Wednesday, June 19, 2013

REVIEW: Into The Fire by Amanda Usen

Title/Series: Into The Fire | A Hot Nights Novel
Author: Amanda Usen
Publisher: Entangled Brazen
Published: June 10th 2013 
Format: eBook | Pages: 201
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review
★★★ (3/5) Stars!

Amanda Usen | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Jackson Calabrese has a lot of nerve. He beat Lila Grant in the Culinary Academy competition using her recipes. Now, he’s opening a restaurant and wants her help? Fine, she'll fix his menu, but it's going to cost him.

Heir to the Calabrese restaurant empire, Jackson can buy anything he wants, except creativity, so he buys Lila's instead. He can craft perfect paella, but to take New York by storm he needs her innovative spark.

Skillets aren't the only things hot in the kitchen, and an uneasy truce ignites into passion. They’re great in bed, but Jackson doesn't trust her, and Lila is contemplating revenge. The restaurant opening approaches, the menu is completed, and the tables are set for one final act of betrayal. How can love bloom in the midst of such a hot mess?

I received a copy of this book from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Into the Fire was light and fun and very easy to read with plenty of fire both in and outside of the kitchen. I will admit that I had one issue with this book that held me back from fully enjoying it. I opened it up and started reading and I'm met with the two main characters sharing a glass of wine and a 2 minute conversation then...jumping into bed together. I mean it was briefly mentioned that they had a 2 year rivalry through culinary school but it was just too quick for me. I crave that build up, the one that drives me crazy with are they even going to kiss or not? I didn't have enough time to care either way if they hooked up or not. And seeing some of that rivalry beforehand would have made a major impact with me. I love the whole rivals to lovers situation. Such fun reads!

Regardless, in the aftermath mistrust takes root and you have two highly competitive people. So when the seeds of doubt take hold both start to feel like the other one seduced them to screw up their chances in the big competition the next day at the Academy. Which is when we finally get to see some of that rivalry that we're told is there.

This was told in dual POVs and you really get a feel of both characters while reading. You couldn't have two more polar opposites There's Jackson, rich, good looking, his father owns a chain of fine dining type New York restaurants and he wants nothing more to be like his father whom he idolizes, outwardly confident and arrogant, yet on the inside so full of doubt and insecurities due to his father's lack of affection and recognition. 

And Lila who is drowning in a pile of debt from school, strong and creative, she has a gift when inspired to blend flavors together and make truly incredible dishes, She's confident in the kitchen but when it comes to everything else in her life she's full of mistrust and is constantly ready to run when things get to be too much for her.

The chemistry between these two is undeniable. In the kitchen they can't seem to get along at all. All the mistrust and misunderstandings from back at the Academy always seem to come between them yet there's that underlying attraction and need they both share. Neither one trusting that it's genuine and that they're just using each other for their own advantage. But once they get out of the kitchen and into the bedroom, wow. 

I love how food and cooking was incorporated into something very sensual between these two. I loved the whole restaurant/ food aspect period. It was so descriptive it made me want to hop on a plane and fly to New York and spend a night going from place to place and stuffing myself with incredible food.

Overall except for that brief lack of back story at the beginning I liked this book very much. It was delicious and fun. Thanks to Entangled for letting me read and review this book :)

1 comment:

  1. I pretty much had the exact same thoughts as you on this one, haha. Two pages in and I'm like wait a sec... what? already? Andd, yeah, I agree -- I'm hopping on that plane with you! I wanted to eat EVERYTHING.