4 Star Rating:
This is actually book five in the romance series. It’s the story of a romance between a newspaper food editor and a Café owner. I found the overall story to be sweet and it was interesting to see two “opposites attract” people find a way to make their relationship work. I did have a hard time relating to the character of Nancy who seemed borderline abrasive with men at first. But the story itself was still good. I would like to see how the series goes if the story continues to a sixth novel. It can be read as a standalone book. I`m also a big fan of the cute cover.
Nancy Braley is the Chicago Gazette's food editor with a taste for hot chefs and talent for replicating their "secret" recipes. But when she finally gets up the nerve to ask out a hot local café owner, Doug Johnston, she's crushed when he says she's not the "marriage material" he's looking for.
Doug is perplexed by his attraction to Nancy whose take-no-prisoners personality reminds him way too much of his cheating ex. To keep Nancy and his conflicted feelings at bay, he throws out the only excuse he can come up with—she's just not marriage material.
Not one to be deterred, Nancy becomes obsessed with figuring out what exactly that means—partly because she doesn't want to emulate her oft-married but divorce-settlement-wealthy mother, and partly because her attraction to Doug is driving her to distraction. So when a married and very pregnant colleague gets put on bed rest until her baby arrives, Nancy volunteers to feed her family, hoping to get a first-hand look at what marriage is all about. And when Doug's ex opens a new coffee shop nearby, stealing business from his café, it's Nancy who comes to his aid! Eager to call Doug's bluff, can she convince him she's the real deal?
With a fresh wave of warmth riding up her neck and cheeks, Nancy folded the yolks into the saucepan, whisking the concoction until it thickened just enough to coat the sides of the pan and her complexion had returned to normal. Handing control over to Doug, she watched as he poured the mixture through a strainer into a metal bowl that he had set in the middle of a larger bowl filled with ice water.
With a nod over to the assembled ingredients, Doug instructed her, "Go ahead and stir in the vanilla."
"How much?" Nancy asked before her brain could stop her.
Doug cut her a look from behind his sorry seventies frames that, had he used the measuring spoons she had offered, might have made her knees wobble.
"Trust your instincts."
Shields up, she tipped the vanilla container over the bowl for a quick second before deflecting his mandate with ease. "What is this, Doug? Zen cooking? Next you'll be telling me to use the force."
The whole class, annoying young woman included, snickered.
Successful, award-winning, well-connected professional—1; hunky quiche slinger—zip.
The next thing Nancy knew, Doug was directly in front of her, holding up a spoon half filled with the sauce. "Close your eyes and open your mouth."
"Oh. Uh, well, ok."
Flustered, she had no sooner closed her eyes and parted her lips than she felt the hard tip of the spoon covered with warm velvety sauce on her tongue. Closing her mouth around it, she pressed her lips against it, just tight enough to prevent any dribbles while he pulled it out.
"Now keep your eyes closed and tell me how it tastes."
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Author of the popular Assignment: Romance series, Barbara was named "Indie Star of 2015" by Publishers Weekly when her first book earned a coveted starred review. A member of Romance Writers of America, she looks forward to the days when her to-do list includes tasks such as “Attend premiere of movie based on my book” or "Accept Godiva's request to be a taste-tester” …much better than “Vacuum hallway” or “Pick up clothes from dry cleaners,” don’t you think?
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