Lighting The Way Home by E.M. Lynley and Shira Anthony

Lighting the Way Home - E.M. Lynley & Shira AnthonyTitle: Lighting The Way Home

Series: Delectable 02

Author: E.M. Lynley & Shira Anthony

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Novel (206pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (29th March 2013)

Heat Level: Low – Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥3½ Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: World-class chef Joshua Golden is homesick for Paris before he even arrives in New York, but he’ll endure it—his parents need him to help run the family restaurant while his mother recovers from surgery. Running a place so far beneath his talents is bad enough, but bad turns to worse when Josh discovers his former best friend and lover, Micah Solomon, is living at his parents’ house with his ten-year-old son, Ethan.

For ten years, Josh has done his best to forget how Micah shattered his heart into tiny pieces. Now Micah’s back, fresh out of prison, and helping out at the restaurant. Micah may not be the kind of sous chef Josh is used to, but he is more helpful and supportive than any of the other employees. But Josh finds it hard to keep his distance when, time after time, Micah proves himself a better man than Josh thought. Reluctantly, Josh realizes there is more to Micah than his lousy life choices… but that doesn’t mean Josh is ready to forgive him.

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Review: This story is part of a series but can be read as a stand-alone. Josh comes home to New York for the first time in five years.  His parents need him to help with their restaurant, while his mother recovers from surgery. Josh gets a shock though, when he discovers his ex-best friend and lover living at his parents’ house along with his ten-year old son, and that the ex-con is working at the restaurant as well. Micah made some bad choices in his life and regrets them.  making things up with Josh is not easy to do, but he tries to show the man he has changed. Can Josh ever find it in himself to forgive Micah for the hurt he suffered?

This story is about forgiving the past and starting anew and opening your heart to love. Josh has been a high-flying chef in Paris.  Returning home to New York to help with his parents’ restaurant isn’t what he really wants. But, it gives him the chance to see what he has really been missing for the past several years, after running away from the pain of his heart. Micah made many mistakes when he was younger and he has paid the price, but the person who he hurt the most, Josh, has never given him the chance to prove himself, now he has that chance.

I found this story to be interesting with the twisting emotions that Josh goes through and with self-realization as he looks at himself and what he has missed out on. The story is from Josh’s point of view, so we see everything through his eyes.  He is quite unforgiving of his ex-best friend and at first I couldn’t understand why he was acting like such brat.  But, then you discover they really were lovers for a very short time. It was hard to be too sympathetic with Josh though because he came across as self-serving for most of the book.  Micah, on the other hand, isn’t trying to prove anything, other than he is truly a good man who lost his way abit.  I really liked his character and was rooting for him to get through to Josh and make Josh listen to him.

The storyline was good and the food descriptions were mouth-watering.  I liked how Micah and Josh finally connected, with the entire truth being brought out in the open and that Josh was more forgiving than he seemed. I also liked the fact that Josh took a step back and had a look at his own actions over the years and he accepted his own faults. The two of them coming together was hot and you can easily see how good they are together. The secondary characters are great and add a wonderful family feeling.

I will recommend this to those who love forgiving the past, great characters, great family, rediscovering love and a happy ending.

Portia’s Two Cents:  I agree with everything that Pixie said…I just wanted to add that this story brought to life a side of Judaism that I rarely see in fiction.  This story could very well have been titled, Mizpah. This family aren’t those Jews that celebrate Passover and Chanukah and that’s it.  Their faith is so much a part of their lives.  It was really beautiful to see the generations use their faith, in different ways, to get through some very trying times. The theme of mizpah is what guides Micah, it allows Josh to forgive and it allows the Goldens’ to open their home to Micah and Ethan.  Absolutely beautiful.