IF YOU CAN’T STAND THE HEAT
By Taryn Kincaid
A hot and spicy, sizzling contemporary foodie romance from Fated Desires Publishing’s new “Give Me a Taste” special line, releasing 2/24/15. Available for pre-order now!
This book was a gift from the Author/Publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Derek Dunne is a Cordon Bleu-trained food critic for the prestigious New York Monitor, whose scathing review of a popular Italian bistro has driven away all but the most loyal neighborhood patrons.
Lucrezia Serafina DiCicco is a clumsy business school drop-out, working as a chef and scrambling to keep her family’s restaurant afloat, after her father develops diabetes and is banned from his kitchen for his own good.
Now, with The Monitor folding, Derek is searching for his next career path and longing to get back to his first love—cooking—while Lu is desperate for an influx of cash to save the struggling restaurant…even as her father puts his foot down about non-family employees.
Derek and Lu embark on a marriage of inconvenience to save the restaurant. But can Lu ever really trust the man who nearly destroyed her family, once noted her initials spelled “LSD,” and her food was like a “bad trip?”
Or will it be their hearts on the chopping block?
The print version of the NY Daily Monitor is done. TV, Radio, and internet is their future, but not Derek Dunne’s. The top food/restaurant critic has other ideas and they don’t include critiquing anything. He’d trained as a chef, but life took him down this road. Now it’s his time to cook and create his own specialties. The question is where.
After a scathing review by Derek Dunne, Il Sapore dell’Amore is going under. Lu DiCicco took the restaurant over from her father because the stress of running both kitchen and business end of the restaurant is detrimental to his health. Lu has no culinary training and now is struggling to keep the restaurant afloat.
The latest crisis avoided by her cousin and employee, Glory who apparently has a thing going with the owner of La Dolce Vita, their dessert supplier. In spite of Lu’s attempts to fire her, Glo insists that both she and Gino (Lu’s brother) will work until things are right again. That’s what family does.
One of my favorite scenes is the excerpt and more here’s a bit more.
“Oh. Sorry.” He stuck out a hand. “Derek Dunne.”
Her jaw dropped on a shriek of horror that could have been heard in Queens. She glared at his palm as if he’d suggested she nibble rat poison from it.
“Get out!” she barked. “Get the hell out of my restaurant and don’t come back. Ever.” Her breath hissed between her teeth, but the wretched reviewer stood his ground. Or rather, sat his bar stool. “Don’t make me call the cops, buster.”
“Then have a drink with me.”
“I’d rather jump from an airplane without a parachute,” she snapped. “Now. Get. The. Hell. Out.” She snatched his drink off the bar—an icy martini, of course—and tossed what remained in his face, olive and all. To his credit, or nerves of steel, he barely flinched. Alcohol dripped from his classic nose and well-defined jaw down his neck, dampening his collar, and the olive skittered the length of the bar. She took a swift glance around the restaurant to see if anyone else had noted her uncharacteristic abuse of customer. Yeah. Right. Not when the despicable Derek Dunne had ensured a near-empty house.
He swiped at his face and throat with a cocktail napkin. “Maybe I deserved that.” He held up a hand, as if to ward off another blow. “Maybe I didn’t. The food wasn’t exactly stellar that night. Or the night I returned to see if the first service was a fluke. Hasn’t been much better this week, either.”
“Reminding me of your acid review isn’t going to help your cause—whatever the hell that might be. And I still want you out of my restaurant.”
Unbeknownst to her or the staff, Derek has come back to eat several times since his review. Most recently the last three nights. When he asks to see Lu he gets a lot more than he bargained for and so does she. *Fans self* (reason in the excerpt.)
Derek proposes a solution to her problem, he would be her Chef. Which raises another more critical problem, her father doesn’t allow anyone but family in the kitchen.
Can Lu marry Derek to save the restaurant, does she want to?
Will Derek marry Lu to get the career he wants, a chef but none of the administrative duties of owning the restaurant.
And then there is the attraction they have for each other, where’s that heading?
The interaction between these two is funny, frustrating and steamy. I loved the internal battles going on in each of them.
When you top all this off with a traditional Italian father and family, fireworks or clear sailing, you pick. <evil grin>
This is another must read from Taryn Kincaid! Bravo!
I give this book five contented purrs!
I am really looking forward to more of this Give Me A Taste series from Fated Desires Publishing!
What are you waiting for go buy it!!! Links are below.
She brushed her hands on her apron and straightened her shoulders as she strode toward the bar. Not in the mood. So not in the mood. As if the hunky stranger had come here looking for a hook-up, rather than to send back his too-salty pasta fagiole or rubbery calamari or register some other grievance.
She looked a fright besides. The moon might resemble a pizza pie but amore did not live anywhere in the restaurant anymore, except in its name. As that bastard Derek Dunne had pointed out in his review. Vicious…but truthful, she had to admit.
As she approached the customer, she positioned herself with her back to the mirror over the bar, so she didn’t have to gaze at her sorry reflection. At least no one else was at the bar to gawk at her frazzled condition.
The man swirled a pool of condensation on the burled wood with his index finger. Strong hands. No rings, she noted. Up close and personal, his looks were even more devastating, the essence of hearty masculinity radiating raw, contained power, his body taut with muscles beneath a finely-tailored suit that stretched across broad shoulders, his blue eyes intense enough to put her in a near trance. She gazed at his long, blunt fingers playing restlessly on the bar and imagined him sliding them across her heated flesh. Making her wet. Thrusting inside her. His thumb stroking her clit until it swelled, the pleasure so unbearable he had her writhing with passion, screaming for release.
Holy cannoli! What the heck was wrong with her? Was she that desperate? Yeah, probably. And yeah, he looked that good. Good enough to eat. With or without whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Oh, yeah. That image helped cool down her roaring libido. Not.
Suppressing a shiver, she cleared her throat. “I’m Lu DiCicco. You
wanted to see me?
Taryn Kincaid is a former award-winning reporter and columnist, covering everything from fires and homicides, to corrupt politicians and hero dogs. Nowadays, she haunts courthouses (in the least paranormal way).
She is the author of the Sleepy Hollow series–LIGHTNING, THUNDER, FROST, HEAT WAVE and IN FROM THE COLD — sexy paranormal romances for Decadent Publishing’s popular 1Night Stand series; BLIZZARD, a short erotic romance for Decadent’s The Edge line; HEALING HEARTS, a Regency romance from Carina Press, and SLEEPY HOLLOW DREAMS, an erotic paranormal romance from The Wild Rose Press.
Books 1-4 of her Sleepy Hollow series, plus Blizzard, have been compiled in the SLEEPY HOLLOW edition, available in paperback and digital formats. Just released: WOLF’S SONG, a sexy paranormal romance for Decadent Publishing’s new Black Hills Wolves shifter line. Coming soon, RAIN, a Beyond Fairytales story for Decadent; and HER CAPTAIN, a Tempting Signs series story for Fated Desires.