Friday, March 30, 2012

Dharma Café by Jessica Freely

Welcome to the Dharma Café, a restaurant like no other. There is no menu. The waiter, Samura, uses mystical powers to read what each customer needs, and the cook, Agatha, prepares the food with ingredients like love, hope, and courage.

The café is a refuge for the new busboy, Charlie, who was kicked out of home on his eighteenth birthday. Irresistibly drawn to Samura, Charlie soon discovers that the stern, formal waiter harbors a heartbreaking past and a dangerous secret.

Samura lives in fear that one day, the darkness inside him will burst forth to destroy all he loves. Now that includes brash, infuriating, delectable Charlie, who has broken through all Samura's defenses and taught him to trust himself.

Just when Samura thinks it might be safe to reveal the truth, his worst nightmare walks back into his life: His father, Akio, the evil food sorcerer who runs the burger stand on the other side of town. Akio's business is expanding and he wants his son to manage his new location, where the Dharma Café now stands.

It will take the combined resources of an ancient cook, a novice dishwasher, and a cursed waiter to fight Akio and protect the café. But when Samura succumbs to Akio's magic, will it be enough?

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: male/male sexual practices.

Reviewer: WhiteDaisy
Akio Samura came to Agatha's little restaurant when he was eight year old, he was of Asian ancestry and wanted help from Agatha. Agatha knew Akio was a sorcerer's child and she promised Akio that she would protect him from anyone who tried to hurt him, and with Agatha's protecting shield he was safe for ten years.

Charlie was kicked out by his parents for coming out as gay on his eighteenth birthday. Wandering around the same night, hungry and alone, Charlie was lucky and came across Dharma Cafe.

Being too proud to go into the restaurant and ask for food, Charlie ate food from the dumpster outside Dharma Cafe. Unaware of the magic content in the food, he fainted in front of Samura when he came out to throw away the daily trash. Akio and Agatha took care of Charlie and the next day Charlie was hired at the cafe, because he told them he was homeless and needed a job. Charlie was unaware Samura and Agatha were sorcerers, or as Samura explained, he was blind to the sorcery because Charlie didn't want to see the truth.

Samura and Charlie bickered all the time. To Charlie, Samura was an uptight, harshly critical, infuriatingly correct waiter who had shown him more kindness, generosity, and acceptance than anyone he'd known apart from his grandfather. On the other hand, Charlie was a mystery for Samura, when Charlie accepted something, he accepted it with his whole heart and without a fuss. Like he accepted the truth about his own possible sorcery skills he never practiced, because his parents didn't allow him to spend time with Charlie's grandfather, who was a sorcerer, too.

Agatha gave Samura the task to teach Charlie, so Charlie could defend himself from mean sorcerers. With time, both boys started to dream the same dreams and their emotions bound them together even tighter. The romance between Charlie and Samura didn't ring true. And at the end even if Agatha should have been a strong sorcerer herself, she didn't appear to be. Overall, this story didn't really speak to me. The plot was strange and I couldn't connect with the characters at all. This story gets 3 stars from me.

Publisher: Loose Id
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders


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