Hello, and welcome back! We're enjoying a couple days of rein-free weather here, which is lovely after the end we had to last week. I had the chance over the weekend to visit with a couple writer friends, which is always a fantastic treat. And which is making me look even more forward to the conference I'll be attending next month, where I'll get to visit with still more writing buddies I don't get to see all the time. That means I need to get ahead with my reading now so when I'm away for several days next month, I'll still be caught up with all your reviews.
This time, I have Louisa Edwards's Can't Stand the Heat (St. Martin's). Food critic Miranda Wake is known for her wicked reviews of restaurants' fare, and Adam Temple is not looking forward to having her at his new restaurant's preview. Then the unthinkable happens, and he finds himself stuck with the shrew in his kitchen for a month. Miranda's used to putting aside her own wants for the needs of her brother, and now her younger sibling is home from college and intending to stay in New York with her rather than return to school. What she really wants is to sell a book about her industry, and she's having a hard time convincing a publisher that they want her story. Until she gets to spy on Adam. Er, work with Adam, that is. A publisher wants an expose, and while it's not what she's dreamed of writing, she can't turn down the advance which will help pay for her brother's college tuition. Plus she gets to look at Adam for a month, and that is no hardship. Adam is almost two people, however, one the shouting taskmaster in his kitchen and one the smiling tease who can't resist his attraction for the critic. Miranda is pretty straightforward except for her spying, though I was extremely disappointed with the decision she makes late in the story, then even more disappointed with her keeping her mouth shut about it. There is also a large chunk of the story devoted to her younger brother and his romance, which didn't do anything for me. Yes, secondary characters are great, but as supporting cast rather than taking over big sections of the book. I will say, the drink recipes at the end look promising, but I didn't find this story to be a keeper, I'm afraid. I'm giving it only two and a half of Cupid's five arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!