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Cooking Up Love Paperback – July 16, 2012
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About the Author
Candace Shaw writes romance novels because she believes that happily-ever-after isn’t found only in fairy tales. When she’s not writing or researching information for a book, you can find Candace in her gardens, shopping, reading or learning how to cook a new dish. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her loving husband and their loyal dog, Ali. She is currently working on her next fun, flirty and sexy romance. You can contact Candace on her website at www.CandaceShaw.net, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCandaceShaw or tweet her at https://twitter.com/Candace_Shaw.
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Shelbi is a food critic from a renowned family of doctors that eats at the restaurant Justin owns and lets him know how she feels about the food via a food review in the local paper. Justin is a man that never got over the death of his mother and as a result is weary of doctors and what they represent in his life. They begin a guarded journey of trying to find love.
I felt my heartbeat pick up every time these two shared a scene. I like that Justin is a man's man that knows his only hope at finding everlasting love lies within the budding relationship with Shelbi. He gives her the confidence she needs while she gives him purpose.
The secondary characters in this story are strong and relevant. I love when big supportive families are included in a storyline. It is refreshing when brothers and sisters show trust, respect and a healthy dose of love for each other without conditions. I can't wait for Rasheed and Bria's story.
This story moves at a good pace and each chapter unlocks my heart a little more than the last. My favorite line "who is in control" ..have mercy, I love that scene. Cooking Up Love has all the critical ingredients that make this story sizzle. If you believe love can overcome all obstacles this is the story for you. Looking forward to the rest of the series.
I will be honest, at first Justin's whole thing against doctors annoyed me. I don't know why, but I wasn't as sympathetic to his ideas as I wanted to be. I understood that as a child he was devastated by his mother's death and blamed the doctor. But I felt that as a grown man, he should have gotten over it already. I think that's the good thing about this author, after a while, it became so much a part of Justin and his character that I started to get it. The more I read, the more I liked him, and the more I could understand how he felt. I think it's because the characters are so relatable; even the secondary characters are likeable people that we all know.
I love how the unexpected drama unfolds closer to the end of the book, and how both Shelbi and Justin learn about each other's pasts. It was juicy and pacy and by the time I hit about 75% I couldn't stop reading until I found out what happened.
Oh, and did I mention the chemistry. It's ironic that this is a Foodie Romance because Shelbi and Justin's chemistry was freaking hot! I don't mean that to be corny but it's just the truth. The love scenes are toe-curling and well written--just the way I like to see them done in romance.
All in all this book was delectable; full of charisma and charm. There were laugh out loud moments as well as more tender, emotional moments. The good thing is, the comedy blended very well with the emotional side to make the book cohesive. A wonderful read!
Justin's main focus is to run his restaurant, something that was a dream of his and his mother's, who passed away when he was only twelve. Because of his mother's death, Justin has a strong animosity towards doctors.
Justin is attracted to Shelbi from the first time he meets her. She's smart, sassy and tells it like it is. Even if her opinions piss him off!
The chemistry between these two is hot! But there is also drama and emotion as well. I was so nervous about them finding out about each other's pasts. I was eager to find out how they would react.
I also loved the secondary characters in this story. Of course there is Shelbi's family, the Arringtons, who are there for Shelbi, be it supportive or annoyingly!
I am eager to read the rest of the books in Miss Shaw's, Arrington Family Series!
Their circumstances don’t stop them from meeting and having an intense attraction towards each other (I loved their first meeting), or building a relationship. But of course a romance being a romance, something has to get in the way of true love, and that’s where the fear and drama comes in.
Ms. Shaw has created a whirlwind of attraction between in two wonderful characters I could really relate to.