Taste Test by L.B. Dunbar
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Review by Loraine from Wicked Women
Taste Test was a modern day fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast, however in this case the beast is Ella the young adult in this story and Ethan is the man who plays the other role in this duo(beauty). Ella has been scarred really bad on the right side of her face, neck and right side of her body, and she is devastated by this as she was going to be a model-she was beautiful: she still is beautiful but people are cruel, hence the secrecy of their location, one of them anyway!
This book is about a man(Ethan) who is drifting through life with loose ends and no real motivation to do anything, he lost his scholarship, he does not want to take over the family business started by his grandfather and then his father, he has had several meaningless relationships, and has never been in love. What he really wants to do is be a chef, and that is not acceptable to his father. However his sister slips him an ad about being a chef at a private dwelling so he goes to see about it.
This job entails being a chef for an author of horror books and his niece(Ella) lives there with him. Ethan has to agree to tell no one about anything and keep their identity a secret. Ethan takes the job, and this is a good job as if he does well, he will get a year of college tuition paid for on top of his salary which is very generous.
This is when he runs into Ella, and their initial encounters are anything but cool, she hates him on sight, accuses him of trying to poison her, kill her, drown her and on and on. But Ethan soon realizes that Ella has a lot of problems and there is a reason behind her actions.
This book is well written, and the plot is well developed and leaves you guessing up until the last part of the book. There is so much emotional angst in this book, that you can cut through it with a knife. Find out what and why!
Ethan is also upset as his mother has another bout of cancer, and he feels so helpless and does not know what to do for his mom but he loves her so much. Ethan thinks his father is not there for his mother, but in this case too there are things that Ethan does not understand about his father and sees his unwillingness to help his mom as being rotten, but that is not the case at all.
Slowly but surely read as the writer takes you on the journey of Ella and Ethan, and be prepared to be stunned at what has happened and what happens still. Read about Ella's Uncle and how out of the need to protect Ella, he makes her life impossible. Ella's uncle is a good man, but he does not really know what to do for her- he has never had children. Read and see what happens with all of these wonderful characters the L.B. Dunbar has created and also find out what "taste test" refers to!
I have not read anything by this author before but plan to read all her books, she has a good ability to write a story that has great plots, angst of all types, and endings that are not expected but awesome.
I gave this book 5***** stars and can't wait to read another book by this author-you nailed it L.B. Dunbar! Thank you for this great story!
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