Review: Love You Senseless by Susan Mac Nicol
My rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
Gideon Kent owns the high-end restaurant “Galileo’s,” situated in London’s Soho district, where he was also once also an award-winning chef, but those days are over. A fire in his home left him traumatized and his inability to work through it has made him difficult to work for, especially for Eddie Tripp.
Flame-haired cutie Eddie is the area’s up-and-coming star chef, but Gideon is constantly harassing him for broken dishware and for just being Eddie. Sexy and talented, the way Gideon once was.
The fire that killed one man and destroyed his home also robbed Gideon of the two senses he needs the most to be the top chef: Smell and taste. I loved the thread of this through the story, the negative space of all that he can’t smell, can’t taste.
In the way of all restaurant kitchens everywhere, the staff knows what Gideon’s real problem is: his unrequited attraction for Eddie is what makes him bark and growl at the man. The staff also knows that Eddie feels the same way, but the roadblock for him is the boss/employee line he does not want to cross.
The back-of-the-house characters and the general atmosphere of controlled chaos that is a busy restaurant kitchen is the perfect setting for the character conflicts. And very well drawn by the author who confessed in her acknowledgement not to have first-hand knowledge of this world.
Just as the soon-to-be couple start to feel their way towards each other, Eddie stands Gideon up for their first encounter. He’s very nearly sexually assaulted by a stalker, but is saved by his flat mates. (Confession: I am such a sucker for British authors!) One of his friends has vague psychic visions/intuitions and knew that Eddie was in trouble. But because his phone is smashed, Eddie doesn’t have Gideon’s private number any longer and has to leave a message on the office landline, which Gideon habitually ignores. Gideon’s response to being stood up is awful, and we know by then that he’s in deeper than Eddie, but Eddie keeps trying to see the better man in Gideon, the man he used to be.
As the two men grow closer, and their lives become entwined, tragedy always seems to be hovering on the horizon. When Eddie’s cousin Luke disappears, Gideon begins to open up in order to be there for Eddie, be the strong man like he once was but better, because now he has Eddie.