Hiya guys, we have E.M. Lynley visiting us today with her brand new release Spaghetti Western, E.M. brings us a delicious little sample and a fantastic giveaway! We have Cat’s review (well it has cowboys *wink*) and she seems very taken with Spaghetti Western, so I will leave you guys to it, just remember to click that Rafflecopter link <3 ~Pixie~
Cordon Bleu-trained chef Riley Emerson arrives in Aspen, Colorado for a summer at the best restaurant in town, only to discover his jerk of a boyfriend has dumped him, leaving his heart and his plans in tatters. Doubting himself and longing for a change of pace, he takes a low-paying position at the Rocking Z guest ranch, though he expects nature up close and personal won’t hold a candle to his exciting Paris lifestyle.
When born-and-bred cattle rancher Colby Zane spots a newcomer being pawed at by a passel of horny cowboys at Aspen’s Club Rawhide, he rushes in, throws the guy over his shoulder, and rescues him. Sober, Riley Emerson is sweet and sexy, but not interested in more than a one-night stand. Still, Colby’s over the moon when Riley later arrives as the new cook on his family’s ranch.
But all’s not well at the Rocking Z. Unsurmountable financial problems force them to seek a cash infusion from outside investor Fitz Wellington. Fitz is hot for Colby, and he won’t sign on the dotted line without some very personal incentives. The future of the ranch is at stake, and Colby’s just that desperate, but saving the Z might mean losing Riley.
A week before Christmas, Alex Bancroft’s bakery goes up in flames. When he runs back inside after a dog, firefighter Kevin Flint has to rescue Alex—and Quincy—from the smoldering building, endangering them, and inflaming Kevin’s resentment.
Now Alex can’t create the elaborate gingerbread house he donates to a foster-kids charity each year. Fire Station 7 again comes to his rescue, offering their kitchen and their manpower.
Everyone but Kevin Flint, that is. A third-generation firefighter, he’s fearful of stepping too far out of the closet. So when his powerful physical attraction for Alex ends in a sizzling secret encounter in the firehouse, Kevin can’t push Alex far enough away, and Alex returns the cold shoulder.
After a change of heart, Kevin risks his life to prove he’s worthy of Alex’s affection, but without a Christmas miracle, their chances at sweet romance might go up in smoke.
Like all Delectable stories, Gingerbread Palace includes recipes used in the book.
Review: I think the timing I chose to read this story was simply perfect. I picked it up yesterday and finished it by the time I needed to sleep, thus my dreams were delectable. E.M. has a way of making your mouth water with her men just like she does with her cooking images. This time around, she gifts us a Candyman and a Fireman.
Let’s take a sneak peek on the story here. A bakery is on fire and the fire-team arrives to the rescue. The delicious chef gets himself in trouble trying to save the dog he was sitting and the equally – if not more – delicious firefighter saves his life, literally. And sparks cause a whole different brand of fire.
What? You thought the sexy fire didn’t you? Well, that most certainly comes later on, but the first sparks are darker than you might expect. You see Kevin, the firefighter, is deep, deep in the closet besides being a third generation fireman and one that sticks to the rules like he has tons of glue on his a$$. He thinks the sexy baker is a dumbass and actually goes ahead telling him so right after he’s rescued him. Talk about a bad start. To make it worse, they end up having angry sex only for Kevin to treat Alex like trash, triggering the most hurtful memories Alex has.
The characters are fascinating, both of them having multiple layers and hidden things that trigger their behavior. The author did a very nicely balanced job with this novella, as she managed to get lots of dark and cruel events in the middle of the light and vice-versa. This is not your typical happy and cheery read, even if it seems that way in first sight. I liked it so a lot and no, it didn’t feel heavy at all.
What I felt weird about was the abrupt change of heart Kevin suffered. It was a bit fast for me; one moment he’s a complete jerk, the next he’d a damned angel, and it caused me a feeling akin to vertigo. However, it still didn’t take away from my enjoyment.
As for the erotic part of the book, what can I say; it was as expected delicious, sensual, sexy and hot, and not nearly enough. This pair worked out so well, I’d have loved a couple more scenes for them to explore themselves through the different phases of their relationship. In fact, the entire book evoked strong cravings and made you wish for more.
Overall GingerbreadPalace is yet another lovely book in the series that will leave you drooling after having a fantastic time with its men and candies. Strongly recommended for fans of the genre and those of you who wish for a delectable Christmas read.
