Hot in the Kitchen, Book 1
Meader jumps on the culinary bandwagon with this contemporary romance set in an Italian restaurant. The DeLuca family owns and runs the restaurant with father Tony, AKA Il Duce, at the helm. When mama DeLuca gets cancer, her youngest daugher, Lili, steps up to manage the restaurant, giving up her dream of a graduate degree in photography. She’s still taking pictures but her father likes having her in the restaurant and thinks photography is a nice hobby.
Lili’s older sister Cara is the success of the family. She is a producer of a cable cooking show, whose star, Jack Riley, is turning into a megabusiness. His new show features him squaring off against local restaurant chefs, and when the first chef backs out, Cara offers up her family business.
Jack and Lili have an unfortunate first meeting – she thinks he’s broken into the restaurant and clocks him. When he recovers he immediately falls in lust with the buxom Lili, who has spent most of her life fighting the fat label. She’s at the point where she accepts her curves but still has a hard time believing this gorgeous celebrity chef, whose last girlfriend was a supermodel, could be interested in her.
Their romance has a lot of heat but Jack is the one to put on the brakes. He’s tired of bedhopping and wants a real relationship. When a video of the two of them in a clench goes viral, Lili’s father is furious and embarrassed. And Lili has to put up with fat shaming again.
This is a fast, fun read with some really hot sex and lots of great Italian food – a terrific combination. Looking forward to book 2, All Fired Up.
4/16 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
FEEL THE HEAT by Kate Meader. Forever (January 28, 2014). ISBN 978-1455599592. 416p.