It's a vampire novel... set in a restaurant. Gotcha already, right?
Austinite Quincie Morris (recognize the name?) was orphaned at a young age. Her Uncle Davidson has custody of her and of her inheritance -- Fat Lorenzo's, the family restaurant -- until she comes of age.
Due to a newer, larger, snazzier Italian place opening up a few blocks over, Fat Lorenzo's is in the middle of a huge expansion and overhaul -- into Sanguini's, a vampire-themed restaurant. The change has its drawbacks. As Quincie says:
I didn't know much more about vampires than anyone else. After all, the last reported sighting of one in Texas had been about the time of the Kennedy assassination.
When their chef is mauled to death in the kitchen, Quincie finds herself in need of more than a new chef: She needs a way to deal with her uncle's awful wannabe vampire girlfriend. She needs to deal with her growing suspicions about her best friend (as well as her attraction to him), with running a restaurant as her uncle becomes less and less reliable, her senior year of high school AND she has to find a way of making sure the new chef (if she can find one) has the right look to play the role of Vampire Chef for the customers.
Oh, right. Have I mentioned that Quincie's best friend is part werewolf?
Yeah. It's got some steamy moments, some scary moments, some icky moments (chilled baby squirrel -- ewwwww), nice short chapters for the reluctant readers out there and a clever format. (The chapter headings are broken up into a menu.) It has loads of references to other books and a couple of plot twists that I did NOT see coming. Like, at ALL.
The blend of gothic horror and romance will make it a perfect pick for the Stephenie Meyer books. I suspect that there will be a pretty serious clamor for a sequel.
Oh. Also. It's not out until next March. Sorry.
Book source: Review copy from the publisher.