Series: Scrumptious #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on January 01, 2012
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Purchase Links: Amazon ✦ Barnes & Noble
Book Links: Goodreads
Sparks between love 'em and leave 'em pastry chef and poker sharp Marlene Bennet and traveling chef-for-hire Joe Rafferty when the two culinary perfectionists are forced to share a kitchen. But several suspicious accidents at the restaurant convince Marlene and Joe to work together to uncover the saboteur. Maybe a little intrigue and high-stakes poker will be the perfect ingredients for these commitment-phobic foodies to whip up a happily ever after.
Marlene Bennet’s current job is working in the bakeshop of her friend Olivia’s restaurant, Chameleon. She also has a crush on a friend of Olivia’s, Joe Rafferty. Marly lets us know that his sex appeal is lethal. She also doesn’t get along with Olivia’s husband Keith – he’s a real jerk.
Joe is Olivia’s salvation. He’s come along at the right time when Keith is no longer working at Chameleon’s. But Olivia doesn’t realize that Marly is what kept the restaurant going – even though they supposedly know each other very well.
We get to see the chemistry that Joe and Marlene have both in the kitchen and out of it. But because of family history, on both sides, they fight that chemistry tooth and nail. They also have commitment issues. But we know what they say about opposites.
I love how Amanda doesn’t make her characters perfect. They all seem to have their flaws. It’s what gives them personality and we can sympathize with their foibles. Even family members are a little quirky and have their own set of flaws. She also gives us just the right amount of romance and sex. None of the scenes are forced or feel out of place.
This story started off a little slow but picks up once Joe starts working at the Chameleon. I think the story would have been fine without so much character building of Olivia’s husband Keith. I don’t think that he really added that much to the storyline. I think if there were subtle hints here and there it would have been fine. Amanda also adds in a little comedy and mystery into the mix. This also helps to move the story along.
I love how Amanda gives her readers an insight into the inner workings of the restaurant business. It makes you think twice of what a chef goes through from day to day. Make sure to read the book through the Acknowledgements and about the author. It will give you some understanding as to where Amanda gets all her knowledge about food and the restaurant business. I think that the only thing that could have made this book any better was if there were some recipes included at the end.
You may want something decadent handy as you read because this book will certainly make you hungry. If you go to her website, http://amandausen.wordpress.com, she has a link to some recipes. If you like to cook, you may want to give some of them a try. Whether or not you’re a “foodie”, you will want to read this book. If you’re looking for a new author, add “Scrumptious” to your TBR list. (Reviewed by Lynn from Romance Reader Enthusiast)
Rating: 3 1/2 flowers. Sensuality rating of a 3 1/2