All Fired Up by Kate Meader


All Fired Up (Hot in the Kitchen, #2)
Grade-B
Hotness Level-Inferno
Kink Level-No Kink
Series-Hot in the Kitchen #2
Genre-Contemporary
Reviewed by Kay
384 pages

Cara DeLuca is an events planner at her future brother-in-law’s restaurant. She beautiful, aloof and private. Very controlled. She ‘s OCD about her cleanliness. But inside she is fighting her own very difficult demons. Her need to control consumes her. She’s the black sheep, the misfit, the one not easily understood. She’s called Lemon Tart by her co-workers because she’s so standoffish.

Shane Doyle is an Irish pastry chef trying to take the world by storm. He also wants to connect with his half brother, who is unaware of his true identity. He also has some demons to overcome. Shane was horribly abused by his drunk father until he got big enough to hit back. His anger, guilt and shame are a constant battle for him.

These two unlikely almost strangers spontaneously marry in Las Vegas at a family get together. When the smoke clears, Shane wants to try to work at the marriage but not Cara. She wants her mistake to disappear. She has enough baggage, despite her desire for love and a family.

I ended up enjoying this book quite a bit. Kate Meader is a new author for me and I was unsure when it drug a little in the middle, if I wanted to finish. I even stopped and read another book and then came back to it. I’m glad I did. I love the premise of kitchen love stories. I love secret marriages in my romances. I felt for both characters due to what they endured in their pasts.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a racy, sexy read. There was a boatload of sexual tension and when it comes to fruition, you get rewarded with a 28 page sex scene that will rock your socks off.

The Chocolate Touch by Laura Florand

The Chocolate Touch  (Amour et Chocolat #4)
Grade: A-
Hotness Level: Blaze
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary
Series: Amour et Chocolat #4

Reviewed by Anne
287 pages
 
I know a lot of people are fanatical about reading a series in order.  I’m not really one of them.  Don’t get me wrong, if I can, I’ll definitely read a series in order, but I don’t think much of jumping in to an established series.  That’s what I did with The Chocolate Touch.   The only problem I ran into was that now I want to read all the books I missed!
 
Dominique (Dom) is a famous chocolate maker in Paris and a well known bad boy.  He finds himself drawn to a quiet woman who sits in his chocolaterie (a chocolate restaurant!) each day and savors his chocolate creations.  He’s quite full of himself and he’s drawn to her in part because of her mystery, but in part because he takes her love of his chocolates personally.
 
Jaime is the grand-daughter of an American chocolate mogul.  One that Dom would be very dismissive of if he knew who she was.  (it made me think of Hershey)  She used to be quite the black sheep of the family and political activist pushing for fair trade and honest labor practices for the family chocolate business.  But that was months ago and she’s feeling really lost now.  She’s taking each day one at a time and enjoying every little piece of it.  Her favorite part of the day is the time she spends enjoying Dom’s chocolate creations.  
 
Dom has quite a way with women, but he is used to one night stands and women who pursue him.  He’s actually quite nervous about going after Jaime, much to the delight of his staff.  Jaime feels like nothing special and can’t even fathom that Dom wants to spend time with her.  The fumbling it takes for the two of them to come together was so sweet and fun!
 
This was a great story!  I felt like I was *in* Paris eating decadent chocolates. I loved how the back stories of Dom and Jaime unfolded. Their issues were very believable. I loved them both, but I especially loved Dominique. The chapters in his head were my favorites.
 
Here’s Dom.  He’s finally worked up the courage to approach her and is putting together a box of his chocolates for her.  He’s also giving her samples as he fills the box. (I’m in love!)

“Here, have another.” He pushed the square into her hand.  “No, try this one.”
 
Her flush blurred her pale freckles, but she smiled and took it.  Her enthusiasm, or maybe even more the blush, tempted him to abandon this medium-size box and pull out his largest, fill it with everything of his and three time over.  But he caught himself.  He wanted her to run out.  He wanted her to have to come back here to get her next fix.  
This just makes me melt!

Dom and Jaime have real issues to overcome, but it’s overall a low conflict romance.  (I love those!) This one is really good and I recommend it. I can’t wait to read books 1-3!  How about you?  Does a tough guy hero who specializes in chocolate work for you?  Or is there something else you prefer?