This book was not what I was expecting and it completely blew me away. I went into it thinking it was just going to be a spicy, fun read - but what I got was a gut-wrenching, emotional, WONDERFUL story.
There are certain elements I look for in an amazing book and this book had them all. Sizzling hot chemistry and romance. Humor and wit. Awesome dialogue. Strong characters. Wonderful supporting cast. Emotion, angst, and suspense. It was the perfect blend of everything that had me sucked in from the first chapter, devouring it in two days.
Lena is a pediatrician who has lived with the pain of her sisters death for nine years, not allowing herself to find love or get close to anyone. The guilt she feels over the accident has left her emotionally crippled and angry - making herself a rigid bitch everyone steers clear of (except her best friend, Shelly).
Mason is owner and head chef of his own restaurant, Exquisite
. With a reputation as a Casanova
- he doesn't have any interest in settling down, unless the right woman comes along. His first encounter with Lena leaves him infuriated, but he can't seem to get her out of his mind. Then she walks into his restaurant and he innocently blackmails her into going on a date with him, even though the last thing she wants is to give this guy the time of day.
The banter back and forth between these two as they get to know each other is funny and witty. I absolutely loved the slow build up of their relationship and Mason not giving up so easily. He was drawn to her for a reason and determined to break down her walls. I loved that Lena didn't fight it too much. Normally a girl with the type of issues Lena has fights the relationship and it drags on forever in the book, making me angry. The author dealt with it early so other stories could develop and take a turn in a direction I never expected. She kept me guessing and had me in suspense and I loved that.
Mason was also very close to his family - his sister helping him run his business and his sweet mother who played a very important role in this story. The added bonus of these supporting roles made the story even better.
Mason was the ultimate swoon-worthy guy, with the patience of a SAINT. When Lena was bitchy and rude - he just kept coming back for more. He put up with a lot from her and it was so endearing. Most men would walk away when he pushed forward and ultimately saved her from herself and her grief. "My dad once told me, the day I meet someone who drives me so crazy I want to strangle her and yet never would because I can't bare her to be gone, that's when I know I've met a woman worth keeping."
"It's time to feel again. Let me save you from yourself. You were drowning when I found you, but I'm not letting you go without a fight."
And Lena had her endearing qualities - fighting for their love and proving to him that she wasn't going away when he went through the toughest time of his life. This story just continued to surprise me as each event unfolded.
Most importantly was the incredibly sexy SIZZLING chemistry and sexual tension between these two. "WARNING, smoking hot chef. May be detrimental to women's panties."
Some of the best scenes I've ever read. The 'Peaches' scene was HOT. But beneath all of that passion and lust was something deeper and meaningful that unfolded. It was truly a beautiful story of love, loss, and forgiveness. With a VERY happy ever after!
I only have one gripe, which still doesn't change the fact this is one of my favorite books of the year. Someone REALLY needed to edit this book before releasing it. I'd do it myself if it meant the author gaining more credibility and getting this story out there!! The amount of grammatical errors and incorrect words were distracting and I'm normally not one to pay much attention to that sort of thing. I'd hate to see someone get frustrated by it and not give it a real chance. Because this book is WORTH READING!