C.J. Birch has written a very lovely yet at the same time somewhat poignant contemporary romance with her newest novel Just One Taste. It tells the story of two young women who meet in Toronto. Hayley has just moved to the big city to get away from her small town life, only to lose her job before she can even start. Without a job, she can’t afford her rent, but she refuses to go back home in defeat. She finally finds a job as a short order cook in a small diner, a job she has no experience for, and meets Lauren, her new boss. There is a connection between the two, but events and misunderstandings lead to many missteps that could keep them from finding a life together.
Poor Hayley. Murphy seemed to be practising all his laws on her character in this tale. If anything could go wrong for her in this book, it did, and by extension it ended up affecting Lauren as well. I have to admit there were times I would get really annoyed with Hayley. Her character often acted quite naïve and immature which can be dangerous when alone in a big city like Toronto. This is almost an opposites attract story since Lauren and Hayley are such different characters. I wondered how the two would get together since they were so different. It was interesting seeing how Ms. Birch worked that out in the novel.
The setting is very realistic. Of course, Ms. Birch herself is from Toronto so she would know how to set this story in the big city. I can tell you that she did a great job of describing what it is like there, right down to the raccoon families making the rounds every night in the neighborhoods.
If you like good solid contemporary romance with some angst running through the story and realistic settings, then try Just One Taste by C.J. Birch. I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books for an honest review.