Jun. 2nd, 2017

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Dinner at the Blue Moon Cafe, by Rick Reed


A monster moves through the night, hidden by the darkness, taking men, one by one, from Seattle’s gay gathering areas. Amid an atmosphere of crippling fear, Thad Matthews finds his first true love working in an Italian restaurant called the Blue Moon Café. Sam Lupino is everything Thad has ever hoped for in a man: virile, sexy as hell, kind, and...he can cook!

As their romance heats up, the questions pile up. Who is the killer preying on Seattle’s gay men? What secrets is Sam’s Sicilian family hiding? And more importantly, why do Sam’s unexplained disappearances always coincide with the full moon?

The strength of Thad and Sam’s love will face the ultimate test when horrific revelations come to light beneath the full moon. 
Rating: 3.25 out of 5

I really wanted to like this one, but there were just too many things working against it. The majority of the book is told from Thad’s point of view, so Sam is something of a cipher. At best he comes off as a caring but conflicted boyfriend, at worst he’s a stock Italian male stereotype. Also, because we spend so much time in Thad’s head we are privy to his back and forth thoughts on their relationship. And back and forth. And back and forth. Arrgh, make a damn decision!

Plot-wise, the mystery was not particularly mysterious. The motives were rather stereotypical, and the repercussions seemed very glossed-over. There were also a couple of annoying plot holes and threads left hanging. As for the werewolf aspects, with a few minor fixes you could change “is a werewolf” to “is a member of the Mafia” or something similar and not change the story that much.

I also found the ending rather frustrating as well, a shoehorned-in happily-ever-after that simply did not match the rest of the book. Sudden decisions are made and out-of-character opinions stated, and it really undermines the book as a whole. Reed’s writing style isn’t bad and I’d be willing to read other books by him, but this one just didn’t do it for me.

September 2017

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