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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

ARC Review: Hot and Bothered by Kate Meader

Jules Kilroy is in labor. The man coaching her through it and holding her hand, Tad DeLuca, is not the father. Both wish he was, but for now, he’s her best friend. And her brother Jack’s friend, who’s British, a celebrity chef, and overprotective of Jules. Tad is opening a restaurant with Jack’s financial backing. Tad’s family has a long history in the restaurant business. Although his deceased parents hoped he’d be an engineer, different circumstances brought him to the wine bar. He blames himself for their deaths and sees himself as a failure. Jules is dyslexic. She has trouble reading, but loves to cook. She memorizes recipes and creates her own. Tad gives her a job and a book with pictures to help her remember the wines and menu. Her son, Evan, is now eighteen months old and she has decided to date. Her girlfriends help her upload a profile on some dating sites. She was a party girl because she lacked self-confidence in her youth. She’s recovered and wants a father for Evan. Plus a healthy sex life would be a nice bonus. Tad can’t stand the idea of her dating other men. He makes her a deal, he’ll provide the sex in a safe no strings attached relationship. They’ll work and play together. Since the dating sites offer no one of interest and she craves Tad, she agrees. When Evan’s father makes an unwelcome return, Jules turns to Tad for advice. She doesn’t like what she hears, but knows he’s right. Can they both accept all the other’s past baggage and become a family?

Tad is a Beatles fan and decides Jules is George, the late bloomer. A wonderful way to have her hit the reset button and move on in life. Tad and Jules make a good couple and parents for Evan. Jules keeps her son in the forefront of every decision. Tad treats him with the same love, respect, even enjoys babysitting. They have both been wounded from the outside and inside. They can heal each other.

Italian proverbs or sayings are used to start every chapter and provide a glimpse of what’s to come. The cast of characters add to the tension and joy in the story. Her brother, Jack, is domineering and clueless at the same time. Tad’s family is warm and accepting. The foods served add to the flavor too. Recipes handed down through generations connect and restore broken hearts and relationships.

This is the third in the Hot in the Kitchen series and I’m hungry to read the first two.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |


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