Asher Schenck and his husband John opened their downtown gastropub at the start of Detroits revival. Now, five years after Johns sudden death, Asher is determined to pull off a revival of his own. in a last ditch attempt to bring idlewild back to life, he fires everyone and hires a new staff. Among them is Tyler Heyward, a recent college graduate in need of funds to pay for medical school. Tyler is a cheery balm for Ashers soul, and their relationship quickly shifts from business to friendship. When they fall for each other, it is not the differences of race or class that challenge their love, but the ghosts and expectations of their respective pasts. Will they remain stuck or move toward a life neither of them has allowed himself to dream about?
Sierra (What It Takes) combines food, business, and love in this tender contemporary set in Detroit. As Asher begins to emerge from grief over his husband's death, he realizes how badly he's neglected the restaurant that was their shared dream and decides that a reboot is in order. When he's ready to reopen, his all-new staff includes Tyler, a young man with charisma, charm, and the kind of head for business that Asher desperately needs. There are plenty of reasons for them to avoid the attraction between them, but one by one those reasons drop away, and the two fall into bed and into love. As their relationship develops, Asher and Tyler must navigate their very different experiences and expectations to avoid putting their hearts and possibly the entire restaurant at risk of implosion. Readers who appreciate that Tyler's nuanced personality defies black gay stereotypes may be uncomfortable seeing those same stereotypes embodied by his tough, aggressive, emotionally walled-off ex-boyfriend Malik. And unfortunately, every relationship problem in the book comes down to the same lack of honest communication. Though narrow in scope (largely due to Asher's self-imposed isolation), the romance is straightforward, sweet, and generally entertaining.