Eli’s Review: ♥♥♥♥3.5Hearts
Alex and Kevin literally strike sparks off each other. Each meeting they have with each other is fraught with tension and angst, largely due to Kevin’s fear of being outed. The story progresses with this tension until Kevin and Alex hook up. But once again, Kevin allows his personal issues to get in the way of a potential relationship with Alex; and, he burns his bridges with the man. In the meantime, he’s beginning to learn more about Alex and he regrets his decision but there is little he can do to fix the situation.
When Alex goes out on a date and Kevin gets hurt on the job, this provides a powerful tool, which can move these men to finding each other. The story moves between Alex and Kevin’s perspectives which is good, but the story would have been more powerful had this been Kevin’s story for the reader to see the arc of his growth which began with his and Alex’ interaction in the hospital, which is where the book ends. Had the story gone on to have Kevin come out and embrace who he was not just to Alex but also to the world, especially his father and co-workers, and then end with he and Alex embarking upon a relationship, this story would have vaulted to perfection. Kevin spent so much time hiding and being a douche, that the simple transition is anti-climatic.
However, this is not to say it wasn’t a good read, it really was, hence the rating of a 3.5, it was just that it built up to a climax that didn’t quite happen and it left the reader feeling a little let down that there wasn’t just a tad more. This story has enormous potential to be a solid 5 and I hope the writer goes back and does a few minor adds to vault this book into the stratosphere which is where it could really reside. Kevin deserves to have his full growth explored and Alex deserves that man that Kevin will become.
Buy the book, support the author and let her know what you think.
Blurb:Simon Ford’s success is hard-won. He grew up in Napa and resents the rich people who have moved into the valley, changing the culture by opening boutique wineries and pricing the locals out of the market.
Austin Kelvin runs an award-winning winery his father started after making a fortune on Wall Street. He lives the posh lifestyle Simon resents but secretly longs to attain. However, Austin’s world isn’t as luxurious and privileged as it seems: he didn’t inherit his father’s business savvy, and his winery is going under.
When Simon’s boss sends him to covertly scope out Kelvin Cellars for a possible takeover bid, Simon sees it as a step toward attaining his financial dreams. Until he falls hard for Austin. The feeling is mutual, but when Austin learns the real reason for Simon’s initial interest, he suspects Simon’s seduction is merely a means to procure the winery at a bargain price. If there’s any hope of winning Austin’s heart, Simon will have to risk it all to prove Austin is more than just an intoxicating crush.
Like all Delectable novels, this book includes the recipes used in the story.
Review: Wow! If the sex scenes aren’t hot enough for ya, there’s plenty of food porn to go around! I must admit I do enjoy wine, so this story had me captured and enraptured. The author successfully transported me to the Napa Valley wine country, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Lynley obviously did plenty of research, because there were scads of vintner details, and wine industry lingo threaded throughout this romance. The tension and drama seemed in perfect balance, a realistic attraction, and development of Simon and Austin’s relationship. Did I mention the food porn? I found myself salivating over descriptive scenes involving food and wine parings that made me reach for my favorite bottle and sparked sudden need to visit the gourmet section of my favorite grocery store. Especially hot was the tasting room picnic where food and fluids were consumed and the dress code was minimal! I thoroughly enjoyed this hot and sexy, tantalizing story. I highly recommend and can’t wait to start the rest of the series! I will also be testing a few of the recipes included in this book!
Blurb: World-class chef Joshua Golden is homesick for Paris before he even arrives in New York, but he’ll endure it—his parents need him to help run the family restaurant while his mother recovers from surgery. Running a place so far beneath his talents is bad enough, but bad turns to worse when Josh discovers his former best friend and lover, Micah Solomon, is living at his parents’ house with his ten-year-old son, Ethan.
For ten years, Josh has done his best to forget how Micah shattered his heart into tiny pieces. Now Micah’s back, fresh out of prison, and helping out at the restaurant. Micah may not be the kind of sous chef Josh is used to, but he is more helpful and supportive than any of the other employees. But Josh finds it hard to keep his distance when, time after time, Micah proves himself a better man than Josh thought. Reluctantly, Josh realizes there is more to Micah than his lousy life choices… but that doesn’t mean Josh is ready to forgive him.
Review:This story is part of a series but can be read as a stand-alone. Josh comes home to New York for the first time in five years. His parents need him to help with their restaurant, while his mother recovers from surgery. Josh gets a shock though, when he discovers his ex-best friend and lover living at his parents’ house along with his ten-year old son, and that the ex-con is working at the restaurant as well. Micah made some bad choices in his life and regrets them. making things up with Josh is not easy to do, but he tries to show the man he has changed. Can Josh ever find it in himself to forgive Micah for the hurt he suffered?
