Scrumptious - Amanda Usen
Released January 2012
Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth
Marly Bennett's seen her father walk out on her, as well as having a month who bounces from husband to husband, and she knows marriage is not something she wants. Why commit to one man who will walk away in the end? For that reason, she makes it a point to enjoy sexual encounters without commitment.
Joe Rafferty's mother's dying wish was that he would stop having affairs and find the right woman. Joe, however, say how much his parents fought and doesn't think marriage is all it's cracked up to to be.
Soon, Joe and Marly find themselves working to help save a mutual friend's restaurant. After Olivia's head chef husband is literally caught with his pants around his ankles in the restaurant, Olivia fires him and needs Marly, her dessert chef, to help out on the main line. Olivia also recruits Joe, a talented chef. Putting the two together in the kitchen leads to more heat than just what's cooking.
Scrumptious is a dazzling entry in the newer sub-genre of foodie romances. Much of the story includes details on cooking and takes place in the kitchen. It's clear to the reader that Joe and Marly are meant to be together, but the couple are a little slower to catch on. There's lots of passion building up over the span of the book that will delight contemporary romance readers. The story captures more than just this growing romance though. Someone keeps sabotaging Olivia's restaurant and Joe and Marly team up to find out who is doing it since they're all keeping Olivia's soon to be ex out of the restaurant.
The one thing I would have loved to have seen are a few recipes. With culinary mysteries, authors always add recipes to the mix and I'd like to see the same here. The author talks a lot about creme brulee, and I think it would have been nice to add a recipe for it or the decadent chocolate wedding cake Marly makes during a few chapters.