Review: TOO HOT TO TOUCH by Louisa Edwards

When it comes to competitive cooking, Max Lunden is no stranger to winning…though he’s never been great at working with a team. A master chef—and major hunk—he’s traveled the world, picking up new cooking techniques as well as beautiful women. But when the prodigal chef returns home to his family’s Greenwich Village restaurant, he discovers one too many cooks in the kitchen—and she’s every bit as passionate as he is…

Juliet Cavanaugh used to have a crush on Max when she was just a teenager, hanging out at Lunden & Sons Tavern, hoping to catch a glimpse of the owner’s oldest, and hottest, son. Now a chef herself—competing in the biggest culinary contest in the country—Juliet will be cooking side by side with the one man she’s always admired…and desired. But despite their simmering attraction, Juliet is determined to keep her cool—no matter how hot it gets…

Author: Louisa Edwards
Series: Rising Start Chef Trilogy, book 1 and Recipe For Love Series, book 4
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Culinary Romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Year of release: 2011, August 2
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Source: Bought via The BookDepository

First line:
Juliet Cavanaugh wrapped her arms around her ribs for warmth and stomped her feet as she walked.

Memorable Scenes:
– Jules and Max against the wall in the upstairs kitchen. First “frisky” scene after their kiss in the pantry > hot as chili peppers :)
– the trivia preliminary round > awesome foodie facts
– Kane Slater > loved the storyline with him and Claire

Juliet “Jules” Cavanaugh is ambitious, smart and practical. After a difficult youth she finds a warm and loving family at her best friend, Danny Lunden’s house. His parents take her in like a daughter and she grows up to be a talented chef. I admired Jules tenacity and her practical look on life.

Max Lunden, Danny’s older brother and Jules secret teenage crush, left that same loving, home to find adventure when his father refuses to let him take the family restaurant to the next step. Max is a wanderer and stubborn. He’s outspoken, impulsive and shameless. I loved his dry sense of humor and his oneliners (both in thought and spoken).

Even though the reader doesn’t get any interaction between Jules and Max when they are younger, I still saw this book as a bit of a reunited lovers thing and I loved how flirty Max was with Jules. His sense of humor and determination to win her affection went through her resistance like a warm knife through butter and I melted right alongside Jules.

The cast of secondary was awesome, impressive and they all immediately conquered their rightful place in the book and in my heart.
Win, Beck, Danny, Claire, Eva and Kane all contributed to my appreciation of this awesome book and its equally awesome author because even though the majority of the secondary cast was formed by more than just supporting characters, they never outshone Jules and Max. I must admit Claire and Kane and their secondary romance almost did but in the end I loved Max and Jules just that tad bit more.

This first book I’ve read by Louisa Edwards made me fall in love with her writing and also had me kicking myself for not reading her work sooner than this. But rest assured, her backlist will be devoured as soon as I’ve read SOME LIKE IT HOT (which is the reason I read TOO HOT TO TOUCH). Louisa Edwards’ writing is fast-paced, filled with heat and humor and I gobbled TOO HOT TO TOUCH up from the first page to the last and then licked my fingers clean.

Favorite Quotes:
Max’s ribcage expanded with joy like phyllo pastry puffed up with honey. For a moment, he was honestly afraid his chest would pop open and spill his heart onto the street.

“Jules, Jules. I seem to remember a Juliet hanging out with you, the two of you following me around, looking to get into trouble. Same girl? I bet it is. A chick on the team. Score. Come on, dish it up. Is she hot now? I bet she’s hot.”
Danny shook his head, amusement relaxing the tense line of his mouth. “Is that all you ever think about?”
“No! Sometimes I think about food. And beer. Scuba diving. Horse races. The color cyan. I’m a complex and multilayered flower, Danny.”

Max was honestly starting to worry that if someone didn’t sit on Winslow, the kid was going to jitter right out of his basketball sneakers.

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