Dinner for One by Meg Harding

Dinner for One

Dinner for One by Meg Harding

Published by: Dreamspinner Press on July 13, 2016
Rating: 4 stars (★★★★☆)

Bastien isn’t known for taking criticism very well. But, then again, he doesn’t have much practice. His French restaurant always gets rave reviews, and he’s never really had any complaints. So when a respected restaurant critic gives the place a negative review, Bastien is a bit miffed. He channels that energy into making something extra special for his niece’s school bake sale. And it’s to his benefit when he meets an attractive writer who just might be interested in more than Bastien’s food.

Of all the things James expected when he showed up to a school bake sale, meeting someone like Bastien wasn’t one of them. The man not only knows how to bake, but he appeals to James in other ways as well. And James thinks they might be a good match–until he learns that Bastien is the owner of a restaurant he recently reviewed. And said review wasn’t exactly positive. James knows that if he reveals this to Bastien their potential relationship will stop dead in its tracks. But maybe if Bastien can have the chance to get to know James, he’ll see there’s something more there? Is it dishonest to omit this fact, when it shouldn’t matter anyway if it turns out they like each other?

Is omission really dishonesty? Such an age-old question that gets answers all across the spectrum. On one hand, it’s not an overt lie by giving misinformation. If a question isn’t asked, then is there really an expectation that it should be answered? But if you know sharing a piece of information would matter to someone but you withhold it, isn’t that just as bad?

Don’t let all the philosophical questions fool you. This is actually a fun and light-hearted book. But it does bring those issues to the forefront. Is building a relationship while you withhold something from your partner that you know would matter to them the right way to go? You know they’ll be upset when it all comes to bear. But you also can’t help thinking that if you tell them upfront, any chance of a relationship will be lost. James definitely struggles with these questions, and he gets varying advice from other sources in his life. Which goes to show that opinions on this subject haven’t really reached a widespread consensus.

This, of course, easily snags a recommendation from me. Especially because of the way everything ends up playing out for these two…