Trying to take a few brief moments away from a stressful situation, Reagan Murphy snags the last table at a bustling downtown lunch spot. When another woman walks into the crowded restaurant seeking a table, Reagan offers to share hers.
Jillian Jacobs just wanted a quick bite before she’d have to focus on a new and unreasonable deadline. Irritated by her empty stomach and by the prospect of waiting, Jillian resentfully accepts a seat at a stranger’s table.
Their shared lunch is filled with hostility, snide comments, and shades of derision from Jill and Reagan finds herself relieved at the end of the encounter.
But then the two are thrown back together when Jill becomes a catering client of Reagan’s. Soon navigating a professional relationship becomes complicated as their attraction begins to smolder. Will it get in the way and cause even bigger problems? Or will this be the start of something they’ve both been looking for all along?
|March 18, 2021
GCLS Goldie Awards
Table for Two — Winner, Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length Novels.
FROM THE AUTHOR
"Before moving to Ohio, I lived in the Indianapolis area for about seven years. My office building was downtown and across the street from the Indiana Convention Center. People would flood the streets multiple times a year when large conventions came to town. One I fondly remember was Gen Con, the largest table-top gaming convention in North America. Seeing people in cosplay on my walk to and from work always added a bit of fun. But it also caused a bit of a headache during my lunch breaks when trying to find a restaurant that didn’t have a long wait. So, when Reagan and Jill in Table for Two first meet, they end up sharing a table at a busy restaurant. Of course, I then needed a reason as to why two strangers would be forced to share a table, and using Gen Con as the backdrop seemed like the perfect solution."
I have never read anything from Kate Gavin before, but she has shot up my must-watch list. I loved this book and all the fantastic tropes that the author packed in. I loved the storyline and how the author built the relationship between the main characters Jill and Regan. I adored every minute and every page of this book. I wouldn’t change a thing, and I really hope that Kate Gavin uses her wonderful secondary characters in future novels. She has jumped on my must-watch list. Can’t wait to see what comes next.
Pin's Reviews - Table for Two has almost everything a good romantic story must have. Believable and complex protagonists with good chemistry, a few good supporting characters, well written emotions, a plausible conflict, and an interesting plot. A combination of an ice queen from a dysfunctional family and her complete opposite worked quite successfully and with Gavin's technically good writing made this novel very well worth reading. If you are a romance fan, I very much recommend it. I had a hard time putting it down, and will read it again.
Sarah H. - Jillian and Reagan meet in a chance encounter over lunch. They DO NOT hit it off initially. Jillian can’t seem to accept genuine kindness and turns up her nose at Reagan. Reagan is just trying to make it through her days the best she can. They soon meet again and are forced to work together when Jillian’s mother hires Reagan’s company to cater a party. Initially, Jillian continues to treat Raegan in a brusque, better than thou manner, but overtime they get to know each other, and Jillian slowly lets her guard down. As they encounter family heartache, work struggles and uncomfortable situations they learn to prioritize each other and navigate a lasting relationship based on trust and patience.
I really enjoyed this book! This is how adult relationships are supposed to work. Neither Jillian nor Reagan are perfect, but they form a bond through trust, communication, mutual admiration and understanding. It’s a breath of fresh air to just watch something come together so seamlessly. Cheers to Kate Gavin. Well done.
Kaye C. - Jillian Jacobs is a tough as nails advertising executive. She is a workaholic wanting the next promotion without much time for a personal life. One day she shares a table in a crowded restaurant with another woman being her crusty self. Reagan Murphy owns and runs three restaurants. A family situation is taking an emotional toll on her. When Jill hires Reagan to cater an elaborate dinner she remembers their shared lunch with embarrassment.
One of my favorite things about lesbian romances is that women talk to each other. This book is full of wonderful conversations, fights and apologies. Reagan brings out a softer side of Jillian that people never see. Jillian brings happiness and contentment to Reagan until other things interfere. I could not put this book down and slowed down my reading to enjoy it longer. It is steamy, moving and thoughtful.
Emma A. - Table for Two is just fantastic! Kate Gavin delivers a beautiful story full of real life situations a lot of us can relate to. Reagan and Jillian meet under very trying circumstances. Reagan is going through a personal hell and somehow this pierces Jillian's cold exterior. Kate Gavin shows that two characters can come from different worlds, but that all roads lead to love. I truly love this book and highly recommend it to readers. It offers a pure of heart journey and leads us to hope.
I have to say, Reagan charmed me immediately but I have a soft spot for misunderstood characters who learn to show vulnerability. My heart broke for Jill more than once and when the dreaded breakup occurred, I could understand Reagan’s reaction but I was crushed on Jill’s behalf anyhow. Gavin pushed the angst to the max (for a mercifully short time) and I loved every second of it.
