Cold Sandwiches and All by E. M. Epps
Overall Rating: 4 (xoxo)
Quick & Dirty summary: Rosemary is a typical modern woman, if you think of the typical modern woman as one who reads a lot, has been employed in a lot of different jobs, and isn’t afraid to put her heart on the line. When Rosemary and her business partner and best friend get the (unfortunate) job of a lifetime redecorating a room in the King’s castle, she’s surprised to come across the King and promptly fall in love. Lucien, as the King, knows that he’s not the most handsome fellow in the world, so he’s just as surprised as Rosemary when the chemistry between them sizzles. Rosemary is everything that Lucien would want, but he can’t have her. Lucien is determined to push Rosemary away. Rosemary is determined to fight for the man she loves.
The characters in this novel are well developed and wonderful. Rosemary is ridiculous in the best possible way and Lucien is somehow both insecure and an alpha male, making the pair of them intriguing, loveable and funny as all get out. This is billed as a romantic comedy, and it definitely should be considered one, but it doesn’t follow all of the typical tropes of the genre. There is a bit of magic, a modern sensibility, and yet a historical edge to the whole thing that I find delightful.
The secondary characters are also well developed and delightfully described. I especially love Rosemary’s roommate, Sasha, and am hoping to see more of her in future novels. Rosemary’s neighbors are also painted vividly, as well as Lucien’s staff. There are a lot of people in this book to be enthralled with, making it a fun read.
So, you may be wondering why I gave it four stars instead of five. Well, the first is because the tone of the novel is a little distant. There’s some formality there that makes it hard to slide completely into the novel’s world. In my opinion, it’s typical of historical romances, but this isn’t exactly a historical romance. The second minor annoyance with the novel is that the single problem of the novel, the whole issue driving the plot, is somewhat superficial and terribly resolved in the end. It’s not that it’s unfeasible, the ending, it’s that it’s almost too simple. Part of it is too simple because Epps has written Rosemary’s character so well, that I as the reader roll my eyes because it’s obvious what the solution is. Sorry this critique is both vague and somewhat nonsensical, but I can only be clearer if I write spoilers and I hate that.
My last point is a bit of a pro and a con: while this is a romantic comedy, the romance is very light. Essentially it feels like their love story is just beginning at the end of the novel. This doesn’t bother me too much because that’s how life is, the real romance is after you’ve decided to let yourself be in love, but it means I’m hoping for an extra amazing sequel, which the author tells me she is currently writing. So I love this book, I am enthusiastic about this book, but I’m waiting for more.
Is it worth buying? (Kindle $5.99)
Okay, so for a Kindle book this is kind of expensive, but still, I have to tell you to buy it anyway. This is such an unusual book. If you don’t think you’ll like it, then don’t risk it. But if this is up your alley then it is well worth the 6 bucks. If you’re like me and have Kindle Unlimited then it’s free! And, if you find that you love E. M. Epps (who goes by Emma) so much, you can actually become a “patron” (yes like in the Renaissance era) and get every single book and short story from her for free for as long as she publishes. And I think she’s pretty young, so that potentially means a lot of stories. Emma, if you read this review and I have the details wrong, please let me know.
Something else you might enjoy:
I feel like I recommend Amy Harmon books a lot, but if you like Cold Sandwiches then you’ll probably like The Bird and the Sword. It’s not a romantic comedy, but it has some similarities with magic, a kingdom and “truth” that you might find interesting. You can read my review of it here to see if you’d like it.