Today I am so pleased to welcome Layla Reyne to Joyfully Jay. Layla has come to talk to us about her latest release, Dine with Me (which we reviewed here). She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
My Last Tour of Meals
In Dine With Me, Michelin-starred chef, Miller Sykes, and unabashed foodie, Clancy Rhodes, embark on a cross-country tour of dining experiences, from high-end restaurants to local pubs and dive bars. Unbeknownst to Clancy, each stop on the tour holds significance for Miller, who has recently been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. It’s a last tour of favorite meals for Miller, and each destination is also someplace, or based on someplace, that I – an unabashed foodie – have also dined. Would all of Miller and Clancy’s stops make my last tour of meals? Read on and find out!
The French Laundry (Yountville, CA) – Miller and Clancy’s first stop would likewise be mine. My husband and I visited TFL for the first time in 2006, and we’ve been back too many times since. We even got married there! Every time we visit, we’re welcomed like family and leave with delightfully full bellies. The food and service are exceptional and the many Michelin-stars well-deserved.
Puerto 27(Pacifica, CA) – One of my favorite local places is a Peruvian restaurant on the coast. Watch the whales while you sip a divine pisco sour and enjoy fresh ceviche, mussels in spicy sofrito sauce, and a pan of tasty paella. Puerto is also where I was when I got a message from my agent with good news about Single Malt, the first book we sold.
Port of Call (New Orleans, LA) – Also making an appearance in Dine With Me, is Port of Call, a dive bar on the edge of NOLA’s French Quarter. I first visited Port of Call when I was 18, then revisited again this past May at age 40, and I’m happy to report it’s still the best burger I’ve ever eaten. Simple, juicy, topped with freshly grated cheddar, and served with a loaded baked potato.
Alinea (Chicago, IL) – I need to get back here, not only because Dine With Me was inspired in part by Chef Achatz’s story, among other chefs, who have battled career-threatening diseases and injuries, but also because it’s the most creative approach to food I’ve ever experienced. And I say experienced, because that’s what dining at Alinea is. The fact that Achatz is constantly reinventing the Alinea concept and experience is further evidence of his genius and tenacity.
Lexington Barbecue (Lexington, NC) – You didn’t really think the North Carolina girl wasn’t going to have pulled pork on the list, did you? There are so many great places for barbecue in North Carolina – Eastern or Western style – but Lexington’s has been my lifelong favorite.
Mad Hatter’s Café & Bakeshop (Durham, NC) – I don’t go home without a visit to this bakery, where I spent most of my law school study hours. Their signature black and white cake is EPIC.
Provision Company (Southport, NC) – Miller and Clancy’s final tour stop would likewise be mine. It’s not much more than a shack on the water, but their view is unrivaled, and the Old Bay seasoned shrimp and flat-top grilled burgers can’t be beat. Low-key beach living at its best.
Life never tasted so good.
Miller Sykes’s meteoric rise to award-winning chef is the stuff of culinary dreams, but it’s all crashing down around him. He’s been given a diagnosis that could cost him something even more precious than his life: his sense of taste. Rather than risk the very thing that defines him, Miller embarks on a last tour of his favorite meals while he still can.
But there’s a catch: he needs a financial backer to make it happen, and he doesn’t want anyone to know he’s sick.
Dr. Clancy Rhodes has two weeks to come to terms with putting aside oncology to work at his father’s thriving plastic surgery practice. When the opportunity to travel with a Michelin-starred chef presents itself, the foodie in him can’t believe it. It doesn’t hurt that Miller’s rugged good looks are exactly Clancy’s cuppa joe.
As Clancy and Miller travel from coast to coast and indulge in everything from dive bars to the most decadent of culinary experiences, they’re suddenly sharing a lot more than delicious meals. Sparks fly as they bond over their love of flavors and the pressures of great expectations. But when Miller’s health takes a turn for the worse, Clancy must convince him he’s more—so much more—than just his taste buds. And that together, they can win a battle that once seemed hopeless.
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RITA Finalist Layla Reyne is the author of the Agents Irish and Whiskey, Fog City, and Changing Lanes series. A Carolina Tar Heel who now calls the San Francisco Bay Area home, Layla enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart-pounding romance. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and its Kiss of Death and Rainbow Romance Writers chapters. Layla is a 2019 RWA® RITA® Finalist in Contemporary Romance (Mid-Length) and 2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist in Romantic Suspense.
Connect with Layla:
- FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/laylaslushes/
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- AMZ: https://www.amazon.com/author/LaylaReyne
- Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/layla-reyne
Layla has brought a signed limited edition paperback + swag (equivalent value for international) to give away to one lucky reader on her tour. Just follow the Rafflecopter below to enter.
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