"The perfect romantic read to kick off the NFL season"
Reviewed by Patricia Woodside
Posted August 12, 2010
Romance | Multicultural Romance
Entertainment writer Paige Turner has one of the hottest
blogs in New York City, Page Turners with Paige Turner.
When she pans the cookbook/memoir by NFL sensation, Torrian
Smallwood, people notice. Including Torrian.
Unable to resist, Torrian fires back in the blog comments,
sparking a modern War of the Roses. Except this couple is
hugely attracted to one another even if acting on that
attraction may not be in either of their best interests.
Torrian can't risk Paige's negativity affecting the launch
of his new restaurant, and Paige certainly won't allow
Torrian to interfere with her dreams of syndication. If
they can just make it through the celebrity cook-off set off
by their blog war...
Farrah Rochon writes a fun urban romance. I loved the fact
that Paige and Torrian each acknowledged their attraction
early on, although they tried to fight it. Both Paige and
Torrian come across as intelligent, fun-loving and sexy.
They have good reasons to stay apart, but as in all romantic
novels, love eventually prevails. There were a few minor
details that didn't sit right with me as a native New Yorker
but nothing big enough to take away from my reading
enjoyment. HUDDLE WITH ME TONIGHT is the perfect romantic
read to kick off the NFL season.
All Paige Turner wants is to be taken seriously as a
journalist. The entertainment columnist and blogger
extraordinaire gets more notoriety than she planned when her
scathing review of NFL superstar Torrian Smallwood's memoir
sparks an online confrontation. But that's nothing compared
to the sensual heat that tackles her when she meets the
heart-stoppingly sexy athlete face-to-face….
Torrian can't let Paige derail his dream of a new career as
a restaurateur. Even if the sassy, sultry writer is making
America's favorite wide receiver yearn to be on the
receiving end of her desire. And with a reality TV cook-off
propelling them into the spotlight, Torrian can no longer
hide his passionate secret goal—to build a future with the
woman who's making an end run around his heart….
ExcerptPaige rounded the corner of Mancini’s Grocery and spotted
the owner in his usual spot, just outside the door, a green
apron tied around his waist and a broom in his hand.
“How’s it going, Bruno?”
“Just fine, Ms. Turner,” he answered, giving the sidewalk in
front of the store’s entrance a sweep, then extending his
hand to help her up the single step. “Got a special treat in
the store today: celebrities,” Bruno said.
“Really? You finally got Jerry Seinfeld into your store?”
“Not yet,” Bruno shook his head. “A couple of Sa–“
A large woman with a teased hairdo stomped out of the store.
“Bruno Mancini, this artichoke is not fresh,” she barked.
Paige gave Bruno an apologetic shrug as she left him to
handle the irate shopper. She unfolded her canvas grocery
bag and went straight for the produce section. She wasn’t
sure about the artichoke in question, but as far as Paige
was concerned Bruno stocked the freshest produce for miles.
It was one of the reasons she walked six blocks out of her
way to shop here.
Paige squeezed a Roma tomato and placed it in her bag.
She heard the slight commotion before she looked up and saw
it reflected in the mirrored wall behind the tomato display.
Paige’s eyes widened. “Oh, good God.”
Torrian Smallwood and Theo Stokes. They were
And here she was, looking like a rag doll.
Torrian finished signing an autograph and left his teammate,
stepping into the produce section. Paige pulled her Running
Princess cap further down until the bill nearly touched her
brow. She tucked her canvas bag in close, and tried to
surreptitiously walk away.
No such luck.
She ran smack into a solid wall of muscle instead. Her
grocery bag fell to the floor.
“Oh, excuse me,” Paige said, glancing up. The sight caused
an instant zing to shoot down her spine. He was twelve
hundred and eighty times more gorgeous in person than he was
on her tiny fifteen-inch television screen. He’d have to get
rid of that shirt for her to determine if the real life
Torrian could top the picture on the cover of his book, though.
He wore a cap. Pulled low across his forehead.
“Excuse me,” he said, his voice as smooth as butter.
Paige stooped to the floor to retrieve her bag. Torrian
crouched beside her. “Let me help you with that.”
“It’s okay, I’ve got it.”
They reached for the tomato at the same time, their fingers
touching. Electricity raced through her blood, traveling
like lightening to the spot where his slightly rough fingers
connected with hers. He looked from their hands to her face
and that same electrical current shot across the span of air
Paige pulled her hand away first, but she couldn’t tear her
eyes from his. They slowly rose from their crouch together;
their twin gazes never wavering.
“Here you go.” Torrian held the tomato out to her. “Wait.”
He pulled it back before Paige could grab hold of it. “This
one’s a bit bruised.” He picked another tomato from the
display. “Here we are. This one’s perfect.”
“Um…thank you,” Paige said, reaching for the tomato.
He pulled it just out of her reach, and extended his right
hand instead. “I’m Torrian, by the way.”
“Yeah, I know,” Paige answered, staring at his extended
hand. Something in her brain told her not to touch it.
Temptation came in so many forms, and six plus feet of
decadent chocolate male was definitely temptation at its worst.
“I guess my attempt at going incognito has utterly failed,”
he said, the corner of his mouth tipping up in a smile. The
affect was devastating to her good sense. Despite her
brain’s warning, Paige captured the hand he offered.
“I’m….” The review of his book she’d just posted jumped to
the forefront of her mind. He’d find out who she was soon
A different churning started in Paige’s gut. One she wasn’t
used to. Regret.
“I’m Olivia,” she said, offering her given name, which she
hadn’t gone by in years. Her mother was the only person who
still called her Olivia.
“It’s nice to meet you, Olivia,” he said, finally handing
her the tomato. “In fact, it may just be the best thing
that’s happened to me all day.”
Oh, yeah, he was good. Like many of his New York Sabers
teammates, Torrian Smallwood had a reputation of only having
to crook his finger to bring ladies flocking to his side. He
didn’t have to use a finger, Paige thought. One shot of that
smile was enough.
He wouldn’t be smiling if he knew about her review.
“Thanks for helping,” Paige said. She tried to walk passed
him, but he caught her elbow. Paige looked down to where he
gripped her arm, then back up into his mesmerizing hazel eyes.
He let her go, as if he hadn’t realized he’d been holding
onto her. “Can I treat you to a cup of coffee?” he asked.
“You know, to make up for running into you.” That grin lit
up his eyes again, and Paige knew if she didn’t get away
soon she would be lost.
“I’m sorry. I have to go,” she said.
“Hey, Wood, you done?” Theo Stokes called.
“Almost,” Torrian said. He returned his attention to Paige.
“Come on, Olivia. Let me be a gentleman and buy you coffee.”
Paige was a hot second from falling under the spell of that
“Really. I have to go,” she said. Tossing the tomato back
with the others, she shot out of Mancini’s like a rocket.
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