Hi there! I’m excited to wish a happy book birthday to a contemporary romance from Bella Cruise. TASTY is an enemies-to-lovers romance that features a celebrity chef and the hometown baker whose small business he’s ruining.
Catch my review below and be sure to get in on the $10 Amazon GC giveaway.
About the book:
Go on, lick it.
Cupcake queen Jules Rockwell has sworn off men. All men. Because heartbreak is a bitch. But when sexy chef Cal McKenzie shows up in town – with a soft as butter Scottish accent and abs you could lick frosting off – she wonders if maybe a no-strings fling is exactly what she needs.
Then she finds out the truth: he’s opening up his own rival bakery, right down the street from her store. Her sexy fling is now her #1 competition – and Jules never backs down from a fight.
Cal McKenzie doesn’t play by the rules. His sex appeal and chocolate eclairs are a deadly combination, and he’s got his eye on worldwide pastry domination – but he didn’t reckon on Jules. Full of wit and spice, she’s more than just a sexy hook-up. But as their chemistry heats up, so does their rivalry. With her heart and her career on the line, Jules isn’t sure she can risk it all again.
She’s been burned before. Will this fling satisfy both of their cravings?
Jules Rockwell is a baker with a quaint shop in Key West, FLA. She has one employee and a fairly steady clientele until celebrity chef Callum McKenzie opens a bigger, better cake shop three blocks away. Now Jules is watching her business flounder and she’s pretty steamed that the guy stealing her livelihood is pretty dang sexy, too. Side note: Jules has been celibate for the past five years when she discovered her then boyfriend, and boss, a head chef was married with three kids.
Callum’s a tasty morsel, but he’s sure hard on his staff. Think: Gordon Ramsey who bakes. Jules tries some odd ploys to edge him out, but his celebrity is the real draw. Though, when they are set up as a blind date, Jules and Callum have a fire and ice attraction going. It seemed really really rushed behavior.
Jules spends most of the book mooning over 1. her dwindling business 2. her attraction to Callum.
This odd couple does get together and have the sparks and the earth-moving transcendent sexytimes, but all is not well, on account of Jules’s dwindling business. I found it strange that Jules spent more time off licking her wounds than behind the counter of her shop building new creations to lure her customers back, but that really wasn’t part of the narrative. There are some sexytimes, and that was nice. A rather unrealistic business in some of that–but these folks are clearly down for some exhibitionism–or else they’re too lusty to take it out of say, a driveway, or an alley, into more private quarters. Usually that works for me, but I think everything went too fast. One second they’re cats and dogs, the next they were hot-and-heavy. I works once, but that seemed to be the crux of most of the interactions for the first half. The time frame of the book seemed too short for all that happened, but perhaps that was me.
I did like that Ginny, Jules’ bestie, was a valid voice of reason. She provided excellent advice, and was a better and better friend to Jules. I liked Summer, Jules’ assistant baker who is the opposite of her sunny name. Despite the rapid fall into love, Jules is able to keep her head where her business is concerned. To a degree. Callum makes some promises that turn out to be suspect, and this is the big problem of the second half. Is Callum a liar? An opportunist? Is Jules destined to only date men who’ll wreck her?
Spoiler: this is a romance, ergo, HEA. So, Jules and Callum go work out their kinks. They find a way to save the souffle and build a life together. Pretty much. Expect a hard fight to get there though. And expect some unsanitary sampling of raw cake batter. And culinary inappropriate use of a frosting injector. Somewhere between 3.5-4 stars for me.
Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link to enter the giveaway for a $10 Amazon gift card!
Good luck and keep reading my friends.
About the Author:
Bella Cruise is a Florida girl turned California beach babe. She loves to travel and explore new places, and currently works as a nanny to two adorable little girls. You can find her online on Amazon, Facebook, and Instagram.