West Coast Love by Tif Marcelo (Journey to the Heart #3)
Released: December 11, 2017
Reviewed by Mandi
This series has been fun because it usually centers around food. I like food. I tend to start craving whatever food the protagonists are eating. I’ve been known to rush to the kitchen to make biscuits and tea. In this book, it’s all about BBQ. And all I wanted to do was eat meat! Damn it.
Victoria, or Vic, (the sister of the heroine in book two), loves to write. She has a blog all about food and also handles the social media for her family’s restaurant. After being on television during her sister’s reality show, she starts to get the itch to get in front of the camera herself. She learns of an audition for an upcoming host of a food show, and decides to take a chance and try out for it. While she has great a family, her love life is non-existent. She thought she was truly in love with a man named Luke, who she met online, but was catfished when she surprised him with a real life meeting, and met his pregnant wife. Completely devastated, she has sworn off men. But then Joel comes back into the picture.
Joel was a cameraman for that reality show, and got to watch Vic through his lens all day. He fell for her then and by total coincidence, Joel decides he wants to move in front of the camera, and also decides to try out for this show. He sees Vic at the same hotel in Vegas, not knowing they are going for the same gig, and they both have lust for each other. Vic gets the job, and Joel is asked to be a cameraman again – Joel is bummed, but then he realizes he gets to spend the next week in a RV, “glamping” with Vic as they travel around California filming various BBQ festivals. Vic knows nothing about BBQ and actually doesn’t like eating it, Joel loves BBQ – will they get along on the job??
In short – not really. I mean, they fall in love and have a HEA, but it’s not always happiness and stuffing your face with meat in their romance journey. The first half is cute – how these two dance around each other, and act on their attraction. We learn about Joel’s adorable relationship with his nephew and sister. We revisit Vic’s family and her sisters and their lovely restaurant. We get a glimpse into food festivals and RV camping. All is going great!
But then Vic started grating on my nerves a bit. I know she was crushed by a horrible catfishing, online boyfriend in the past and she is wary. But it was really hard for her to give Joel a chance in the love department. They would have intimate talks about their relationship and Vic seemed to totally forget about it the next day. She lashes out at him and doesn’t really give him a fair chance. I’m not saying Joel is perfect. He definitely has faults. He could have opened up more, and asked her about her life more. But it always came back to Vic for me. At one point she confronts her ex, Luke, and spends some time with him. If the positions had been reversed and Joel was hanging out with an ex, Vic would have lost her mind. But instead, she gets mad that Joel felt jealous. Her insecurities and how she handled them came off too cold for me.
But overall I still enjoyed this. I like this family that the author has created. Their dynamics, their love for each other and their passion about food makes me smile.