Blue Plate Special (Table for Two #2) by Layla Reyne

Foodies all over will enjoy the theme of Blue Plate Special with the love of food so prevalent along with the growing love between the two MCs. 

From the blurb:

Giving orders in the kitchen is chef Noah Becker’s specialty. He’s made a name for himself
dishing up seasonal, farm-to-table comfort food at the local diner. A name that isn’t really his.

The last person Ezra Rosin expects to find while he’s on sabbatical in a small town is his son’s best friend. The one he helped disappear thirteen years ago. The one who’s grown into a hauntingly beautiful man.

Noah and Ezra grow closer, reconnecting over their shared love of food and wine until their friendship smolders into more. They agree to explore the unexpected dynamic, to enjoy each other while Ezra finishes the semester, but when past and present collide, Noah and Ezra must decide if their chemistry across the table and between the sheets is enough to cook up a delicious future together.

Blue Plate Special is a stand-alone M/M foodie romance novella in the Table for Two universe. It features an age-gap romance between mature characters, family finding their way back to each other, and lots of noshing.

Jacqueleen the Reading Queen's Review:

Blue Plate Special was nothing like I was expecting. It was a wonderful tribute to food and how it can bring people together for all kinds of reasons. How food can help and heal. How it can mend relationships or start them. And of how it can be the way a young abused boy can say thank you for giving him somewhere safe to stay. As a big foodie myself, I loved hearing about all the different recipes in this story. I swear I could taste some of them through their descriptions.

Noah has been on the run for 13 years. He left behind an abusive father, but what hurt the most was leaving behind his best friend Ty and Tys amazing parents who loved him like their own. It's pure chance that Noah and Ezra, Ty's father, run into each other again all these years later. Ezra has since divorced his wife, though they remain best friends. And Noah? Noah is all grown up and running a farm to table kitchen in a small town where Ezra is taking a sabbatical. He's also bulked up and is quite the male specimen in his adult years.

What follows is a slightly kinky, and very sweet age gap romance with, of course, some best friend's father thrown in. I loved how adorable these two men were together. Noah may issue the orders in the bedroom, but as a couple, they just worked so well. They respected and supported each other. My favorite part of the whole thing was how wonderful Ezra's family was. They accepted their relationship, no qualms about it. Love was beautiful in all its forms in the Rosin family and it was great not having to deal with any drama about the relationship. Even Ty, who it must have been slightly weird seeing his father and former best friend as a couple, was just so happy to have his best friend back in his life and to know he was safe. Though Noah's father hung over the novella like a knife waiting to fall, this was mostly just a feel good foodie novella and I enjoyed every bit.

Rating: 5 Stars

Nedra's Review:

Another example of why I fell in love with Layla’s writing! She continues to deliver heartfelt messages, regardless of whether they’re espionage or escaping, the story will grasp your attention and cautiously turning the page with suspense. Though this story was not as intense as her other novels, she delivers a compelling story with a strong love of food.  

“𝐼’𝓋𝑒 π‘”π‘œπ“‰ 𝒢 π“ˆπ‘’π“π“Ž 𝑔𝒾𝓃𝑔𝑒𝓇 𝒷𝑒𝓃𝑒𝒢𝓉𝒽 𝓂𝑒. 𝐼’𝓂 π’½π‘œπ“‡π“ƒπ“Ž π’Ύπ“ˆ π“Œπ’½π’Άπ“‰ 𝐼 𝒢𝓂.”

My heart completely shattered for Hudson, but witnessing his life change and convert into Noah, slowly putting his pieces and life back together, is a true testament to his strength and determination. Ezra coming back into his life unexpectedly, was a blessing and a treat, igniting a fire inside both men, leading to a very intense and emotional connection with intensified chemistry. 

“π’΄π‘œπ“Š’𝓇𝑒 𝒢 π“ˆπ“Šπ“‡π“‹π’Ύπ“‹π‘œπ“‡, π’©π‘œπ’Άπ’½. 𝐼 𝒢𝒹𝓂𝒾𝓇𝑒 π“Žπ‘œπ“Š.“

I absolutely love and appreciate the support of Noah’s family/friends in this story. Overcoming abuse is difficult enough, but to have a support system like Noah did is what true friendship is made of. I also loved Ezra’s patience with Noah, always allowing him the opportunity to decide whether he wanted to stay or leave. Cannot wait to read more of this series! 

Rating: 5 Stars

Janet's Review:

Blue Plate Special was sooo freakin good. This was my first time reading this author and I’m about to hit their back catalogue. Blue Plate Special doesn’t read like a novella, felt like a complete novel. 

Noah disappeared thirteen years ago. His father was abusive. He now runs a farm to table kitchen. Ezra is Noah’s best friend’s father and is now divorced. 

Loved the characters, their connection and chemistry! Sweet, steamy, and kinky! Overall, loved it. Well written with great pacing.

Rating: 5 Stars

Blue Plate Special is available to buy as an ebook.