Jesse’s Diner Lili’s Review

Title: Jesse’s Diner (Hope #2)
Author: Cardeno C.
Publisher: The Romance Authors
Release Date: September 29th 2015
Genre(s): Contemporary
Page Count: Approx 30,000
Reviewed by: Lili
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Two men with a shared history and a mutual attraction must be honest with themselves and each other so both their dreams come true.

Quiet, unassuming Tanner Sellers spends his time running a diner in Hope, Arizona. Not particularly social, twenty-two-year-old Tanner keeps to himself and enjoys his simple life, but he longs for someone to call his own. In his most secret fantasy, that someone is sexy Steve Faus. But Steve is his friend’s father and mentor’s widower and therefore off-limits.

Despite some challenges, thirty-nine-year-old Steve Faus has had a good life. He’s extremely successful at work, has a great relationship with his college-age son, and lives in a wonderful town. Eighteen months after losing his partner, the one thing Steve lacks is someone to share his life. If Steve is honest with himself, that someone is the young man he has known and cared about for years. Steve and Tanner want one another, all they need is a little push in the right direction to make both their dreams come true.


Cardeno C and I have not had a smooth relationship. There’s no in between- I either love her books or I don’t. This book, though, made the fluff lover in me soooo happy!


This is a low angst, feel good love story of Steve a 39-year-old widower and Tanner his son’s 22-year-old friend. Tanner has always harbored a secret crush on Steve never believing that anything would ever come of it.

What I loved:

    *Tanner. He was so sweet, loyal, and lovable. He brought out this protective streak in me and wanted nothing but his happiness.
    *Steve. Despite his age, he was kind of innocent and his attempts at flirting were absolutely adorable.
    *Mike, Steve’s son. You’ll find out why when you read the book.
    *Jesse. Even though he has passed during the time the story is taking place- his big heart is always felt.
    *These two communicated and I loved it. There were no silly misunderstandings sometimes used age gap books.
    *The romance. I was in swoon heaven.
    *The dedication. I’ll just leave it at that.

The story is told from a first person POV- which I normally LOATHE, but I didn’t mind it here at all. Tanner was such a pleasure to read, I loved seeing things from his perspective. On top of that, Steve’s dialogue made it easy to know how he felt so I never wondered what he was thinking.

Going in don’t expect a heavy plot or lots of twists- cause you’ll not find them here- this is very simple story. I’ve been so stressed lately that this was like chicken soup for the soul. 5 Stars!!

Hope Series

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ARC kindly provided by The Romance Authors for an honest review.


I'm a romance junkie, who loves when books make her cry from heartbreak and happiness. A few of my favorite tropes: -Friends to lovers -Hurt/comfort/healing -Age gap NetGalley Member since 2015 2016 NetGalley Challenge 80% Professional Reader 2015 Challenge Participant