Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
Her sweetest mistake . . .
Cool as a Chicago winter, private events planner Cara DeLuca is a model of self-control . . . until she meets the one temptation she can’t resist: Shane Doyle. The sexy, Irish pastry chef is too hot, too sure, too young, and after a crazy night in Vegas-her new husband. While at first Cara wants nothing more than a way out of her sham marriage to Shane, she soon finds that beneath his farm boy demeanor lies a man who can match her drive, both in and out of the bedroom. How can the wrong guy feel so deliciously right?
. . . tastes so, so good.
Shane has carefully structured his career and life around one goal: connecting with the family that doesn’t know he exists. Marrying a woman with more issues than a magazine stand wasn’t part of the plan, but melting Cara’s icy exterior is so worth the detour. Now as the annulment date nears and long-buried secrets are revealed, Shane will have to fight for the one thing guaranteeing the perfect life he craves . . . the current Mrs. Shane Doyle.
While the story was cute and swoon worthy in parts, I’m unsure as to whether I would read further books by this author as the beginning of the story was so disjointed compared to the second half of the book (this is what I thought at the beginning). It in fact seemed to be written by two different authors (just my perception of course). I am not fond of statements such as:
“Strange to think such a thing when he’d worked in Paris, London, and New York, cities where you can’t jerk off without hitting a gorgeous woman, but Cara was something else.”
Yet I chuckled at …
“Exactly how long could she stay mad at him? She’s a woman, Doyle. There’s no expiration date on female fury.”
The dichotomy of my like versus not is interesting. It is actually similar to the dichotomy of the lead woman in the story….Cara (more about her later).
In the beginning I personally found the graphic nature of the writing a bit of a put off. Yet…the word usage in the story was interesting to say the least…words such as insouciance, languid or cornpone or how about gobshite. The contrast certainly kept me off balance (in a good way???? – the jury is still out on that).
“He should be staying away from her because of the whole FUBAR situation with Jack, not to mention the …”.
What is FUBAR (?) I may have missed it but I did go back and read the beginning of the story twice and was not able to ascertain what the acronym stood for. Very frustrating.
Many underlying issues which certainly did keep my interest…Shane searching for a connection with his half-brother Jack (though Jack has NO idea he has a half-brother), Shane’s issues regarding his early childhood abuse at the hands of his father, Cara’s issues and let us not forget, family dynamics in a large Italian family and the ever present focus on food (okay….this must be a given since both main male characters are chef’s) .
Cara is a complex character. She is a very rigid character and as we learn, this goes back to her serious mental/physical issue (I am trying not to give TOO much away). Cara is a woman driven by her professional goal of running a successful large scale catering business tied up with her (soon to be) brother in-law (Jack Kilroy’s – famous chef) restaurant. Through the writing, I did feel a strong family bond trying to emerge between Cara and her family (the DeLuca’s)….if only she would relinquish the tight controls she has on her life and let herself go. And that is where Shane comes in…..He is an easy going Irish pastry chef , cowboy working at overcoming his chip on his shoulder (wanting to meet his half-brother Jack – a sibling he has revered and despised as long as he has known about Jack).
The love story between these two is touching, and HOT, (even though they did start out as husband and wife as a result of a wild bachelorette party in Vegas). The progression of learning to trust each other and thus finally baring their inner most secrets is what a strong foundation is built upon. The hot scenes are well written and the touching, loving scenes are written well, thank goodness. And “Vegas”, their shared cat is certainly an entertaining member of the family.
The supporting cast of characters all played an important role in making me like this story as much as I did…..Jules, the single mother to Evan and blonde half-sister of Jack. Did not get a complete story on her so hopefully her story is in another book? Going back and reading book one would probably give some more insight into Jack and Lili in this story. I certainly enjoyed the Rugby scene. All I can say is poor Shayne!
Given my early on misgivings, I did not have high hopes but the story was romantic and the storytelling redeemed itself in the second half of the book. And of course…the sexy Irish Shane did not hurt 🙂. I will put on my TBR list the first in the series and possibly after that…the third installment. So if you like hot and sexy….go ahead and give this book a read 🙂
Note: It’s the second book in the series, but easily a standalone.