Author: Jessica Freely
Genre: Paranormal, Multicultural
Length: Novel (232pgs)
Publisher: Loose Id (17th January 2012)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4 ½Heats
Blurb: Welcome to the Dharma Café, a restaurant like no other. There is no menu. The waiter, Samura, uses mystical powers to read what each customer needs, and the cook, Agatha, prepares the food with ingredients like love, hope, and courage.
The café is a refuge for the new busboy, Charlie, who was kicked out of home on his eighteenth birthday. Irresistibly drawn to Samura, Charlie soon discovers that the stern, formal waiter harbors a heartbreaking past and a dangerous secret.
Samura lives in fear that one day, the darkness inside him will burst forth to destroy all he loves. Now that includes brash, infuriating, delectable Charlie, who has broken through all Samura’s defenses and taught him to trust himself.
Just when Samura thinks it might be safe to reveal the truth, his worst nightmare walks back into his life: His father, Akio, the evil food sorcerer who runs the burger stand on the other side of town. Akio’s business is expanding and he wants his son to manage his new location, where the Dharma Café now stands.
It will take the combined resources of an ancient cook, a novice dishwasher, and a cursed waiter to fight Akio and protect the café. But when Samura succumbs to Akio’s magic, will it be enough?
Purchase Link: http://www.loose-id.com/Dharma-Cafe.aspx
Review: Samura was taken in by Chef Agatha when he was eight, after he ran away from his father Akio. Now he is eighteen and although he tries his best, he can still feel the darkness inside sometimes. Charlie has been thrown out by his parents on his eighteenth birthday. He’s roaming the streets when he comes across a dumpster full of gorgeous food, he can’t resist and dives in head first.
This is a… I have to say slightly whacky, but thoroughly enjoyable story. Samura is haunted by his past and although Chef Agatha has spent the last ten years working her magic on him, it still has the power to make him doubt himself. Charlie finds it hard to believe that his parents threw him out, but he starts to get back on his feet with the help of Chef Agatha. Surprisingly, even though he has a fear of sorcerers, he doesn’t notice the magic at work in the café until he goes with Samura to collect ingredients and he makes a startling discovery about himself when he has to save Samura.
I have to admit that I was intrigued by the food magic and how there was good and evil. The good working to give a customer what they truly need and the bad making customers starvelings who will do anything the Sorcerer wants for another burger (okay, so I am suspicious of McDonald’s now). The instant antagonistic reaction that Samura and Charlie adds a bit of spice , as you never know how they will react to each other because all the while you know that they are both hiding the fact that they are wildly attracted to each other.
The characters are brilliantly portrayed and I loved Chef Agatha. The story-line was really good and I liked how both Samura and Charlie acted like eighteen year olds and not all grown up and adult. their relationship progressed quickly once they admitted how they both felt and I will never look at bread dough in the same light again.
I will recommend this one to those who want a paranormal magic story with a twist, humor, great sex, food magic, a hunger demon battle, hordes of starvelings and a cheerful happy ever after.