Friday, January 18, 2019

Release Day Review: Place Setting by Claudia Mayrant

Title: Place Setting
Author: Claudia Mayrant
Release Date: January 18, 2019
Category: Contemporary, States of Love
Pages: 70

Dreamspinner Press

Cameron Dunlop has lived in the Lowcountry town of Summer Corners, South Carolina, his whole life. He loves his home, but his little town in the Deep South doesn’t offer much in the way of dating options.

Chef Gray Callahan has enjoyed success in the kitchen, but his last relationship sunk like a bad soufflé. When plans for his sister’s wedding go awry, it provides the perfect excuse to pack up and go home, where he can help out as he decides how to start his life over.

Gray’s path crosses Cameron’s, and he realizes together they might have all the ingredients to save the day—with maybe enough left over for something sweet just for the two of them.

Rating: 3.5 stars 

Place Setting by Claudia Mayrant explores the people and the small town of Summer Corners in South Carolina, and introduced us to Cameron and Gray. Cameron knew Gray, who was a few years ahead of him in school, so they weren’t completely two strangers meeting.

I struggled with this review. On the one hand, I enjoyed this story, the setting and the characters, but I wouldn’t consider this a romance. It just didn’t get to the point of being a romance. There was all the setup and potential for a great romance, but we ran out of pages. I always say that novellas can be hard. There’s a lot of story to pack into a few pages, 70 pages for this one. The problem was 65 of those pages was the setup for the relationship and that didn’t leave us time for the romance.

This story had a lot of potential! Gray and his boyfriend have broken up, and Gray leaves the restaurant they co-owned. When his sister has a wedding crisis, it’s the perfect project for him to work while trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life. He heads back to his hometown. He meets Cameron who loves living in his small town, except for the part of where he seems to be the only gay man in town. Gray and Cameron have the potential of a sweet romance - it just wasn’t in this story.

I really wish there was less story about the area and townspeople and more story about Cameron and Gray. I loved the setup of Cameron and Gray, and thought they had great potential, and maybe they do, but it ended with them just beginning. I definitely wouldn’t classify this as a HEA, if that matters to you, and probably not even a HFN because they weren’t in a relationship. So, this was a sweet story that lets you decide the future of Cameron and Gray.

**Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by DreamSpinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.**

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