Author: Ari McKay
Narrator: Dorian Bane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press/Dreamspun Desires
Run Time: 5 hours and 26 minutes
At a Glance: There are nice surprises in this book, and Dorian Bane narrates the slow burn romance with aplomb.
Reviewed By: Mike
Blurb: From the frying pan into the fire.
After a critic’s review attacks both Chef Liam Walker’s culinary skills and his personal life, Liam can no longer take the heat of the cutthroat New York City restaurant scene. He needs to get out of the kitchen—at least long enough to cool down and regroup.
At the Overlook Resort in North Carolina, Liam meets owner Carter Galloway. Carter has a passion for the hospitality business to rival Liam’s own, and it’s not hard to see where their shared interests—and attraction—could lead. But Carter has no interest in a fling, and Liam has no intention of walking away from the career he fought so hard for. If they want a taste of happiness together, they’ll have to find the courage to break the bonds threatening to pull them apart.
Review: Liam Walker is an up and coming New York Chef with a humble background. When that background is held against him by one of New York’s premier food critics, Liam cannot withhold a proper response—with his fist.
Carter Galloway has several goals: to own and operate a Carolina resort hotel, and to have its restaurant be an attraction in its own right. Two things hold him back, though—a less than capable chef, and parents who would rather he be a straight lawyer than a gay man who owns a lowly hotel in the mountains.
When Liam decamps from the high stress New York Food world to recharge, he stumbles upon the Overlook. In short order, he berates the young chef, the resort owner, and anyone else in hearing range, for serving obviously sub-par food.
Sparks of contention are not the only things that flay between the owner and the bad boy chef. Everyone around them can see Liam and Carter falling for one another, but Carter wants a full life, not a long-distance thing that will only lead to heartbreak. Liam needs to blow off steam, but this one time he, too, wants more than just a bit of paradise. He has just realized that he wants a lifetime to love the right man.
Dorian Bane narrates this slow burn romance with aplomb. There is not one thing to fault here. Those familiar with his voice work already know he does southern and southwestern accents like few others. He gives us credible accents from the North Carolina mountains and from Texas, where Liam grew up, without muddling accents or making them caricatures or clichés. The deepening feelings between Liam and Carter are carried off just right. When it comes time for the HEA that all romances require, we are not disappointed with the action, either.
Secondary characters are given their due as well. From the affable but inexperienced young chef of the Overlook, to Carter’s overbearing and wholly unlikeable parents, to various hotel staff, and also with Liam’s mentor who feels he is owed Liam’s complete career. Excitement, disappointment, and attraction are conveyed nicely here without any of it being overbearing. Breaking Bonds is part of the Dreamspun Desires romance world, so some things are a given, but there are nice surprises in this book as well. Even though it refers to a previous book, you need not read it to enjoy this one, though you may want to go back and read/listen to the first Walker Boys book, Striking Sparks.
Buy this book for the fine story and excellent narration. Buy it if you’re a true romance lover who enjoys the HEA and the ride to getting there. You will enjoy this book if you like romance, southern settings, or a slow burn, all of which are fully enjoyable here.
You can buy Breaking Bonds here: