Monday, June 9, 2014

REVIEW: FEEL THE HEAT BY KATE MEADER

IF YOU CAN'T STAND THE HEAT . . 

Photographer Lili DeLuca spends all her time working at her family's Italian restaurant, instead of following her dream of getting an MFA. When famous British chef Jack Kilroy unexpectedly challenges her father to a cook-off, Lili decides she's tired of playing it safe and vows to seduce the tempting Brit. But once a video of her and Jack kissing goes viral and her luscious (if voluptuous) butt starts trending on Twitter, Lili fears she's cooked up a recipe for disaster . . .

Jack Kilroy's celebrity has left him feeling used and used up. While Lili's oh-so-sexy moans when she tastes his delicious creations turn him on, he's even more aroused by how this beautiful, funny woman is unimpressed by his fame. He knows they could be amazing together, if she could only see past his rabid, bitch-fork-wielding fan base. Now as he's about to start a new prime time TV cooking show, can Jack convince Lili to realize her own ambitions-and turn up the heat in his kitchen?

416 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by Forever
Source: received from publisher via Netgalley
Purchase: Goodreads | Amazon

OUR REVIEW:

If you like Italian food..eating it, reading about it..imagining it...this may be a fantastic book for you. The food descriptions alone..gah..I think I gained about 15 lbs from just reading them. And while I could probably spend way too much time talking about the food, I should tell you a little about Lili and Jack.  The food is definitely a large part of the story! Lol. Jack is a chef, and Lili does help run her father's restaurant that Jack will be filming a show in.... and if history serves us correctly....a hot kitchen rendezvous....or not in poor Jack's case....made for some pretty hilarious shenanigans.

Lili is a free spirit who has had to tame that spirit to stay home and help out with the family restaurant and her mom recovery from cancer. She's pushed her own dreams away for so long that as the time comes for her to finally live those dreams, she hesitates. She has doubts, questions, and fears and is allowing those to control her decision making. In stark contrast, Jack, a hotshot, confident, fearless, up and coming chef ends up filming a show at Lili's restaurant. As you can imagine the mix of their personalities is interesting. They fight and bicker and are hilarious together. He wants to go balls to the wall with everything and she wants to work everything out in her head. Except sex..interestingly, they take on different roles when it comes to sex. 

I felt a kindred spirit in Lili in that special place in your mind that always tells you that you have to follow this certain path to other people's happiness...and wanted to be more like Jack and tell her to break out of that mold. That made for some of the best parts of the story for me...because Lili is a really strong character when she puts her mind to it, but with this show and family issues always making her question herself in appearance and worth...well, we all can relate.

As if Lili and Jack trying to figure out WTH is possible for them in terms of a relationship wasn't enough, the media, her family, his sister, Marco...and so many other things work to complicate things further. So most of the novel is observing them trying to navigate all of the usual things but in a very short span of time. Shel, you just named a lot of the things that had me pissed off for Lili and Jack! Marco being the main culprit. Wanted to stab that fellow. Grr. 

I ended up enjoying this novel, although it was a little slow for me in the beginning. By the end, though, the family and all of the supporting cast of characters had caught my attention and I'd be interested in seeing what happens with the rest of them. Is it harsh to say that it did start a little slow for me, but not slow enough that it made me want to stop reading? I hope not, because it was a lot of details at first setting up this huge ensemble companion series...but I felt like once a good rhythm was hit, and some steam hit the pages and not of the foodie variety, we were definitely cooking with the right oil. 

(Okay, horrible puns will stop now...Haha)

Shelley: 3 stars
Courtney: 4 Stars

About the Author:
Kate writes sexy contemporary romance that serves up to-die-for heroes and heroines with a dash of sass. FEEL THE HEAT (Jack and Lili), ALL FIRED UP (Shane and Cara), and HOT AND BOTHERED (Tad and Jules) are now available to make you alternately hungry, sad, and happy. Originally from Ireland, she now makes her home in Chicago.

For excerpts, news, and giveaways, visit: http://katemeader.com

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