You can call me arrogant as much as you want. But when you're the best at what you do and have the hottest restaurant on the west coast, with enough Michelin stars to make Gordon Ramsay's head spin, you've earned the right to your confidence.
When I give an instruction in the kitchen, it's not a suggestion--it's an order. So when a new chef thinks she can do things her way, and dares to say so to my face, even her sharp wit and gorgeous pouty lips don't make it okay.
But I have to admit, she's got talent. She's creative in the kitchen and not even that double-breasted chef jacket can hide her perfect body. As I get to know her, I can't help wanting to know everything she thinks. I've never met a more talented chef. And I've never met a sassier and sexier woman in my life.
There's only one way this push and pull can end.
With her in my bed, begging for more.
This isn't my first J.D. Hawkins book and it won't be my last. I was definitely intrigued by the premise of this book. I love watching things like Hell's Kitchen and Master Chef so the thought of a book set in that world was just too good to pass up. I truly enjoyed the look into this world through our character's eyes.
Cole started out exactly as I expected someone in his industry to be. Cocky for sure, I mean, hello, look at the title of the book. But I understood WHY he was the way he was and why he acted the way he did. I loved him from the start-and I didn't expect that. I'm picky with my book boyfriends, but Cole has some characteristics that got him added to my list.
I liked Willow a lot. Strong, sassy, and confident. She's exactly what Cole needed and didn't know he was looking for. I love authors who write strong heroines well and I truly think the author here did a great job. I loved her sensitive side as well.
There's no mistaking the chemistry between these characters. There's a connection between them right from the moment Willow opens her mouth. It isn't always easy between them but I think that was part of why I liked it so much. I may not be in the food industry but I feel like the battles these two have to deal with could be present in any relationship.
The writing here is strong and the pacing worked really well for me. I felt immersed in the story from the very beginning and read this in one sitting. I look forward to more from this author and recommend this book.
This book was not what I was expecting. I have no idea why, but the idea of a chef as the hero and heroine just didn't appeal to me. I was definitely wrong about this book, and I ended up really liking Cole...even though you don't necessarily love him at the beginning of the book. That said, I understood where he was coming from, so I was never really that upset at him and his behavior.
For some reason, I had a little harder time with Willow. I liked her, but it took a while. It's actually been a day or so since I finished, and I still haven't quite figured out what it was about her that it took me so long to warm up to. I think, honestly, I liked the wrong character of the 2...I think you were supposed to dislike Cole and feel on Willow's side. But, it was the opposite for me, possibly meaning that I am broken as a reader. :)
All that said, I enjoyed this. I really felt that the chef/kitchen elements were authentic (I have no restaurant experience, so I have no idea for sure but it felt that way) and that made the book feel different than other books that I have read, so that was appealing and fun. Oddly, the restaurant element was the reason that I wasn't initially as drawn to this book, yet it turned out to be one of the most interesting elements. So, if you are reading this and thinking the same, don't worry...the restaurant stuff is actually really interesting.
Willow and Cole have chemistry, from the beginning, and I love that there was not a lot of issue made with the idea that he was her boss. Yes, there was mention, but I felt that it was well balanced and didn't detract from the rest of the story. I also really liked that they genuinely liked and respected one another, while being rivals in the same industry who have differing views on the way a restaurant should be run in order to be successful.
The writing is strong, and there were a few places where I really enjoyed the phrasing and felt that the way the book was written brought a lot to the story because of the strength of the writing, which enhanced the fun of the book for me.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. I think because I liked the wrong character at the beginning that I missed a little of the emotional connection to the characters, but darn it, Cole was so well written that I was drawn to him from the beginning.
I do recommend this book. Oh, and while I am not going to spoil the fun for anyone, I thought the "joke" original name for the Vegas restaurant was hilarious.
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I brush the speck, but don’t pull away. Instead, I bring my thumb back across those ever-pouted lips, tracing their dip and fullness, letting her feel the texture of hands rough and scarred from a lifetime in kitchens, our eyes locked together in a moment of anticipation, emotions raging like an angry sea against the dam of the distance between us.
Her lips part slightly, I feel her shortening breath on my hand, and I push my thumb between those juicy, perfect lips, fingers pressing against the base of her ear. Her gentle gasp breaks the silence, before she closes those soft lips around my thumb, the sight of them pressing against my skin making my cock full against my pants. Her teeth gently squeezing my nail, tongue flickering as I push the finger inside the hot wetness of her mouth.
My other hand already on her waist, I pull her toward me, press her lithe body up against mine. Those magnificent hips swaying and rubbing against mine, her weight shifting onto me, breasts heaving, nipples so hard now I can feel them through that sweater dress.
“You’re fucking incredible,” I growl. Prelude to pulling her toward me, my finger in her mouth still, angling her head so I can taste the tenderness of her neck, run my sensitive tastebuds down the taut muscles, follow the path that leads me to the front of her chest. Quiet moans getting louder as I run my tongue down the softness of her cleavage, her dress my enemy now as I pull it down and bury my teeth in her breasts.
“Oh God…” she moans. “Cole…”
About the Author:
JD Hawkins writes erotic romance with modern-classic alpha males and strong, independant women. He currently lives with his wife in Los Angeles, CA. He loves to travel and has lived in many places, including New York City, India and Thailand. When he isn't writing, JD enjoys surfing, training in Mixed Martial Arts, reading and taking naps. He's always loved making up stories, especially ones inspired by real life.
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