Besides Jill and Reagan, I loved Reagan’s parents, hated Jill’s family, and I wish everyone had friends (I include Ash, Jill’s non-binary assistant) like both have to support and love them.
If you couldn’t tell already, I enjoyed this book very much. I’m pretty sure the next time I come across Kate Gavin’s name, I won’t need to check my reviews to confirm that yes, I want to read her books.
Mikahila N. - I absolutely loved this book. If you’re looking for a cute casual read with not too much angst or drama then I highly recommend.We meet Jillian, a not so nice business woman and Reagan, maybe too nice of a business woman. Reagan brings out the good in Jillian and we see a whole 180 turn in her social behavior. They make the perfect couple and though I would’ve hope for more fiery tension filled encounters between them I still loved the pairing. Five stars!
Stephanie D. - Reagan Murphy is going through the most stressful time of her life and all she wants is a little time for herself and a nice lunch and beer. However, after finding the last available table in the restaurant, she decides to share it with a very rude, but very hot woman. Jillian Jacobs is rude, a workaholic and was taught to keep her feeling deep deep inside. Climbing to the top is hard and that is her mission. After getting a new project and a tight deadline all she wants is a quiet lunch, but instead she is forced to accept the invitation to share a table with a stranger. Jill is thankful when she leaves the restaurant and glad she would never have to see that good-looking stranger again. That is, until Jill hires Reagan to cater her step-father's birthday party.
This book was sweet and sexy. The author did a great job with both main characters. They were both complex and very well developed. You can't help but to love them both and their relationship. It was a very good story and I really enjoyed reading it. Moreover, the supporting characters were also great and interesting.
I will be recommending this book and can't wait to read what this author will have for us next.
Noni M. - Did I already say that I loved this book? Because I did. Jillian and Regan were perfect for each other. I thought the book was engaging. I read it in one day because I didn’t want to put it down. I love ice Queens and just how bitc@y they are but I love even more finding out what makes that woman tick or be so closed off. Jillian was the perfect character, she was so rude in the beginning that sometimes I would cringe or giggle, depending on the situation. But I read more about her and my heart just broke for her. Regan’s spirit, capacity to love, and her positive energy was everything that Jillian needed. They were perfect for each other, the writing was brilliant, and I have found a new author to follow.
Michele R. - This was a complex, multi-layered story with the relationship that developed between Reagan and Jill. It had several layers due to the reasons behind Jill's behavior that Reagan ultimately discovers, the terminal illness of Reagan's father, and the deep-seated hurt that threatens to tear apart Reagan and Jill's relationship. The writing was excellent, the characters were believable, and some of their actions were justified. 4.5 stars
Betty H. - Table for Two by Kate Gavin is an absolutely lovely romance novel with everything I could ask for in a love story. The tale revolves around two women (Reagan Murphy and Jillian Jacobs) who meet accidentally when they have to share the last table in a café for lunch. That first meeting doesn’t go well. Things become even more awkward after the two are thrown together again when Reagan’s restaurant is hired to cater a party for Jill’s mother. If only the two could stop thinking about each other.
This book hits just about all of my “must haves” for a great romance. We have Jill, the prickly ice queen that you can’t help but fall in love with, especially after you get to know the person inside that sharp exterior. And there is Reagan who is going through a stressful family situation. Both characters are well-developed, and it’s easy to see the chemistry between the two grow as they interact with each other. The story has just the right amount of angst. The hurdles they face to become a couple will keep you reading until the very end.
I really can’t find anything bad to say about this book. This is the first novel I’ve read by Ms. Gavin, but it won’t be the last.
Bonnie A. - This is the first book I've read by Kate Gavin and I must say I enjoyed it very much. Here Kate weaves a beautiful love story between Jillian an Ice Queen who seems to have been neglected as a child and received zero acknowledgement from her mother and stepdad for her accomplishments. Reagan a restaurant owner who is loved and supported by both her parents in everything she does.
The book was very engaging. Well developed and written. The main characters were strong, compassionate, communicated well and bonded beautifully. I would definitely recommend this book. Well done! 5 stars.
Patricia H. - Firstly, I adore the trope of melting the Ice Queen and Jillian is Antarctica. She is a stone-cold bitch on wheels whose only enjoyment comes from marking the next thing off her To-Do list. When she meets and is forced to work with the personable Reagan, they annoy the heck out of each other. Reagan finds joy in her work, her friends, and her family. Even in the middle of an immense family tragedy, she maintains her humanity.
These are two well-rounded characters and I liked them both. Apart from my wanting to see a little more interaction and dating before their tentative coupling, the plotting was well-paced. The rest of the story is rounded out by a wonderful array from the QUILTBAG+ spectrum. I have a particular fondness for Jillian’s assistant Ash and I hope to read their story someday.
I highly recommend this excellent story of complex personalities, trying circumstances, and finding that piece of yourself that you didn’t even know you needed.
