For Men Only by Sally Goldenbaum
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept
Publication Date: May 1st 1994
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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A brash single dad and a beautiful, ambitious cooking teacher follow the recipe for romance in this delectable treat from beloved author Sally Goldenbaum. The first time they met, Pete Webster had been the blind date from hell. Ellie Livingston hoped never to see him again. Now Pete’s a student in the cooking class she’s designed just for men, and he looks good enough to eat! But Ellie’s afraid that a relationship is off the table: Falling for a man with kids—no matter how adorable—would simply be biting off more than she can chew. Since his wife left him, Pete has learned that his gourmet cuisine—like his specialty, peanut butter and egg sandwiches—just won’t cut it for two growing children. He’s also learned not to trust beautiful women. But Ellie, with her sparkling passion and spicy personality, is for real, even if she doesn’t see him the same way. Now it’s up to Pete to go off the lesson plan and cook up a little trouble—in the kitchen and the bedroom. Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: Deep Autumn Heat, The Last Warrior, and Kevin’s Story.
Pete and Ellie went on a date before and it ended in disaster. The date was a total fail and it’s a long time later and they’re thrown back in each other’s orbit because Ellie has opened up a cooking school for men and Pete’s sister has signed him up for classes.
The chemistry between Pete and Ellie was very obvious right from the beginning of the book. Ellie hasn’t forgotten the date and neither has Pete. They remember different things about the date and it is Pete that goes after a “do-over” date. I really liked that about Pete. He was upfront about everything (all of his baggage) with Ellie from the very beginning. There wasn’t a time when I was reading this book that I thought Pete should have told Ellie sooner about something or other because he was forthcoming with anything Ellie wanted to know. He didn’t lie to her, he didn’t hide anything from her and I appreciated that.
Ellie was a likeable heroine but there were times when I wanted to shake some sense into her because of the way that she handled her relationship with Pete. Pete has two kids that have already been abandoned by their mother, Pete has already told her all about that drama and she knows that PJ is still dealing with his Mom leaving him and doesn’t trust her to stick around and while she doesn’t want to hurt anyone, she did. She hurt those kids by staying with Pete and by getting closer to them even though she wasn’t sure she wanted to stick around like that. I wasn’t a fan of Ellie placing herself into PJ and Lucy’s life, knowing she wasn’t going to stick around and even though her reasons made sense, I still hated it.
As for the story itself, it was a good story. I didn’t realize until I started reading the book that this book is a re-release of a book that came out years and years ago. I realized it was an older book because in one of Ellie’s classes, she announces that she’s going to put in a Barbara Streisand tape and pour some wine. That brought me up short because I was like, “Tape? Who the hell has those anymore?” So I looked the book up in Goodreads and found one of those old school covers for the book and it all made sense. But even with the dated vernacular, it was still an enjoyable read.
Pete was a solid hero, Ellie finally got it together in time and I enjoyed getting to know the kids. I adored the way that the story ended and my only gripe was with Ellie’s indecision. Other than that, I’m not at all mad that I read this book. It was cute and sweet and perfect for what I was looking for.
Grade: 4 out of 5