"Seduction reaches a boiling point when two unlikely people find themselves thrown together."
Reviewed by Tanzey Cutter
Posted August 11, 2009
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.
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.
ExcerptWhat’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
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
“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
“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
“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
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
“Yeah, but I bet half of it’s hate mail,” he baited
“Some,” she admitted with the careful dignity of the
drunk. “I have exacting standards which few restaurants can
“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,
“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)
Registered users may leave comments.
Log in or register now!