Catering to Love (Departments of Love Book 1)


HISTORICAL: Set during the 20th century, a time of the Summer Olympics and the famous Franco-British Exhibition, Henri works as the head chef of the Royal Tea Room in the Hartridge & Casas department store. This French chef, Monsieur Henri Newbold, is on a mission to one day open his own restaurant. And yet, he finds himself distracted by a new Greek waiter, Nikolaos Kavafis, who captured his attention immediately. Not only do these two lovers have to deal with their forbidden attraction, but an enemy, Lord Ockley, blocks the two from their potential relationship, threatening to ruin them. As Henri and Nico battle these never-ending obstacles, will they still make their way back together unscathed?

This book throws readers into a time machine, allowing them to relive the historically rich moments vicariously through the characters, and leading readers down a rabbit hole of sweet romance. There is confusion at the beginning because too many characters are introduced at once, making readers’ heads spin. But the author finds stability in the middle of the novel, and readers find themselves mesmerized by the amount of history that is shown, even from basic trips and interactions with the protagonists. This plot is very predictable, and readers may get bored with the repetitive slow-burn, love-at-first-sight trope. The book also has moments where characters would speak other languages like French, which was quite an interesting addition. However, there is a big lack of character development or background, which makes readers feel a loss of connection to the story. Overall, the flow of the plot and the connection between this forbidden romance satisfies all the needs of any romance reader.

Austen Grace