May is having a horrible weekend, her long-time boyfriend and NFL quarterback Dan’s tipsy and cringe-worthy public proposal incited her to stab him with a shrimp fork, and the video has gone viral. Everyone in her life is hoping she will come to her senses and forgive Dan, but the event has become a bright line for her. She won’t go back to Dan and their unsatisfying relationship just because everyone else thinks he is the best thing that will ever happen to her, not even when her attempt to slip away quietly is spoiled by purse-snatching paparazzo. Alone and friendless in New York City, with nothing but a metro card and a couple of bucks, and with her family out of cellphone range in the UP, May ends up in Green Packer’s Bar sitting across from the angriest former chef in the city.
Anger, anxiety and stress have cost Ben his marriage and career. Passionate about food, Ben's life became about reviews and Michelin stars, till his wife divorced him, giving him a large check in exchange for their restaurant and cookbook. Ben is trying to rebuild himself from scratch, but it is not going well. When Ben looks across the bar to May, he sees an innocent milk maid type, and does his very best to ignore her but against all odds Ben ends up insisting in helping May. His gift of beer turn into an offer of dinner, an offer of help finding a computer, then an offer of a place to stay till she can find a way home, till he finds himself not wanting her to ever go. The longer Ben is around her, the more he wants her there.
Ben and May’s romance is journey through anger. May must let herself feel anger, and to respond to it by asking for more for herself from herself & others. Ben needs to forgive others and himself before he can start over to accept himself and his mistakes.
I loved Ben and May’s Labor Day Weekend in New York City, the food, the sites and the tension. Ben is a reluctant white knight, and fumbles badly several times which is actually just want May needs.
4 out 5 stars.
A review copy of Truly was provided by Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept via NetGalley.