Roxanne returns home to Alexandria, Virginia, from NYC w/ big plans to resurrect the neighborhood restaurant she has just bought and tranform it into an upscale French bistro, complete w/ top drawer chef and snooty maitre d'. The current staff are leery of the new owner and are pretty anxious about all the changes she has planned, but she quickly reassures them that she is willing to retrain them and offer them jobs at the new restaurant if it works out.
Steve is the smart, sexy guy who lives in one of the apartments above the restaurant. He's also the bartender, and he gets off to a bad start w/ Roxanne as both his neighbor and his boss. Despite these early problems and the possible complications that might ensue, Steve and Roxanne begin a somewhat secret, behind-the-scenes romance. Both are hold something back, tho, and have secrets that threaten the relationship.
In addition to the stress of opening a new restaurant and the sizzling new romance, Roxanne and Steve also encounter mysterious happenings at the restaurant and the possibility that a lost copy of the Declaration of Independence may be hidden in the historic building that was once the home to Thomas Jefferson's cousin. The whodunit aspect isn't especially deep or hard to figure out, but it's nevertheless well done and entertaining. This plotline is deftly woven into the story w/out any heavy-handedness--it enhances rather than distracts.
One of the big pluses in the book is Roxanne's feisty cat, Cheeto--so-named not only because of his orange color, but also as a reminder of Roxanne's favorite forbidden snack food. Cheeto plays a key role in several pivotal scenes and is intrumental in solving the mysterious goings-on at the restaurant--but not w/out causing some serious havoc of his own along the way.
Special of the Day is a light read, but a very enjoyable one. Roxanne and Steve are strong characters separately and have great chemistry together. In addition to a steamy sexual relationship, Ms. Fox also shows how a real, believable relationship develops between these two people. Put this book on your menu.