Feel the Heat (Hot in the Kitchen, #1) by Kate Meader
Series: Hot in the Kitchen #1
Publication Date: January 28th 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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IF YOU CAN'T STAND THE HEAT . . .
Photographer Lili DeLuca spends all her time working at her family's Italian restaurant, instead of following her dream of getting an MFA. When famous British chef Jack Kilroy unexpectedly challenges her father to a cook-off, Lili decides she's tired of playing it safe and vows to seduce the tempting Brit. But once a video of her and Jack kissing goes viral and her luscious (if voluptuous) butt starts trending on Twitter, Lili fears she's cooked up a recipe for disaster . . .
Jack Kilroy's celebrity has left him feeling used and used up. While Lili's oh-so-sexy moans when she tastes his delicious creations turn him on, he's even more aroused by how this beautiful, funny woman is unimpressed by his fame. He knows they could be amazing together, if she could only see past his rabid, bitch-fork-wielding fan base. Now as he's about to start a new prime time TV cooking show, can Jack convince Lili to realize her own ambitions-and turn up the heat in his kitchen?
Thanks to the ladies at the Book Binge for hosting me on my release tour for Feel the Heat, the first in my Chicago-set Hot in the Kitchen series about an Italian restaurant owning family and the sexy, sizzling chefs who love them. One of the first things I learned when I started writing romance was that you have to show why these two characters are both the best and the worst people for each other. The worst so you can savor that delicious conflict and the best so they can overcome it. So when I decided I was going to write about a jaded celebrity chef who falls hard for the daughter of his cooking show competition, I ran into a mountain of British beefcake: drop-dead gorgeous Jack Kilroy who cooks like a dream, has a to-die-for accent, makes Lili laugh like crazy, and wants to take care of her. Sounds perfect, right? Unfortunately, it was too perfect for the story I wanted to tell.
Jack Kilroy is famous, and any woman associated with him is not going to have an easy time of it. However, that kind of conflict can only take you so far because after a while the reader starts thinking, she should just get over it. Grab the sexy chef who thinks she’s gorgeous and run, don’t walk to her HEA. But this was easier said than done, because Lili has recently come into her own after years of hiding away as an overweight teen. She found her niche with photography, embraced her bodacious curves, and is the rock on which her family relies.
Everything’s chugging along just fine until notorious tabloid meat, Jack Kilroy crashes into her life. And when a steamy smooch with the hot chef goes video viral, all the anxieties she had put behind her come rushing back. The trolls crawl out of their caves. The haters create Facebook pages panning her looks. Her butt starts trending on Twitter. She wants to take a chance but she lives in fear that she’ll revert to that scared girl who was bullied in the school cafeteria. After spending years shucking that persona, she’s not about to travel down that ditch again. This guy who’s perfect for her in every way will make her confront her fears. He’ll demand she dig deep for all that passion and bravery lying beneath the surface—and prove why they are so right for each other even when it looks all wrong.
Here’s a brief excerpt that encapsulates their problem—and how Jack plans to handle it.
Saddling his hot-as-Hades ass with her was not going to help his brand, just like it wouldn’t do a solid for her self-esteem. One kiss had turned her into Celebrity Enemy Number One. A relationship with this guy would put her on every gossip shit list until the end of the decade. Improving the forward momentum of her life precluded detours to her chunky teens; she had come too far to risk a revival of that insecure blob inside her.
She let out a long, shuddering breath and broke out her most reasonable tone. “Jack, you know I can’t date you.”
Pressing her hands to his hard chest, she pushed him away and slipped to a stand. With trembling fingers, she wrenched on her blouse and grappled with the buttons. They ended up in the wrong holes. Typical.
“Can’t or won’t?”
She whirled on him in all her disheveled magnificence. “That concussion must have caused brain damage. There’s the little matter of your rabid fan base.”
“I’d protect you.”
“How? Are you going to punch everyone who says something mean about me?”
“No one messes with what’s mine.”
That, and the accompanying unyielding gaze, turned her legs to swaying reeds. Mine. Had one word ever sounded so wrong and so right?
“I’m not yours.”
Kate Meader writes contemporary romance that serves up delicious food, to-die-for heroes, and heroines with a dash of sass. Originally from Ireland, she cut her romance reader teeth on Catherine Cookson and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Mills & Boons thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron, and she’s there. She has a bachelor’s in law (useless), a master’s in history (not as useless), and another master’s in library and information science (yay, using). When not writing about men who cook and the women who drool over them, she works in an academic library. Her stories are set in her adopted home town of Chicago, a city made for food, romance, and laughter – and where she met her own sexy hero. For news, excerpts, and recipes, check out her website at http://www.katemeader.com.
Giveaway details: What’s for favorite celebrity/commoner romance? We have one e-copy of Feel the Heat to giveaway here at Book Binge. Leave a comment with your answer for a chance to win. Please note: You must include a valid email address with your comment to be eligible. Contest ends: 5/30/13 @ 11:59pm.
Kate is also hosting a culinary swag contest at her site! Check it out:
I will be doing a Rafflecopter giveaway during the Feel the Heat release tour. One grand prize winner will get a Feel the Heat Swag Bag containing a Supper Hero-Wonder Woman apron, a Feel the Heat tote bag, a Vespa-shaped pizza cutter, a “Grate Love” cheese grater, heart-shaped measuring spoons, a Feel the Heat fridge magnet, heart-shaped pasta, delicious cookies, and a recipe card for goat cheese caramel gelato. I’ll also be giving away smaller swag bags of assorted kitchen utensils and more.
v Enter using the rafflecopter widget beow or visit Kate’s site.