ALL FIRED UP by Kate Meader (September 30, 2014; Forever Mass Market; $6.00)
~ Synopsis ~
Her sweetest mistake . . .
Cool as a Chicago winter, private events planner Cara DeLuca is a model of self-control . . . until she meets the one temptation she can’t resist: Shane Doyle. The sexy, Irish pastry chef is too hot, too sure, too young, and after a crazy night in Vegas-her new husband. While at first Cara wants nothing more than a way out of her sham marriage to Shane, she soon finds that beneath his farm boy demeanor lies a man who can match her drive, both in and out of the bedroom. How can the wrong guy feel so deliciously right?
. . . Tastes so, so good
Shane has carefully structured his career and life around one goal: connecting with the family that doesn’t know he exists. Marrying a woman with more issues than a magazine stand wasn’t part of the plan, but melting Cara’s icy exterior is so worth the detour. Now as the annulment date nears and long-buried secrets are revealed, Shane will have to fight for the one thing guaranteeing the perfect life he craves . . . the current Mrs. Shane Doyle.
~ Excerpt ~
“We need to talk.”
She opened her mouth. Closed it immediately. Surely, she wasn’t going to protest a civil conversation about their situation? The situation.
“I Googled it.” She moved behind her desk, sat in one of those fancy ergonomic chairs and flipped open her laptop. It had a pink cover that matched her sweats and the post-it note on his door this morning, the one that had told him to move his damn bike out of her damn space before she took a damn baseball bat to it. Except it wasn’t that nice.
“We can get an annulment. Just fill out a form and it can be done and dusted in about three weeks.” She sounded pleased with herself, downright smug in fact. That frosted him a bit.
He stood and moved to her side of the desk, leaning against the edge. “So not a divorce, then?”
“We can get an annulment because we didn’t…well, it wouldn’t have mattered if we did.” She hesitated, and he could see the gears going round as she rethought her position.
“What if we did?” he asked, tamping down on the glee in his voice.
“What if we did what?”
“What if we did sleep together? What if we had sex?”
The way he said it could be construed as past sex or the promise of it. The promise of can’t-walk-for-a-week good times between a man and a woman. “That wouldn’t make a difference?”
“But we didn’t.” Her brow creased in puzzlement and horror descended to her mouth. “But we didn’t,” she repeated, less sure now.
He couldn’t keep it up but every inch of him—every hardening inch—wished it was true. “Nah, we didn’t.”
“Shane!” She socked him in the side, and broke into that laugh that he’d fallen in love with the minute she’d graced him with it in the third bar of the crawl. It had taken him that long to get it but it had been worth every bad joke, every cheesy pun, every flash of the dimple Aunt Jo said would be a woman’s downfall. The old girl had neglected to mention it would be his downfall as well.
The laughter faded, and she turned serious again. “It wouldn’t matter if we had… well, you know. People make these mistakes all the time, so they have procedures in place.”
“Procedures to clean up idiotic mistakes?”
There was that crease between her brows again. She didn’t like that she’d made a mistake and lost control of a situation. That was so not Cara.
“Right.” But her expression didn’t match the word’s surety. “I’ll take care of the papers, then?” she prompted with a couple of quick nods. The swallow in her throat was so pronounced it made the slender column of her neck expand. It made him feel like prodding her some more. See how far he could take it.
“What if I don’t sign?”
She shot up out of her seat, her lemon fall of hair swishing vehemently behind her head. He got a whiff of herbal shampoo and sunshine. “Why would you do that?”
“Just tell me what would happen, LT.”
The nickname slipped from his lips without thinking as if his brain had been waiting for her to get into a sexy hissy fit. That night he had abbreviated Lemon Tart for expediency’s sake and found that it suited her bossy, military-style hauteur. Lemon Tart, the Lieutenant, LT.
She wasn’t so haughty or self-possessed now. Her hands flailed, at complete odds with cool Cara. The more riled she got, the more his attraction to her burned.
“Well, if one party doesn’t sign, it’ll still happen. It just takes longer. Six to eight weeks.”
If one party doesn’t sign. So cold. So clinical. He nodded, thinking about how he wanted to phrase the next sentence. The silence drew heavily between them and he worked it for a few seconds because shit, he was starting to enjoy himself now.
“Paddy, you’re not seriously thinking of not signing those papers. I mean, what would be gained from that?”
“A marriage, Cara. The marriage you wanted.” He hauled a deep breath because he had a feeling he was going to need it. “After all, this was your brilliant idea.”
~ Review by Denise ~
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is the first time reading this author for me. When was given opportunity to pick to read thought yeah I will go for it should be quick basic romance and I thought I had read something similar. When I opened it up and started reading you find wedding planning is going on-Cara is the planner helping her sister Lili and her fiance Jack (also her boss) because she is determined that her sister is to have the wedding of her dreams. But low and behold her vision spies someone that gets her tiffed-Shane, the fine example of an Irish built well body with that speciman- being himself doing dorky dance moves. Debate is on the wedding cake because sample just ain’t cutting it. Jack wants Shane because he is that darn good. They think Cara doesn’t want him because of Vegas and they slept together but oh no that isn’t the case. What is the case is a surprise to me the reader which is only the beginning to letting me know that this novel is not the typical romance I thought it would be.
If a romance can pick my interest with something different written into it that says alot for the author because of having read my share of romance. As I continue on reading learning more about these characters and the family surrounding them it really getting enjoyable. But another surprise is what I read about Cara and what she is overcoming. She had anorexia and for this author to be able to bring this disorder to light in the positive manner in which she has is different. In the late seventies it came to light big time with several books some sad. That is a brave subject to also put in a romance novel and make it work as this author has. Shane also has a few secrets of his own that also make this novel quite spicy. Watch (or should I say read hehe) how Cara and Shane deal with each other and really get to know themselves and grow together. As they do this you go along hoping that they really will stick together and Cara doesn’t get to control this too with getting her way that she wanted at first to happen to rectify what she thought was a mistake. Being this story does take place off and on quite often in a restaurant that is Jack’s plus cooking being a large part of Lili’s and Cara’s family being Italian.
This also contains some very fine humor that will bring out a chuckle or two. You will also find out who exactly wanted the fairy tale wedding with this also showing what happens when people care and love each other that there is really no limit in what they will do or tolerate. Jack too is one fine alpha male but with a big heart down under. All in all heart warming delightful romance with humor and did I forget to mention-heat, it is definitely in there when these couples come together they do burn, traveling the ups and downs with Shane and Cara. In this one also I do believe everyone will come out smelling like the award winning cake that Shane is famous for that Cara inspired. I give All Fired Up 4 books.
~ Purchase Links ~
~ About the Author ~
Kate Meader writes contemporary romance that serves up delicious food, sexy heroes, and heroines with a dash of sass. Originally from Ireland, she now makes her home in Chicago, a city made for food, romance, and laughter – and where she met her own sexy hero. When not writing about men who cook and the women who drool over them, she works in an academic library. Visit her website at http://katemeader.com and follow her on Twitter @kittymeader
~ Author Links ~