I bought and downloaded this book immediately upon finishing Eternal, which is set in the same world. The story is written around a menu for a new restaurant. Quincie Morris inherited a restaurant when both her parents passed away; her Uncle is running it in trust for her until her 21st birthday. The story begins when the restaurant is closed for renovations - it is being re-imaged as Sanguini's: A Very Rare Restaurant, a theme restaurant with a vampire chef and vampire Goth theme decor. And the chef is to be the unlife of the party. But a few weeks before the grand reopening, the chef, a close family friend, is murdered and it looks like a werewolf attack.
Soon they find a person who appears to be the perfect fill-in, Henry Johnson, a chef whose food is amazing but seems to be struggling with the vampire appearance. But things are not always what they appear. A wedge is driven between Quincie and her best friend, a half-werewolf named Kiernan. Soon she is isolated, not attending school and spending all her time with her uncle and the new chef preparing for the grand reopening.
This story was amazing, I did not want to stop reading it, and often kept reading when I should have put the book down. I read it in less than 48 hours. The story was great, with amazing twists in the plot. The surprises kept coming. The story is told in sections following the menu for the new restaurant, from antipasto, primo, secondo, dolce and finally conforno. I loved the story and how it was written and cannot wait for the third book in this world to come out in 2011.
on August 26, 2007
Quincie Morris leads a stressful life; playing the part of a responsible adult since the death of her parents has left her the owner of the family restaurant. Fat Lorenzo's was a successful family business until a large Italian restaurant chain moved in down the street. The small business couldn't compete, so in order to keep the doors open, her Uncle Davidson, now her guardian and manager of the restaurant, decided to change Fat Lorenzo's into a vampire-themed Italian restaurant called Sanguini's. The chef would be the center of the act, leading a midnight toast every night. Quincie's close friend, Vaggio, has been with the restaurant for years as its chef and is looking forward to the new challenge.
Quincie works late many nights a week. She is either working with Vaggio, taste-testing for the new menu, or organizing some of the many tasks left to do before opening night. One night while she is in the office reviewing her "To Do List," she hears a noise from the kitchen. Thinking Vaggio simply dropped something, she continues to work. She is also waiting for Kieren, a half-werewolf that has been the love of her life and best friend for years. She is startled when she hears Kieren's frantic cry calling her name from the kitchen. Immediately going to meet him, she is horrified by the site of Vaggio dead on the kitchen floor, bloodied and mangled as if torn apart by wolves. Kieren is bloodied from attempting to help and is desperate with worry about Quincie. He quickly pulls her from the restaurant and goes down the street to call the police. Once the police arrive, they return to the scene of the crime to answer questions.
Quincie feels her world closing in on her. She has lost her parents and a dear friend within a short period of time. Her Uncle Davidson has been preoccupied with Ruby, his wannabe vampire girlfriend, so much so that he isn't ever home and rarely spends time with Quincie anymore. Now, she learns that Kieren is planning to leave. He is going to join a werewolf pack for support while he learns the ways of his culture. Once he joins, he will never be able to come back. The thought of never seeing, touching, or talking to Kieren again leaves her shaken.
Quincie is in a vulnerable state when the new chef for Sanguini's shows up unexpectedly. Uncle Davidson hired him without even consulting her, which irritates her since she is usually considered a partner when it comes to major decisions. Henry Johnson is the new chef and as he and Quincie work together to make him more vampire-like, they grow closer. The first thing they change is his name, and Henry Johnson becomes Bradley Sanguini. Bradley cooks for her daily, constantly trying new recipes for the possible menu. He also introduces her to wine. Never one for drinking, she quickly develops a taste for it, seeming to always have a glass of wine in her hand while she is working. She is surprised that her uncle doesn't say anything about her drinking. She is even more shocked when Uncle Davidson allows her to drink wine at home.
Quincie's life seems to flash before her eyes. Her mind is occupied with thoughts of the restaurant so much that her grades at school begin to fall. She loses interest in any activity that isn't surrounding Sanguini's. She begins to spend less time with Kieren, both because she is afraid of her feelings when he is gone for good and because Bradley and Uncle Davidson plant the seed of suspicion in her mind that Kieren might have lost control of his change and killed Vaggio himself. All of these thoughts distract her to the point that she is lured into a dangerous situation where there is no way out. Her life will be forever changed.
TANTALIZE by Cynthia Leitich Smith is a stimulating paranormal mystery mixed with romance. The relationship between Quincie and Kieren is touching and so deep that the reader feels Quincie's pain at the thought of losing Kieren, while at the same time understanding Kieren's reasons for keeping Quincie at arms length and never following through on the emotions he feels for her. There are a few loose ends at the end of the book that leave the reader begging for more, which will most likely lead to a sequel.
Reviewed by: Karin Perry
on September 30, 2009
Things I liked:
-Short chapters, that flowed nicely together. Clever chapter titles.
-Unique outlook on were lore (there are pretty much every kind of were creature in this book). It's set in a world were the general population know about were-animals, but done in a way were they aren't everywhere, people still don't see them every day.
-I did enjoy the writing/dialog style.
Things I disliked:
-Quincie's drinking, ignoring her school work, brushing off her best friend all made me grow to dislike her. I really liked her at the beginning but the more I got into it the more things she did I just didn't like. It's hard to read a book that is written in first person from the pov of a character you don't like.
-Quincie's Uncle D, wasn't much of a parent, and it only grew worse worse through the book. I understand why (spoiler ahead) he is a vampire, but what I don't understand is why Quincie doesn't really question it.
-Quincie believes awfully quickly that her best friend she's know her entire life is the bad guy and the new chef she's known a few weeks is the good guy. I am sorry but this just doesn't jive with me.
-The premise implies that there will be a hot love triangle..I say 'what love triangle'?
Overall I really enjoyed the book until about page 250 and spoiler ahead, Quinice is made a vampire which to me made is seem very much like a vampire erotica novel, as soon as that happened I was just thinking that the book could have gone so many different directions why did it go this way? I did end up liking it more than I thought I would but I am thankful I got this one from the library. I give this a 2.75 out of 5
on December 29, 2009
Quincie Morris is not a vampire. But when the Italian restaurant she inherited from her parents starts to go under, she has to take action. Along with her Uncle, Quincie forms a plan to rebrand the restaurant as Sanguini's, with a vampire theme.
Just one problem: "What if some real vampires actually show up?" Her uncle''s answer: "We''ll make a fortune."
Quncie is actually more concerned about Kieren '- when will her best friend (a hybrid werewolf) realize that he's in love with her? But then the chef is murdered, and his replacement is a little strange. Could there really be vampires in sunny Texas?
This vampire book has a culinary twist, with an insider's view of the restaurant business and creating menus. Quincie is a likeable character, as is Kieren. The ending is unexpected. Readers who need a lot of closure may not be satisfied.