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February 15, 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Recipes Are Included
It has been fun to see foodie fiction, often including recipes, continue to cross over into the romance genre. Romance fans will agree that food and love make a delicious recipe for reading!
Feel the Heat. By Kate Meader. 2013. Grand Central/Forever, paper, $17.99 (9781455575350).
This humorous new series focuses on an Italian kitchen with Liliana DeLuca and her colorful family. A photographer who manages the family restaurant, Liliana is struggling to find her place, wondering what else life has in store for her. Coming home late, she hits a supposed thief on the head with a frying pan—only to discover that the intruder is actually famous chef Jack Kilroy. Despite his successful cookbooks and TV show, Jack is battling loneliness, and Liliana is the perfect woman to fill the void.
Honey Pie. By Donna Kauffman. 2013. Kensington/Brava, paper, $14 (9780758280534).
Kauffman’s sexy Cupcake Club series grows as more people move to Sugarberry Island. Honey D’Amourvell inherits property and plans to open a shop for her whimsical creations, only to discover that a local bakery and catering group has leased it already. Finding herself drawn to a quiet mechanic, Dylan, who’s battling his family’s tarnished image on the island, she starts thinking about a long-term relationship. Welcomed into the Cupcake Club of baking friends, she soon realizes she wants to be a part of life on the island. The cupcake recipes in this series are among the most creative in food fiction and will leave readers hungry for more.
Hot under Pressure. By Louisa Edwards. 2012. St. Martin’s, paper, $7.99 (9780312534400).
Louisa Edwards was one of the original sexy-recipe romance writers in the current wave, and this title completes her Rising Star Chef trilogy. Former navy submarine chef Henry Beck is participating in the Rising Chef competition and discovers his rival is none other than his estranged wife, Skye. For her part, Skye is still mad at the man who left her and wants to legally end their relationship. Delicious descriptions and appealing characters add to a story with plenty of sizzle. Beck grows from unlikable to endearing as the competition keeps the story moving along.
Luscious. By Amanda Usen. 2012. Sourcebooks/Casablanca, paper, $6.99 (9781402262180).
The food, wine, and flavors of Italy are lovingly described in a story that continues with the characters introduced in Scrumptious (2012). Olivia hopes to recover from a bad divorce with a trip to Italy but is confused as to why Sean, a high-school buddy turned divorce attorney, insists on coming with her. Sean harbors a secret crush on Olivia and is determined to win his chance with the sexy chef. Sensuous byplay in the kitchen and elsewhere make this a memorable journey for readers, too. Recipes are included.
Lush. By Lauren Dane. 2013. Berkley, paper, $15 (9780425256084).
Dane’s second food-themed erotic tale introduces Mary Whaley, a caterer who is struggling to keep both her business and her supper club running. Then hot rock-star Damien enters the mix, turning the heat way, way up. Very hot scenes focus on the romantic and physical aspects, but savory descriptions of catering jobs fill the pages as well.
Sleeping with the Entity. By Cat Devon. 2013. St. Martin’s, paper, $7.99 (9780312591465).
Former librarian and award-winning romance author Cathie Linz, writing under a pseudonym, starts a new vampire series with this delicious read. Daniella Delaney is trying to make her new cupcake shop, Heavenly Cupcakes, a success. When she brings bar owner Nick some red-velvet cupcakes, she can’t understand why he looks like he wants to bite her instead. As leader of the Vamptown clan, Nick tries to maintain his distance from the attractive baker but finds himself unable to control her or resist her. And he can’t even eat her food! Linz’s trademark smart heroines and humorous asides work well even in this paranormal title and may lead readers to her other work.
What She Wants. By Sheila Roberts. 2013. Harlequin/MIRA, $7.99 (9780778314325).
The Life in Icicle Falls series features small-town romances with recipes. The third title offers a male viewpoint as the men in a poker group read romance novels from the library’s book sale with the aim of improving their love lives. One man is hoping to catch his lifelong crush at an upcoming reunion, another wants a colleague to notice him as she dates a parade of losers, and others need help as well. Filled with humor, intelligence, and even recipes, this series continues to hold great appeal.
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