It can take losing everything to realize what you had all along.
Up-and-coming London chef Marcus Vine is poised on the edge of success, but the only men courting him are investors. That leaves Marcus with some free time—which is fortunate, because his godchildren need him.
A year ago, a horrible accident killed Marcus’s best friend, Raine, leaving her children without a mother and her husband, Tom, without a partner. Consumed by grief, Tom has been going it alone, refusing help, but when Marcus sees him out with the children, it’s obvious that Tom and his two daughters need someone. His persistent caring finally wears Tom down, allowing him to accept the comfort Marcus offers. Soon Marcus is up to his elbows in homework, home-cooked meals, and after-school activities. Over time he helps them rebuild their world, until soon their lives are approaching normal.
Then the unexpected happens: Tom confesses he has romantic feelings for Marcus, and nothing can ever be the same.
Dreamspun Desires #63
Some ingredients are harder to substitute than others...
Marcus Vine is on the cusp of success as a chef, but finds that having only investors interested in him leaves him with time to spare and following the loss of his best friend Raine, Marcus turns to helping Raine's husband Tom as he struggles to come to grips with losing his wife and the mother of his children...Marcus's godchildren, trying to rebuild their lives to a new normal.
Marcus days become filled with childcare and he finds himself becoming a part of a family as little by little Tom and his godchildren begin to rely on him for the stability he brings to their lives.
For Marcus what starts as simply helping his deceased best friend's husband care for his daughters and get back to being a family again puts him and Tom in close proximity to each other on a regular basis and Marcus is faced with his feelings for Tom becoming more than just that of a family friend and ultimately Tom also begins to realize that he has an attraction for Marcus that has nothing to do with friendship or gratitude but he's also not willing to step out of the safety of the closet he's been hiding in.
I liked the dynamics between Marcus and Tom. Marcus has an established career and he's confident about his choices. In general I liked Marcus and the fact that while he didn't push Tom nor did he just hide in the closet and hope that things would change. He kept his promises in regards to helping with the children and while he was willing to give Tom time...he wasn't willing to give forever. So while I may not have liked him quite as much as Marcus I did have a lot of empathy for Tom.
While I liked Marcus I wasn't quite as overly taken with Tom. I think he was trying but sometimes pride goes before the fall and that's what happened with Tom. He was so determined to care for his children without anyone's help that he let his pride get in toe way and lost sight of what was truly important...the well being of his children, but I don't think it was because he didn't love them...I think maybe he was just a little misguided about the fact that needing help and being weak aren't the same thing.
One of the best parts of this story for me was that so often in a story like this one MC or the other losses themselves in the life of the other as they try to help but that wasn't the case with Marcus. He didn't lose himself and we were shown more than one side of him as he helped take care of his godchildren, tried to be a friend to Tom and worked to pursue his own career goals.
I liked the story but for the most part it was just a case of like i wasn't until the last 10 or 20% that I really got enchanted by the story...especially the epilogue...it was freaking adorable and definitely added to the overall story for me...seriously cute stuff at the end.
'The Missing Ingredient' is only the second book that I've listened to by Seb Yarrick and once again he's done a solid job of creating an enjoyable audio book making a solid contribution to my enjoyment of this story and certainly keeping him on my radar as a narrator that I'll enjoy hearing more from in the future.
*************************An audio book of 'The Missing Ingredient' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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