You can never have enough garlic. With enough garlic, you can eat The New York Times. – Morley Safer

“Fear paralyzes you. You can’t dream or even make small changes with fear in the way. Fear will kill your heart and your mind. – Grandpa Frank – Five Minutes Late


22924329Since the last romance I read was a Debbie Downer, I thought I would pull out something that sounded like fun. Bookbasset to the rescue again! Five Minutes Late by Rich Amooi sounded like just the thing. Yes, I have literally hundreds (if not more) books to read, but any time I run across something that sounds good, especially something Free, I download it (yes, that is the sound of pennies screaming as I pinch them) and check it out. I have found several authors that I rabidly follow from this little habit of mine, so sometimes those giveaways are really great for authors – AND their readers!

Anyway, Five Minutes Late is marketed as a romantic comedy, and it is that, without a doubt. I laughed – a lot – while reading the book. Cedric and Ellie are a hoot, and brought a ton of smiles along with their story. But the good thing about it is that is has a lot of “body” to it as well. Yes, there are laughs and giggles, and a really sweet West Highland White Terrier named Tofu. And then there is Ellie’s grandpa Frank, who is wise, kind and generous, and Cedric’s best friend and marketing manager Tony, who is, well, raunchy . . . but has a good and generous heart. And I suppose, as Cyril Connolly said, “vulgarity is the garlic in the salad of life. Well, I have never really been a Connolly fan, but in this case, Tony may be raunchy, but he did make me laugh.

But all is not perfect in Gilroy, the Garlic Capital of the World – or in San Jose were Cedric and Ellie live and meet one another. Well, where Ellie stopped Cedric from stepping off a curb and becoming UPS truck sushi!

Ellie and Cedric have both been desperately hurt before. The deaths of family members on both sides haunt them, making it hard for them to get close. And it doesn’t help that Ellie’s ex-boyfriend is a psycho stalker cop (those are the worst believe me – been there, done that, got the broken bones to show for it!) So it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but Amooi blends everything into a wonderful story of love, loss and redemption that really left me feeling, well, uplifted actually. That people can go through so much in their lives and not only find one another but allow themselves to love again. So Cool. Especially when 75-year-old grandpa finds his own main squeeze! Double Cool! (Do people even say “cool” anymore? Hum….)

There are several funny scenes as we watch Ellie have a series of blind dates off the internet (yes, before she and Cedric work things through) that had me in stitches. Wait till you read about Dick the Date who thinks taking her to Hooter’s for their date is a good idea… A Riot!

So. FREE, kids – and well worth reading if you like romantic comedy with a bit of ‘bite’ to it. Not everything is all fun and games, but I found everything to be worth reading. There is a lot of funny name dropping (wait till you get to the whole Samuel L. Jackson and the golf ball thing) and a great story of garlic – and I DO love garlic!