This story is about forgiving the past and starting anew and opening your heart to love. Josh has been a high-flying chef in Paris. Returning home to New York to help with his parents’ restaurant isn’t what he really wants. But, it gives him the chance to see what he has really been missing for the past several years, after running away from the pain of his heart. Micah made many mistakes when he was younger and he has paid the price, but the person who he hurt the most, Josh, has never given him the chance to prove himself, now he has that chance.
I found this story to be interesting with the twisting emotions that Josh goes through and with self-realization as he looks at himself and what he has missed out on. The story is from Josh’s point of view, so we see everything through his eyes. He is quite unforgiving of his ex-best friend and at first I couldn’t understand why he was acting like such brat. But, then you discover they really were lovers for a very short time. It was hard to be too sympathetic with Josh though because he came across as self-serving for most of the book. Micah, on the other hand, isn’t trying to prove anything, other than he is truly a good man who lost his way abit. I really liked his character and was rooting for him to get through to Josh and make Josh listen to him.
The storyline was good and the food descriptions were mouth-watering. I liked how Micah and Josh finally connected, with the entire truth being brought out in the open and that Josh was more forgiving than he seemed. I also liked the fact that Josh took a step back and had a look at his own actions over the years and he accepted his own faults. The two of them coming together was hot and you can easily see how good they are together. The secondary characters are great and add a wonderful family feeling.
I will recommend this to those who love forgiving the past, great characters, great family, rediscovering love and a happy ending.
Portia’s Two Cents: I agree with everything that Pixie said…I just wanted to add that this story brought to life a side of Judaism that I rarely see in fiction. This story could very well have been titled, Mizpah. This family aren’t those Jews that celebrate Passover and Chanukah and that’s it. Their faith is so much a part of their lives. It was really beautiful to see the generations use their faith, in different ways, to get through some very trying times. The theme of mizpah is what guides Micah, it allows Josh to forgive and it allows the Goldens’ to open their home to Micah and Ethan. Absolutely beautiful.
Blurb: When artisan ice cream maker Jay Brown first meets food writer Cameron Clay at a charity tasting event, they get along like strawberries and chocolate sauce. Jay’s unique flavors thrill more than Cameron’s jaded palate, but after a delicious encounter in Jay’s delivery truck, where extra-creamy frozen treats are not the only delights sampled, Cameron loses Jay’s contact info—and any hope of a real date.
Desperate, Cameron convinces his editor to host an artisanal ice cream contest in hopes of drawing out the elusive genius. But more complications threaten to intervene. Will Jay even enter the contest? Or will the chance of a happily ever after melt away?
Review: How can an ice-cream sample test blow your mind? Well, it’s simple. A secret recipe and a gorgeous man feeding that to you can make that happen.
Cameron is a food critic. One of the best out there, but he finds it refreshing that the gorgeous giant ice-cream man doesn’t recognize him. He finds it even more enticing that the ice-cream offered is such a unique thing in a world of repetition and blandness. And when the food sample turns into the most intense intercourse he’s ever experienced, Cameron admits to himself that he’s into something good here.
But, first he has to clear the path. Get his ex-boyfriend, who’s come back of a second chance, out of his life for good and then have a proper date with J and see if there is something deeper than plain lust for them.
This book starts with a *grab a fan and cool yourself down* scene that combines ice cream and sex in the most delicious way ever. Admittedly it’s a very good way to grab your attention and thus it proceeds to do just so. Once there you simply can’t put it down, the very notion feels like a crime.
But, beyond that, this book is a mixture of past bad relationships, ex-boyfriends with alcohol and revenge issues and all set up in a world where competition doesn’t hesitate to become ugly and people easily steal other people’s dream away right out of their hands in a fit of pettiness.
Cameron is a delightful character and although he frustrated the hell out of me with his naiveté, I can’t hold it against him. How could he know, right? But, I admired most that persistence he showed during the whole book, even if it brought him troubles. And J, well Jay is practically a ghost. Made so from past betrayal and his paranoia causes the other half of my frustration. He’s a very sexy character with a certain vulnerability that makes you want to shake him and hug him in the same time.
The blend really worked well. The allure of putting these two characters together and then separating them for the duration of the plot created the appropriate amount of angst and anticipation. The wicked master plan of the bad guy was brilliant. So easily achieved and played upon human emotions that it was totally credible making the read even more enjoyable. And the other elements coming in the way of the two men’s reunion made this entire “chase” painfully good. I wanted to scream and punch something while never even thinking of putting the book down to take a breather.
In the end, with summer so close and the warm days knocking on our door, this book is perfect for opening your appetite and desires. Hot guys, sinful desserts, and an interesting and overwhelming plot are all the ingredients a book needs and Brand New Flavor certainly has them.