Series: Hot in the Kitchen #3
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Forever on March 4, 2014
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Also in this series: All Fired Up
Purchase Links: Amazon ✦ Barnes & Noble
Book Links: Goodreads
A Fire They Can’t Put Out . . . Although her baby boy keeps her plate full, Jules Kilroy is ready to take her love life off the back burner. Despite a bevy of eligible bachelors, it’s her best friend, Taddeo DeLuca, who's fueling her hormones with generous servings of his mouth-watering Italian sexiness. But Jules learned her lesson once before when she went in for a kiss, only to have Tad reject her. She’s vowed never to blur the lines again . . .
After a lifetime of excuses and false starts, Tad has finally opened a wine bar, a deal made even sweeter when Jules joins his staff. Lovers come and go, and he’s had his share, but friendships like theirs last forever. Still, ever since he tasted her luscious lips, he can’t stop fantasizing about what could be. Then she signs up for an online dating site—and the thought ofhis Jules with another man makes Tad’s blood boil. Even if he gets burned, Tad can’t stop himself from turning up the heat this time.
Single mother Jules Kilroy is a no nonsense kind of girl with the mouth of a trucker. For years she’s made some bad choices and decisions, and as a result, is not very proud of her past or her current situation in life. But she’s taking baby steps to improve her life by moving out of her brother Jack’s house, and getting back out into the world of dating. The only problem: she’s in love with her best friend Tad and has been for some time. So it’s difficult to fall for someone else when her heart belongs to another. It’s also difficult to date someone else when your best friend disrupts said dates.
Tad DeLuca is charming, flirtatious, and a ladies man, but that’s not all he is. After years of seeing himself as a disappointment and a failure in the eyes of his family (and his own eyes), he’s finally doing something to make his family proud: he’s opening his own wine bar. Tad is going to need all the help he can get if he wants his wine bar to be a success. There’s no better person to help him than his best friend Jules. But when he finds out that Jules is turning her attention to finding Mr. Right, feelings he’s been harboring for Jules start to surface. Now Tad has to decide if he’s willing to risk their friendship for something more.
Hot and Bothered by Kate Meader was so much more than just a love story between Jules and Tony. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Jules and Tony’s love story along with their lively banter and flirtatious teasing. And it was refreshing to read a story where the basis of the hero and heroine’s romance was rooted in a deep connection and a beautiful friendship. But Jules and Tony were more than just a love interest for the other person. They were two deeply complex, but imperfect and troubled characters, with a truckload of issues from their pasts. It’s beyond great that their friendship (and the help of family and friends) was crucial in helping them conquer the very fears and insecurities that prevented them from achieving their goals and finding happiness with one another.
All in all, Hot and Bothered, the third book in the Hot in the Kitchen series, was well worth the read. (Reviewed by Quiana – The Book Lover)