Skip S. - I’m not sure why I was surprised that I enjoyed this so much, but this is definitely falling into the category of one of my favourite books of the year so far.
Reagan owns a number of restaurants with her best friend. She’s dealing with the terminal illness of her father and is convinced to take a break for a few hours. Whilst getting lunch she finds herself sharing a table with Jillian.
Jillian, or Jill, is an ice queen workaholic, who automatically makes presumptions about Reagan. They both “enjoy the view” over lunch, but don’t leave each other on good terms. They’re thrown back together when Jill ends up planning her stepfathers birthday party and Reagan’s company is hired to do the catering.
Gavin provided the perfect mix of sadness, disappointment, hope, joy and love for me. Whilst Jill and Reagan’s family issues are very different, they have a shared knowing and understanding that makes them great partners for each other.
I loved that Gavin didn’t automatically make Jill less of an ice queen just because Reagan walked into her life one day and I especially enjoyed her character arc because of this. Her enlightening moments are really well done and the internal conflict and understanding she comes to feels very genuine.
Reagan has to take a leap of faith, and I enjoyed the aspects of the storyline where she is attempting to connect with Jill. I also liked that Reagan calls Jill out regularly and that it becomes a great part of their relationship.
The parts of the narrative that take place when the MCs are apart from each other really add to the storyline. Reagan’s friends are well written and I love the protective gestures and holding Jill to account that take place. The scenes with Reagan’s mom are really well done, with a kindness and gentleness to them that act in stark contrast to Jill’s family. The way they are articulated ensures that you can understand where Jill has come from and why she is the way she is.
I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but anyone who has read lots of my reviews knows I’m a sucker for the inclusion of a pet in a book, so the added addition of a number of dogs in the narrative was definitely a positive factor for me, even without the impact they have on the storyline and allowing us to see some things.
I think any sapphic romance fan will enjoy this, especially ice queen fans and would happily recommend this.
Diane W. - My first time reading something by Kate Gavin and I don't think it will be the only time because everything about this particular story has this feel of both realism and believability—plus no reader can pass on a well written story. Table for Two will literally grab you from the beginning to the last sentence—unleashing a roller-coaster of emotions because of its pragmatic storytelling. More than anything, Table for Two is also a heartwarming read—where Ms. Gavin helps readers to get a glimpse of this natural ability to put words and sentences together to mean something while in another breath she makes them privy to the perspectives of every other important character interacting with both leads (Reagan & Jillian) which was very thoughtful by Ms. Gavin.
Overall, this story is also about identity, has a bit about second chances and the courage to starting life afresh. A highly recommended book!
Cathy W. - This is my first time reading a Kate Gavin book, and I can guarantee this wont be my last. What a fantastically written book and story, I absolutely loved everything about it. You have great characters, Jillian the Ice Queen and Reagan the friendly girl with a heart. Total opposites in all ways of life and family.....but as the saying goes 'Opposites Attract'. Once I started I just couldn't put down, I loved the Jillian and Reagan story.
Melina B. - A really enjoyable read. The writing was engaging, the two main characters had sizzling chemistry and were both very likeable despite their insecurities and flaws. Jill was irritating at first but I warmed to her quickly and understood where her hard edges were coming from. The romantic relationship developed very naturally and it was great to see the two leads were communicating with one another and talking about their issues and overcoming them, and the author avoided the temptation to add in drama for drama's sake. Definitely worth a read.
Emma S. - This book leaves you feeling warm. I've not come across a book that's been able to do that in a while. I think this is the first book I've actually read by Kate Gavin... that's going to change.
Your two main characters, Reagan Murphy, sweet caring, and kind, among other characteristics, and then you have Jillian Jacobs, highly opinionated, ice queen and rude. She has reasons for her not being able to get too close to people. The chemistry between the pair is definitely there and builds up from when they both meet.
All in all, this is a really good romance book. I've given it a 4.5 and I highly recommend it.
Jasmine G. - Jill is serious about her work and spends every minute of her day working, each minute bringing her closer to a promotion. In the middle of a busy day, she's just trying to catch a quick bite but the restaurant is full and the only space available is sharing the table with a stranger. She and Reagan have a lunch filled with banter and bickering and neither expect for their personal and professional lives to collide when Jill's mom hires Reagan's catering company for a party. The more time they spend together the more they find it harder to avoid their attraction, but does Jill have time in her busy life for a relationship?
I adored this book. I really felt that Kate Gavin matured and grew as an author from their debut and seriously knocked it out of the park with this book. The chemistry between Reagan and Jill in this book was delicious, it was cute and fun with the most perfect tension. Jill was a very complex character and the author did an amazing job making her balanced and nuanced. She's likeable and relatable even when she's a little prickly and her strength is amazing. I couldn't recommend this book more and I look forward to what comes next from this author!