1—Devon Sparks. If you like Gordon Ramsey, then my friends you will fall head over heels for Devon. He has it all and so much more because we get to see under that chef shirt and also how he uses it! And what’s also really fun is you get to see the drive in the man that pushes him to demand excellence….even when that excellence isn’t always coming through for him. Devon has his own tv show and his one and only true friends are slimming to the one and only, Adam (whom we all love and know from Can’t Stand The Heat). Adam’s going on vacation with the love of his life, Miranda, and asks Devon to step in as head chef in his kitchen. Devon agrees, but he won’t be doing the song and dance instructions left for him. With his successful tv show, Devon has been away from the head chef position for far too long and he wants to flex his taste buds. But ouch, those buds have been a bit inactive and need to be awakened by one Lilah Jane Turkle.
2—Lilah Jane Turnkle. Southern. Sweet. Kind. Loving. And if you’re thinking all that means ‘mouse’, then my friends you would be wrong. So very, very wrong. Are you seeing the friction already between this Belle and our Devil in the Kitchen above? Lilah is anything but a quite woman in the corner. Raised by her prim and proper aunt, and always following the guidelines and rules her aunt set forth, Lilah expected a set life. And she probably would have kept that life, but funding was cut in the art department at her school, taking her job. Lilah is tossed and turned in all kinds of different ways. What’s a gal to do but reinvent herself? Off our Belle goes to the big city to stay with a childhood friend. Lilah has one mantra in mind, Whatever Aunt Bertie did, Lilah will now do the opposite. Which works out very nice for Devon because Devon is the kind of man Aunt Bertie would cross the road to avoid.
3—Lilah and Devon together. Let’s just say it’s not the kitchen stove getting things steamy. *wink* Devon has a bit of a soft side for Lilah. When they first meet and are together, Lilah has no idea Devon is a super famous chef who has his own tv show, but when she wants him—just him, this hot and flirtatious guy she just met anyway…ohhh, heaven for Devon there. And for Lilah, in the beginning she sees this very worldly man and he’s totally flirty and hitting on her. Doing the opposite of what Aunt Bertie would do, Lilah flirts back and the book gets so hot, it’s like sticking your finger in apple pie right out of the oven. Scorching hot and sinfully sweet. Of course, the real fun begins when the two realize who each other is and their strangers-for-the-night-never-see-each-other-again doesn’t last beyond twenty-four hours.
4—The food, the food, the food. With Lilah and her southern roots, I saw a few staple recipes make the book and I was thrilled. If you think homemade biscuits and greens can’t be sexy, then you’d be wrong. Even better, some of southern staples Devon got his hands on and updated them. I’m telling you, reading the descriptions of the food will have your pudgy areas thinking of expanding—but no worry! The amount of laughter will work anything off. I’m going to have to beg Louisa for some of these recipes Devon tinkered with.
5—Frankie. We finally get in Frankie’s head and it is one delightful place to be. During Can’t Stand The Heat, we weren’t in Frankie’s pov and he was very much a mystery to me. He’s *still* a mystery to me, after getting in his head in On The Steamy Side, I’ve been given hints. Little tiny hints to let me know there’s so very much more to Frankie than what’s he’s telling anybody and I am dying here to find out what his secrets are that are holding him back from his Happily Ever After with Jess. (Jeepers, that’s a long sentence!)
I’m very much a foodie. I love to cook food. I love to bake food. I love to eat food. But that doesn’t mean I’ll eat just anything you plop in front of me. I won’t do foods that are looking more alive on my plate than dead and don’t you dare ever bring me anything that’s still bleeding. Over the weekend I talked with a couple people and I made the comment that you don’t mix desserty foods with other foods (do we have a clue here of my favorite foods to cook?). The item in question at the moment was cream cheese. I’d made the comment because there was a block of cream cheese in front of us that had some spicy jelly stuff poured over it. You’re supposed to eat it on crackers. (Perhaps Liz, Melissa or Jamie will remember–hey girls! Great meeting you all this weekend!) To me, cream cheese should ONLY go in a graham cracker crust (or something similar) with lots of sugar, but I think if I turned Devon loose with a block of cream cheese and told him to get to mixing, I’d nearly try anything he brought me. Especially if I got to sit there and watch him cook it.
Do you have any no-no foods that you’d give a shot if a man like Devon served it up for you? Have you picked up Can’t Stand The Heat or One The Steamy Side? What did you like about them if so? Be sure to pop back in tomorrow when Louisa will be here giving away One The Steamy Side and an apron and spatula set!
**I was given a review copy for this review. But I’m a Louisa fan and the review was scheduled well before the idea of sending me a copy came along. Also, I bought the book over the weekend too because there’s nothing I like better than supporting my favorite authors.