Tuesday, August 11, 2015

ARC REVIEW: Recipe for Temptation (Madewood Brothers #4) by Gina Gordon

Title: Recipe for Temptation
Series: Madewood Brothers #4
Author: Gina Gordon
Publisher: Entangled Brazen
Published: August 11th 2015
Format: eARC | Pages: 189
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotica, Romance
Source: Publisher
★★★★ (4/5) Stars!

Gina Gordon | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

A sexy category romance from Entangled's Brazen imprint...

She's the woman he loves to hate.

Penn Foster wants a lot of things. She wants a spot on the board of a charitable foundation. She wants to win the stupid, plastic family trophy. And more than anything, she wants her tall, hot, and brooding boss naked in her bed. Now, on a Hawaiian vacation with her family, she's desperately trying not to think about how he'd sound whispering dirty things in her ear.

He's the man she can't have...or can she?

Cole Murphy keeps himself locked down, away from the press and out of the spotlight. Still haunted by a traumatic childhood, his ability to trust has been decimated. Penn, with her sexy body and confidence, is the only person able to drag him out of his shell. Which is why he crashes her vacation and accepts her proposition for no-strings sex. But is the inescapable heat building between them a delicious temptation, or will it end in total disaster?

I received a copy of this book, from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. In no way did this sway either my review or my rating.

This is going to be one of those tricky books to review. Tricky in the fact that I need to figure out what to say without "Sigh. I am so smitten with Cole Murphy" just being repeated over and over. Because it was more than just that. It was funny and sweet and frustrating and even a bit heartbreaking at times. Recipe for Temptation was packed full of emotion and all I could think about once I finished was, "I really need to get the other 3 Madewood Brothers in my life. Now!"

I feel like maybe I've missed something by starting this series off with book four, the final book. I got the very distinct feeling that maybe in at least one, if not all, of the other books leading up to this one that there was a bit of a build up of the sexual tension between Penn and Cole. I can't remember specifics off the top of my head but there were times that their past was hinted at. Regardless, I was still able to feel enough of that in starting with Recipe for Temptation that when things did finally heat up between these two, it was still a sort of "Finally!" type of feeling.

Cole was a very troubled character. He instantly had my heart and as I slowly got to know more of him and his past it would just wrap him tighter and tighter around it. I loved his dark broodiness mixed with his incredibly huge heart. I had this instant protective feeling towards him and I desperately hoped that nothing would hurt him. He was larger than life in a lot of ways and really stands out but in other ways I felt like he had threads of fragility within him and I didn't want anything to touch those cracks and break him. Smitten. Smitten I tell you!

Without knowing Penn before this book, I only had to go by what they both felt about her true personality. She's supposed to be this very bold and lively woman who isn't afraid to get up on a table and dance and swear and party and just have fun. But the Penn I get to meet in the very beginning is kind of meek and passive. She hides herself from her family and never let them see the real her. Just the girl she feels like they want her to be. It was pretty sad and I felt sorry for her. The only times I ever got to see some of that bold and passionate girl that they claimed she was, was when she was alone with Cole.

I think that's what truly drove me insane when reading this book. There was at least one moment where a deep down part of me wanted to stop reading and not look back. Penn's family....was horrible. Horrible! They treated her so bad and her "older" brother Dave I wanted to punch in the face. I say "older" because well into his 30's he was still giving Penn noogies and other immature actions. But they were all so competitive and especially one of her sister-in-laws with the glaring and snide comments? I mean I get the whole competitive vibe, it was actually pretty funny a lot of the time, except for moments like that and I had to wonder what kind of brother would allow his wife to treat his only sister the way she did. It was extremely frustrating. However I pushed on and I was extremely happy I did.

Some of my favorite moments where when it was just Penn and Cole. I loved how she brought him out of his shell and helped him to feel more confident and break down the walls of his past. And how he pushed her to let the real Penn come out because anyone who didn't love the real her was an idiot. Plus....holy chemistry Batman! Those two were scorching hot! Maybe it was the whole he's-kind-of-my-boss-so-I-shouldn't thing going on so it was kind of taboo but...wow.

By the end not even those frustrating moments with Penn's family could dampen how I felt about the book as a whole. It was funny, smoking hot and incredibly bittersweet. I loved the playfulness and heartfelt moments between the characters and the really great storyline. As I said in the beginning I need to go back and read about those other three Madewood boys as soon as possible! I am definitely hooked!!

Thanks to Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book!!

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