May the best chef win...
After four years at the country’s top culinary school and several years as head chef in her mother’s restaurant, Rowan Townsend has built a notable reputation. Her farm-to-table collard greens have long been bringing everyone to the yard, but limits on the restaurant’s size have led to long waits. Looking to expand the restaurant, she enters a televised chef competition. The problem? Her infuriatingly-talented nemesis from culinary school also enters.
To the culinary world, Knox Everheart is restaurant royalty. As much as Rowan wants to deny it, he’s a gifted chef. Rowan knows her arrogant arch-nemesis is confident he’ll win—he’s certainly given her a run for her money more times than she’d like to admit. But this time, she’s ready to show him who's boss.
Their rivalry soon sparks fireworks in the kitchen and, as the competition heats up, so does Rowan’s attraction to Knox. And somewhere between pasta and gumbo, they both need to decide what’s worth fighting for.
Cain debuts with a scrumptious rom-com, the first in her Everheart Brothers of Texas series. Rowan Townsend wants to put her culinary degree to use but making changes in her family's restaurant, Smothered in Love, proves difficult. Rowan's stubborn mother, who was recently diagnosed with lupus, is set in her ways, and Rowan's brother, Wyatt, never takes Rowan's side. What few new recipes Rowan has managed to introduce have led to a spike in popularity that their small kitchen and overworked staff can't accommodate. Rowan sees a potential solution in Restaurant Family Feud, a reality TV show whose winner gets a new restaurant. But Rowan's culinary school nemesis, Knox Everheart, is also entering the competition. Surprisingly, Knox proves just as helpful as he is irritating and the two grow closer over the course of the show, with Knox opening up about his strained relationship with his father and his ambivalence about cooking. As their past misunderstandings unravel and family secrets come to light, these enemies turn into lovers and allies. Cain delivers believable family dynamics and characters readers will root for, and intersperses the story with recipes both real ("Okra with Corn and Tomatoes") and whimsical ("Recipe for an Asshat Boy"). Both the food and the romance are delectable.
Slow to Steamy!
After reading the book, I thought it was good. However, it was a little slow starting out. Since I love romance novels, the attraction between Knox and Rowan was dragged along way too long without enough love connections, which made the story slightly boring at the beginning to me. The book also didn’t have enough jaw dropping action. The ending was the best. I love a good ending! I loved the recipes especially for the sweet potato pie.
I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.