Tuesday, September 2, 2014

*Review* Taste Test by L.B. Dunbar

Title: Taste Test
Author: L.B. Dunbar
Release Date: September 2, 2014


In a modern twist of fairy tales,

what if the beast is a woman instead of a man?

Ethan Scott

I was about to find out when a mysterious job led to the secluded home of a horror novelist. I’d lost everything: my scholarship, my education, and my way. In denial of my family inheritance, I took the unusual employment as a chance out of a hole, but I found myself buried in the unknown trauma of another situation much deeper. 

Ella Vincentia

I had changed my name and my address to keep myself hidden, but my scars were more than physical. Living as a recluse in the woods, I was used to being alone, so I wasn’t happy when a certain someone was always in my space. Our first encounter was less than pleasant and tension continued at every attempt to tame me. 


I knew she was keeping secrets and I wanted to help, but she was cutting me down and cutting me off every time she opened her mouth. Our frustration with one another grew until a misunderstanding changed everything. How can I be the next guy after something so tragic? It was a challenge I wasn’t sure I was willing to take.


Ethan Scott has never wanted to follow in his father's footsteps. Running the family cherry orchard is pretty much the last thing he wants to do with his life. When he loses his scholarship though, it looks like he won't have a choice until an ad in the newspaper for a personal chef catches his sister's eye. The job seems like a dream come true, but will it turn out to be more of a nightmare?

First of all, I absolutely loved the chapter headings. They were fun, whimsical, and really set the mood for each chapter. They also make perfect sense with the title of the book. I normally don't pay much attention to chapter headings while reading, but I made sure to read every one of these.

This is a modern take on the beauty and the beast theme, where the woman is the beast. Having lived with disfiguring scars for the past 15 years (half my life), I could sort of relate to Ella, except we have very different personalities and that greatly affects our reaction to our disfigurement. People stare or make it really obvious that they're trying not to, kids point and loudly ask their parents what happened or what's wrong. I can understand why Ella acts the way she does, especially considering her past.

It was clear early on that Ella had issues but it wasn't initially clear why and I frequently found myself wanting to shake her and tell her to stop being ridiculous. I imagine Ethan felt the same way.

This story really sucked me in from the beginning and the characters were really well developed. The story flowed smoothly with enough mystery to keep me firmly hooked, wanting to know what would happen next and if Ethan and Ella would ever find a happily ever after. I look forward to reading more from this author and would recommend this book to any romance fan that likes their men to be a bit on the sweeter side.

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Author Bio:

I’d like to say I was always a writer. I’d also like to say that I wrote every day of my life since a child. That I took the teaching advice I give my former students because writing every day improves your writing. I’d like to say I have my ten-thousand hours that makes me a proficient writer. But I can’t say any of those things. I did dream of writing the “Great American Novel” until one day a friend said: Why does it have to be great? Why can’t it just be good and tell a story?

As a teenager, I wrote your typical love-angst poetry that did occasionally win me an award and honor me with addressing my senior high school class at our Baccalaureate Mass. I didn’t keep a journal because I was too afraid my mom would find it in the mattress where I kept my copy of Judy Blume’s Forever that I wasn’t allowed to read as a twelve year old.

I can say that books have been my life. I’m a reader. I loved to read the day I discovered “The Three Bears” as a first grader, and ever since then, the written word has been my friend. Books were an escape for me. An adventure to the unknown. A love affair I’d never know. I could be lost for hours in a book.

So why writing now? I had a story to tell. It haunted me from the moment I decided if I just wrote it down it would go away. But it didn’t. Three years after writing the first draft, a sign (yes, I believe in them) told me to fix up that draft and work the process to have it published. That’s what I did. But one story let to another, and another, and another. Then a new idea came into my head and a new storyline was created. 

I was accused (that’s the correct word) of having an overactive imagination as a child, as if that was a bad thing. I’ve also been accused of having the personality of a Jack Russell terrier, full of energy, unable to relax, and always one step ahead. What can I say other than I have stories to tell and I think you’ll like them. If you don’t, that’s okay. We all have our book boyfriends. We all have our favorites. Whatever you do, though, take time for yourself and read a book.

L.B. Dunbar

(Photo and Bio copied from Goodreads)

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