Imperfect Delight by Andrea de Carlo
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Imperfect Delight is a good I truly get. I don't always agree with the characters' methods, but I get it. The best I description I can muster is: Think Chocolat but edgier.
To Milena, gelato is everything. Tourist season may be over, but her passion for creating unique flavors that speak to the nuances of the ingredients is everything. The end of tourist season doesn't mean she'll shut down or even slow down, despite what her girlfriend believes should happen. Her girlfriend's eyes are on having a baby together. They've met with the doctor and are days from starting treatments. Milena's going along with it, but she's not sure her heart's truly into the arduous process.
Nick Cruickshank, lead singer of the immensely popular rock band the Bebonkers, is preparing for a major show at a nearby airfield. He's also days away from his wedding to Aileen. His estate is a storm of activity. He's playing host to his band members and their significant others, media who get to do a tell-all for the wedding, caterers, and more. He's tired of this lifestyle, but it's also led to him having all he has. He just wishes he had space to himself.
A power outage causes havoc in Nick and Milena's little French town. Their worlds collide when Milena gets a call asking for a huge rush gelato order. She was just in a panic of losing everything to the power outage. She agrees and delivers to the estate where she meets Nick. Sparks fly and the pair finds themselves drawn to one another, no matter how bad the timing.
I loved Chocolat. I loved the romance, the impossibility of having a lasting relationship, and the struggle to figure it all out. On many levels, Imperfect Delight was all of that and more. It had steamy moments, but it was focused more on the characters. There were the simple joys Nick and Milena craved and the more demanding ones of those around them. It complicated things and made it all so clear what you wanted to happen.
I won't say how things played out, but every page led to an ending that both satisfied me and left me wanting more. I would love to return to the town and see what's next for those in it.