Fire in the Kitchen by Donna Allen was chock-full of complex characters with tons of heart. As someone who enjoys watching cooking shows but can barely make spaghetti, I really enjoyed the premise of the two main characters competing against each other on a cooking show.
Cassidy is so quirky. She’s eccentric and original and not afraid to be herself, screw what anyone else might think. She had to work her butt off to be taken seriously by the others in the competition, even Dante, and I love that she never gave up or changed who she was.
If she was going to do well, then she was going to do well as the spastic, accident-prone version of her not as the well put-together version they wanted her to be.
And Dante, well Dante has a stick shoved somewhere very uncomfortable. He is nearly OCD about where things belong in the kitchen and how food should be prepared. The fact that Cassidy won’t do things in the precise way he wants drives him bonkers.
It’s pretty funny.
I also adored Pearl. She’s a minor character, someone who works for the show, but gave zero f**ks about pretty much everyone in the competition. Except Cassidy; Cassidy wormed her way into Pearls affections because that’s what Cassidy does. When everyone was out to get Cassidy, Pearl was the one quietly telling her to keep going.
There was a lot going on in this book. The author could have definitely taken out some of the subplots she had going on and focused more on the relationship development between Dante and Cassidy.
The writing could also be a bit stilted and passive at times.
Oh, and there isn’t any on-the-page hanky-panky so if that’s a deal breaker for you…well, consider the deal broken.
Overall, Fire in the Kitchen is an amusing story about two people who couldn’t be more different falling in love. Ignoring the odd pregnancies, arson, and certifiable family members what this book boils down to is a sweet love story.
Copy provided in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Dante Cristiani is a celebrity chef with a famous restaurant and a bad reputation. His jealous cousin has been spreading lies about him, causing his employees to leave the restaurant en masse.
Cassidy Summers is the perfect barista, and he considers hiring her into his restaurant. She’s also a budding amateur cook. But she’s quirky and free-spirited–qualities that Dante doesn’t think will work well in his restaurant. Although there is a distinct attraction, their differences in personality cause a constant tug of war.
Cassidy is struggling financially to support her café and needs an injection of funds fast to keep it afloat. She hears about the great prize money on offer for the winner of a prestigious television culinary competition. She decides to enter on a whim, but questions her abilities to compete against some of the state’s top chefs.
Dante also decides to enter the competition, with his own agenda for winning. This would be the perfect opportunity for him to gain favor again with the public. He’s up against his cousin and is determined to beat him, but life gets complicated when he falls for unconventional Cassidy. He has to decide what’s more important: winning at all costs, or following his heart.
Release Date: December 13, 2015
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Length: 178 pages