After being thrown out of the house once his parents found of he was gay, Tyler Mitchell found himself surviving as best as he could on the streets. Rifling through a dumpster was how he met Chef Ethan Martin and now here he is, two years later, studying in the same culinary school and working as a sous chef in the restaurant his two mentors and guardians, Chefs Ethan Martin and Jamie Lassiter, went to and own, respectively. Tyler is working hard to make Ethan and Jamie proud of him, especially since they’ve invested so much in him already, financially and otherwise, and doesn’t want to disappoint either of them. However, he sometimes feels as if they’re overly protective of him; case in point: Trevor Pratt.
Yes, he’s a trust fund baby and he’s enjoyed the finer things in life, but Trevor Pratt has also worked a great deal to achieve the success he now has as an agent for Jamie and other celebrity chefs. Maintaining the friendship he and Jamie have is a priority for him, even if it does mean that he has to see Jamie’s husband Ethan every time Trevor’s in Seattle. When he begins to show a bit of interest in young Tyler, he’s immediately warned off by both Jamie and Ethan, and he knows it’s due in large part to his reputation of being having meaningless one-night stands. However, nothing can really stop Trevor and Tyler from becoming friends, but it’s when they cross the line that things become complicated.
In the Distance is the third novel in the In the Kitchen series by Nikka Michaels and Eileen Griffin and shifts the focus from the original lead characters, Ethan Martin and Jamie Lassiter, from the first two books to Tyler Mitchell, sous chef at Bistro 30, culinary school student, and unofficial adopted brother to Ethan, Jamie, and Ethan’s sister Claire, and Trevor Pratt, Jamie’s best friend and agent and Ethan’s nemesis of sorts. Both Tyler and Trevor were introduced in the second novel and while Tyler was this kid who Ethan took under his wing, Trevor was somewhat of an ass, especially after how unwittingly ended up destroying Ethan and Jamie’s relationship during their first go-around. Thankfully, though, enough time has passed between the second and third books, so my dislike for Trevor dissipated right in time for me to like him here, plus he was able to redeem himself somewhat by the end of book number two.
With Tyler and Trevor coming from two very different worlds, it’s easy to see why Ethan and Jamie were less than thrilled about the two spending any time together. Tyler’s sexuality was rejected by his parents, seeing him as an abomination, while Trevor’s parents accepted him for who he was. Tyler’s experience with other guys was very limited, while Trevor’s, well, wasn’t. Tyler knew what it was like to fend for yourself on the streets of Seattle, while Trevor’s been fortunate enough to have anything and everything he’s wanted or needed right there within reach. The age difference, about ten years or so, and the distance, what with Tyler living in Seattle and Trevor living in New York, only add on to the already seemingly insurmountable odds stacked against them. Having an unlikely friendship that flourishes is one thing, but the underlying attraction is something neither of them can deny and then too many things come into play.
I really liked Tyler and Trevor together and those text messages they would send one another were funny and sweet. There was definitely no rushing into anything for these two, something I appreciated because you’re able to enjoy the whole progression of their relationship, going through the growing pains along with them while having a front row seat to them falling in love. I sighed more times than I thought possible, both in satisfaction and sadness, because I became invested in Tyler and Trevor as individuals and as a couple. How could you not want them to have even a semblance of what Ethan and Jamie have, especially since Tyler seriously deserves to have his own share of happiness? I loved that Ethan and Jamie were still in the story but didn’t steal any of limelight from Team TNT, and Claire is still the kickass female with a huge heart that I expected her to be. I adore this series and In the Distance is one hundred percent squee-worthy. Five stars! ♥
Release Date: 15 June 2015
Date Read: 11 June 2015