After realizing her coworkers at L’Ombre, a high-profile restaurant in NYC, will never appreciate or respect her, Charlie Garrett allows her ex-boyfriend, Avery Michaels, to convince her to work for him as executive pastry chef at his new Seattle hotspot, Thrill. She’ll have her own kitchen, her own staff—everything she ever wanted professionally.
When she arrives at Thrill, however, she realizes that Avery wanted more than a pastry chef for his restaurant—he wanted a costar for the reality show they’re filming about the restaurant and its staff. Charlie is uncomfortable with the idea at first, but she soon realizes that this is her chance to show the world what women in the kitchen are capable of. She sets some ground rules with the film crew, signs a non-disclosure agreement, and promptly meets the man of her dreams, Kai, off-camera.
The show, and her demanding work schedule as head of the pastry kitchen, makes it nearly impossible for Charlie and Kai to spend time together. Drama on and off the set soon take a toll on Charlie’s well-being, forcing her to choose if life in front of the camera is worth sacrificing life behind the scenes.~Goodreads Blurb
Kimberly Stuart can write a great kitchen scene. Scratch that, she can write some wonderful food scenes. I was excited to read about this strong woman finally getting the position she deserved, moving up in the world, and making her mark. The visual contrast between the pretty servers and the hard working back of house really shone through here. I’m all for strong female characters who can make strides in their fields without having to resort to the tropes of “the witch or the whore.” In that regard I really enjoyed the book. The part that I had trouble with is the romantic element of the book. I have to agree with Margot, the idea of leaving a career that you have spent so long building up, a job that makes you happy, for a guy that you’ve known for three months seems ridiculous. I understand the idea of a whirlwind romance might seem feasible and that these types of books are supposed to be escapism, but it really irked me. Charlie is written as this strong powerful woman, but as soon as she meets a guy who’s a good kisser she decides that she doesn’t want to be without him. I had a whole other review written tearing apart Kai and their relationship, but none of it was constructive. I wanted better for Charlie, and I can only hope that there is a sequel where Stuart bumps him off.
*This eBook was provided by NetGalley and Skyhorse Publishing in exchange for honest feedback*
**I spent 6 years working in various professional kitchens, I can attest to the fact that most people who join this profession and work the line ARE in fact crazy and/or nuts. **
Her Author Profile on Goodreads states: Kimberly Stuart wants you to know that authors write their own bios and are hardly reliable sources, particularly if they are writers of fiction. Nevertheless, there are a few facts that stand out:
1. Stuart loves a good story, both written and lived.
2. Stuart loves imported chocolate and her children, though the order of her affections sometimes gets muddled.
3. Stuart writes comedic women's fiction that has an infusion of faith. However, she seems to make Christians nervous. Read at your own risk, then, and e-mail her publisher if you must.
Freelance Editor & Reviewer