) Trevor just shows up, is hot, works a lot, pines over Tyler and never really shows himself as NOT being the playboy his reputation leads us to believe. He just wasn’t as likable as Tyler.

Add to that, Ethan, one of Tyler’s heroes, absolutely despises Trevor for some past sin (undoubtedly found in the other books) and this shades the reader’s opinions as well.

Another thing I didn’t care for was Tyler’s seemingly split personality. He’d be at once flirty and adventurous, then suddenly give Trevor the cold shoulder.

There wasn’t much time with the couple as a couple, and most of their interactions were via text or the phone, which were nice ways to develop their relationship, but we aren’t given much time at all to see them in a relationship on the same coast. It didn’t make me feel that the couple had a lot of potential longevity.

So, overall, I wasn’t that impressed by this. I liked the writing, the editing, the characters and most of the plot, but I wasn’t crazy about this couple or the length. Far too much time was spent on Tyler’s insecure waffling and it got a bit monotonous.

If you have read books one and two, this will undoubtedly be something you should read, and perhaps had I read the first two I’d have felt more warmly about this.

3.5 of 5 hearts

3.5

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