In the Distance is the third book in Nikka Michels & Eileen Griffin’s “In the Kitchen” series. After dealing with Ethan and Jamie’s relationship in the previous two books, this one brings forth Tyler Mitchell and Jamie’s best friend, Trevor Pratt.
I was excited when I saw the ARC being offered in Netgalley because I was very much fond of Tyler. Tyler first starts his story in book 2, a homeless young man who practically has been adopted like little brother by Ethan and Jamie then works his way around the kitchen, being taught by the two chefs. In this book, Tyler juggles the life as culinary student as well as the sous chef for Ethan and Jamie’s bistro.
I thought Tyler is a darling – he is determined to ‘pay forward’ the kindness that have been given to him by Ethan and Jamie. He volunteers at shelters and is also involved in shelter’s program at local schools. He comes a long way from that homeless teenager who is thrown out of his home because of his sexuality. It is always an admirable traits – someone who paves his (or her) way out of bad situation and makes the most of it.
Although, Tyler also suffers from trust issues – stems from being cast off by the people who supposed to love him unconditionally. This frustrated me somewhere along the way; because I thought Tyler is being too harsh to Trevor, when the other man made a mistake of telling Ethan and Jamie about Tyler’s ‘secret’. It is clear for me that Trevor only wants the best for Tyler, even if he might done it wrong. I admit that I wanted to reach inside the pages, took Tyler aside and told him to stop being too stubborn about it.
BUT, at the same time, I did enjoy reading how Trevor must work harder to get Tyler. Trevor is quite the opposite of Tyler – he comes from a privileged family, whose parents still love each other, being together for over three decades, and accept their son’s sexuality. Ethan mockingly calls Trevor “Trustfund” and I guess Trevor is used to get his way a little easier. Heck, even when Trevor spectacularly made a mess over his friendship with Jamie, when he contributed to Ethan and Jamie’s break-up, Jamie didn’t cut off friendship with him. So this is a new territory for Trevor, working hard to get Tyler to be friends with him, understanding Tyler’s issues about money, and so on.
There is a ten-year age gap between Trevor and Tyler but I was happy that it didn’t become a huge problem between the two of them. I mean, reading about one agonizing about age difference can be repetitively boring. Instead these two strike friendship before moving forward to the next step in their relationship. Yes, Trevor is careful because Tyler is younger than him, but he never rationalizing the age gap by pulling himself away from connecting with Tyler. We do get Ethan and Jamie being over-protective meddling brothers, but Tyler has a mind of his own, and refuses to just let both men control his choice.
Bottom line, the story has great slow-build progress of two men falling in love and maturing up together in the process. Definitely MY kind of story, which is why this is my favorite book in the series so far. I wonder if the authors plan to continue the series. Maybe with Nick, the young man from the LGBTQ-shelter who also starts working at Bistro 30? I would love to read about him…
The ARC is provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.
Title: In the Distance (In the Kitchen, #3)
Author: Nikka Michaels and Eileen Griffin
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 104,230 words
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: June 15, 2015