Review: Monster Chef by Margaret McHeyzer


Title:  Monster Chef
Author: Margaret McHeyzer
Publisher/Year: Book Enthusiast Productions 3/18/15
Length:  208 pages

Holly Walker had everything she’d ever dreamed about – a happy marriage and being mum to beautiful brown-eyed Emma – until an accident nineteen months ago tore her world apart. Now she’s a widow and single mother to a boisterous little 7-year-old girl, looking for a new start. Ready to take the next step, Holly has found herself a job as a maître d’ at Table One, a once-acclaimed restaurant in the heart of Sydney. But one extremely arrogant Frenchman isn’t going to be easy to work with…

Twenty years ago, Pierre LeRoux came to Australia, following the stunning Aussie girl he’d fallen in love with and married. He and his wife put their personal lives on hold, determined for Pierre to take Sydney’s culinary society by storm. Just as his bright star was on the upswing, tragedy claimed the woman he was hopelessly in love with. He had been known as a Master Chef, but since his wife’s death he has become known as Monster Chef.

Can two broken people rebuild their lives and find happiness once more?

My Thoughts

First off i should thank the folks at Netgalley for getting me a copy of this.  I’m a sucker for good cover art and that paired with the title – i was hooked as soon as i saw it.  What we have here is a very expected yet sweet story of our two mains who are both very broken from a similar situation, finding that they can heal one another if they allow it.

Holly is a single mother who’s moved in with her mother in law after her husband was killed in a car accident about 2 years prior.  She’s doing everything that she can to raise her daughter Emma properly, and while she doesn’t need to work since her husband provided enough for her, she’s going back to it – at a restaurant in the city.

Enter Pierre, the hard to deal with head chef who’s won and lost a michelin star in a matter of a year and while he is an AMAZING chef – he’s chasing the ghost of his wife who passed away a few years prior from cancer.

Of course you know though that upon meeting, and seeing that Holly won’t stand down, well things are going to combust, and i’m glad in the way that they did.  See it’s not the tension that gets to them, although there’s one night that Pierre actually accosts her at the restaurant, it’s a situation that Holly is faced with by a drunk diner that puts Pierre back in time to the night that he met his late wife, and from there our story unfolds.

It’s not terribly deep and complex, but i have to say that i didn’t need it to be.  The story developed on it’s own in a nice way – you see that Holly is a realist of sorts and is semi afraid to let what she’s feeling for Pierre happen since she’s so protective of her family, but you also know that Pierre is going to get what he wants since he’s a ‘passionate Frenchman’.

It’s really not until the latter 30% of the book that we get any twists and turns.  We knew that there was a great bond between Holly and her mother in law and the ending that we see happen there was unexpected.  Then there’s a link between Pierre and Holly’s late husband that i wasn’t expecting at all.

So all in all, a predictable story – but one that was well written.  It was the epilogue that i have to say i really enjoyed.  We get a fast forward about 10 years when Emma is grown up and i think that the glimpse into things that we see is something that makes things resolve as needed.  On that note – happy sunday all and have a great rest of your weekend!

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