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Can't Stand the Heat

Can't Stand the Heat, September 2009
Recipe for Love #1
by Louisa Edwards

St. Martin's Press
Featuring: Adam Temple; Miranda Wake
368 pages
ISBN: 0312356498
EAN: 9780312356491
Mass Market Paperback
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"Seduction reaches a boiling point when two unlikely people find themselves thrown together."

Fresh Fiction Review

Can't Stand the Heat
Louisa Edwards

Reviewed by Tanzey Cutter
Posted August 11, 2009

Romance Contemporary

Food critic Miranda Wake comes up with a brilliant idea to write an exposé on hotshot chef Adam Temple and his highly popular, trendy Manhattan restaurant, Market. Why should it matter that she really doesn't know how to cook? She'll find out the answer to that when she takes on Adam's bet to work in his kitchen for a month and really get to know the business. Oh, how hard could it be?

Adam and Miranda's relationship heats up in the fast-paced kitchen, promising to reach a boiling point. But Miranda's loyalties are tested when she takes for truth the snide remarks made by a disgruntled employee and includes them in her book. Too late she learns the actual facts, which causes quite a few problems for everyone involved. Will she be able to make amends before it's too late and she ruins several reputations -- hers included?

This playful culinary confection is a lighthearted and entertaining romance that will delight readers. With all the behind the scenes revelations, you'll never look at cooking and meal preparation in the same way again. Steamy and satisfying fare, indeed.

Learn more about Can't Stand the Heat


For sharp-tongued food critic Miranda Wake, the chance to spend a month in Adam Temple’s kitchen to write an exposé is a journalistic dream come true. Surely Miranda can find a way to cut the hotshot chef down to size once she learns what really goes on at his trendy Manhattan restaurant. Trouble is, she never expected Adam to uncover her most embarrassing secret: she has no idea how to cook.

As for Adam, well, he’s not about to have his reputation burned by a critic who doesn’t even know the difference between poaching and paring. He’ll just have to give the tempting redhead a few private lessons of his own . . . teaching her what it means to cook with passion.


What’s your name?” he asked her.

She tossed her head again, the motion making her sway a little. Adam looked more closely. Her pupils were blown wide and dark, and her cheeks were flushed in a lovely contrast to her fair complexion.

“Miranda Wake, Délicieux magazine,” she said defiantly, as if expecting him to take issue with it.

Ah ha, he thought, somehow unsurprised, even though he’d always pictured the New York food scene’s most notorious critic as being considerably older and more dried- up looking than this fiery little piece.

Miranda Wake. You are blitzed out of your mind, on cocktails I designed, mixed with liquor I steeped with my own hands.

There was something weirdly erotic about it, and Adam covered the momentary oddness by stepping down and coming around the bar to shake her hand. The speech portion of the evening seemed well and truly over, now that the food was getting out.

“Adam Temple,” he said, taking her limp, warm hand. “Pleased to meet you.”

“Are you?” she asked, confused again, and Adam smirked. Her fingers were impossibly slender, making him notice the fine bones of her knuckles, the turn of her wrist. He wanted to force feed her something rich and decadent.

“Absolutely,” he assured her.

“Well,” she said, frowning. “Well, I’m not pleased to meet you. I didn’t even want to come here tonight. Restaurants that espouse a cause are trite and pretentious, and your food is bound to be atrocious.” She slurred over the twin shus sounds and wrinkled her nose, working her mouth as if stretching the muscles around it would help get it back under her control. “I’ve reviewed lots of ‘local produce’ restaurants, and it’s never been anything more than a stupid gimmick to cover the fact that the chef has no imagination.”

“Is that right?” Adam said, irritated beyond belief. Why did she have to be so gorgeous and snotty? “Damn. If there’s one thing I hate to be accused of, it’s lack of imagination.”

Incredibly, she blushed at that. Fantastic.

“You know,” he said, “I don’t think I like the way you talk about my food without ever having tried it. What makes you the authority?”

Her cheeks pinked again, this time probably more due to annoyance than booze. “I’ll have you know I’m the top critic at Délicieux. I get more fan mail than any other columnist.”

“Yeah, but I bet half of it’s hate mail,” he baited her.

“Some,” she admitted with the careful dignity of the drunk. “I have exacting standards which few restaurants can meet.”

“Don’t your standards usually require you to at least taste the food before passing judgment on it, sweetheart?”

“I…” she paused, disconcerted. “Yes, of course. But it’s not my fault I haven’t had any of yours yet. And don’t call me ‘sweetheart’.”

“Sure thing, doll,” he retorted. “And you could’ve been sampling the wares for the last five minutes if you weren’t so focused on giving me a hard time. But I understand,” he went on. “The hands-on approach isn’t really your thing. You spend most of your time hunched over a computer in a cramped little office, right? All alone in your ivory tower, while the rest of the world struggles to meet your ‘exacting standards.’”

“I…I…” Her eyes were wide and shocked, and her chest heaved, giving tantalizing glimpses of the shadowy valley between her breasts as she strained the fabric of her dress.

He sneered. “You wouldn’t last a day in the real world. You wouldn’t last ten minutes in my kitchen.”

That soft, round chin shot up, and she took a step closer. Her eyes flashed with something, but at this point, Adam was too ticked to decipher it.

“Oh, wouldn’t I?”

He stepped in, too, until they were toe to toe. “Not a chance,” he declared. “In fact, I dare you. Spend one day in the kitchen at Market, work with me and my crew. See what it’s like from the other side. After that, review my restaurant, rip my cooking to shreds, I’ll take it like a man. Until then, sweetheart?” He leaned down close enough to see just how long and thick her eyelashes were. She smelled like raspberries and sugar, and something deeper, more complex.

“Keep your opinions to yourself.”

What do you think about this review?


1 comment posted.

Re: Seduction reaches a boiling point when two unlikely people find themselves thrown together.

This is near the top of my TBR list. Can't
wait to get hold of a copy!!!
(Mary Hundley 11:31am October 5, 2009)

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