Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: Savor Me
Author: Beth Bolden
Series: Kitchen Gods #3
Heroes: Xander & Damon
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 342 pages
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: September 29, 2018
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: When Chef Xander Bridges leaves the warmth and safety of his car on a cold, stormy night and approaches a stranger, the last thing he expects to find is a future. He’s wanted to leave his job for awhile, but with no good opportunities on the horizon, he’s been stuck in a long, painful rut. But when he befriends the stranger viciously tearing up his own vineyard, Xander discovers something inexplicable. Maybe he’s not the bitter, sarcastic man that everyone, including himself, has endured for years.
Maybe, with someone like Damon in his life, he could be something more. Something better.
Damon Hess doesn’t just want more, he demands it. With his alcoholic past, there are no gray areas for him. Only black and white. In love or not. Sober or drunk. But the chance meeting with Xander opens Damon’s eyes, and gives him a vision full of something he hasn’t experienced in years: hope.
Hope that he can expect companionship and affection, hope that he doesn’t have to grapple with his family’s questionable Napa legacy any longer, and most importantly, hope that there’s a future worth believing in. But the longer he and Xander spend cultivating that future, the more Damon realizes that the key is so much simpler than he ever imagined–it’s Xander.
Savor Me is an 80,000 word contemporary m/m romance starring an irascible man with a soft, gooey marshmallow center and another who knows he likes men, but has never been with one before. It is third in the Kitchen Gods series, but can be read as a standalone.
This was an amazing addition to the series! While the blurb says you can read this as a standalone, I don’t recommend that. I think you should really read the series entirely because then you’d get to know Xander before his book and I feel like that’s important with him. From the beginning of the series, Xander has been a snarky, brutally honest character that doesn’t really let things go. In this one, we finally find out why that is and, I must say, that really endeared me to him. I loved seeing him work through his doubts and insecurities. It was also interesting to see how Damon and Xander first met, over a year ago, which makes me think that was who Xander was mooning over in that brief comment in Wyatt’s book. However, Damon was a very complicated character and I really liked getting to see why he was that way. It was intriguing seeing how Xander was able to just get right under the heart of things with Damon and I loved that Damon made his plans around Xander and would only have Xander to start his restaurant. He put a lot of faith in someone he had met briefly a year ago and I loved seeing how that played out.
While I absolutely adored it, I had one small issue. Damon made it seem like his past was this horrendous thing and he’s done all these horrible acts and that’s why he’d never want to bring anyone else into that… but when he finally talked about it, he never did anything outrageous or dangerous. He never threatened anyone, he never put anyone in danger, he never put himself in danger… he just drank… a lot. So it kind of bothered me that he alluded to all these horrible acts when none of that happened. Unless they did and it was never mentioned, in which case I’m disappointed because that would have given weight to Damon’s inner demons that kept being mentioned. Add to that, this one had just a bit too much sex for my tastes.
All in all, though, this was a lovely addition to the series. I loved finally getting Xander’s book because he was not like I expected at all. I loved that he met a Hess and shoved it to the Bastard. I loved the push and pull between Damon and Xander, even if I wished Damon’s alcoholism would have been handled slightly differently. I couldn’t get enough of this one and I can’t wait to get Kian and the Bastard’s book next… I mean, they WILL be next right?!
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*