Blurb (from Goodreads):
Once upon a time – better known as “now” - Gabriel Pritz reigns as king of his high school. Easy grades, perfect baseball season, a pretty date for prom—he's coasting into a golden future. Until his parents demand he cook dinner once a week. Caught between kitchen fires and ballpark withdrawal, Gabe is thrown into Tam Swann's orbit. Hostile, friendless, and stubborn, she's exactly the sort of person he'd prefer to avoid.
Tam's sphere of influence expands beyond Gabe's sad domestic skills, rapidly invading everything from his favorite game to parts of his soul he didn't know existed. It's uncomfortable, it's hard work, it's...making him a better man. And that's just what she does to people she doesn't like. The better he gets to know her, the more he has to face the truth: this sharp, heart-breaking outcast is worth fighting for. How many families, fairy tales, and felons will he go through to ride to the rescue of the bravest person he's ever met?
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Lex Keating, All Night Reads, and Netgalley.)
Gabe loves baseball, but he’s hopeless at cooking, so when his mom breaks the news to him and his brothers that they’ll each have to cook dinner one night a week because of her job, he knows that he’s going to need help.
After listening to his girlfriend moan about her foster-sister Tam’s awful cooking that takes minutes to prepare and fills her up with 4 bites, Gabe knows who he needs to ask for cooking advice.
Tam is working hard at school so that she can gain custody of her younger brothers once she graduates high school, and while she acing most of her classes, she needs help with Trig.
Tam and Gabe come to an arrangement; she teaches him to cook, and he teaches her trig.
Will it be enough for Tam to get her brothers back though? How will the food and Tam’s influence go down with Gabe’s family? And is this the start of a beautiful friendship for Tam and Gabe?
This story was dull, and I’m really not sure what the point was.
Tam was a bit of an odd character. She was good at everything she did, excellent even, from cooking to altering clothes, to baseball, and she even excelled at maths after tutoring from Gabe. There were never any half measures with her, and she was also fiercely loyal, and went to great lengths to ensure that her brothers were properly cared for even when they weren’t her responsibility.
Gabe and his brothers were absolutely hopeless in the kitchen. How grown men were capable of cooking pizzas with the plastic still on, and trying to cook muddy potatoes in a pot with no water is quite beyond me. You would have expected that their parents would have at least taught them some cooking basics if they were expected to cook one night a week each.
The most devious and unsavoury character was surprisingly Tam’s foster-sister Kerry, who was a gorgeous and popular cheerleader, and committed identity theft and took out a credit card in Tam’s name! Kerry the wicked foster-sister was the only character in this book who engendered any feeling from me whatsoever though, as the others just came across as dull. Even their passion for baseball couldn’t sway me.
I did find the storyline in this book pretty dull unfortunately. It seemed to take forever for anything to happen, and I got really bored of the random conversations and events that didn’t really add anything to the storyline. The baseball parts of the story were possibly the worst for me though, as I’m really not a fan of sports, and it just didn’t interest me at all. The decorating stuff drove me mad too; reading about paint drying is about as much fun as watching it.
I thought that this book would have some romance in it, but after getting all the way to the end without so much as a kiss I was seriously disappointed, and really wished that I’d never read this at all. The ending was also a bit lacklustre without a romantic happily ever after. I mean, the couple on the cover look pretty loved up, so where did that come from? Why have them all cosy on the cover if they don’t get cosy in the story? What was the point of this story other than Tam trying to rescue her brothers from foster care, which is of course going to actually make her life a lot more difficult while she has to support them all?
Overall; not what I expected at all – practically no romance, and a very dull storyline.
4 out of 10.