E-Originals: Foodie Fun from Goodman and Debuter Marcelo, plus First-Timer York | Xpress Reviews

Week ending April 21, 2017

Goodman, Rachel. Intercepting the Chef. Pocket Star. (How To Score, Bk. 1). May 2017. 368p. ebk. ISBN 9781501158926. $1.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
interceptingthechef042117Gwen Lalonde has spent her whole life learning to be like her father, a world-class chef. She has traveled the globe to train her palette and learn techniques from masters. Meanwhile, her brother has spent his time playing football and is now on the Colorado Blizzards, with childhood friend Logan Stonestreet. When Gwen’s celebrity chef boss/boyfriend fires slash dumps her after getting a third Michelin star, she finds herself back home in Denver working as the executive chef at Logan’s new restaurant. As Gwen works to refine the dishes, Logan tries to rekindle an old flame the two once had. As they settle into casual hookups out of the eye of prying reporters, Gwen finds that home now means more to her than ever before, and Logan might be something she hadn’t anticipated. In this new romance, Goodman (“Blue Plate” series) moves from a diner in Dallas to the world of celebrity cooks but makes sure the heat coming from the bedroom is just as hot as it is in the kitchen.
Verdict Intercepting the Chef mixes foodie fiction, NFL action, and steamy romance into a spicy dish that will satisfy Goodman’s readers.—John Rodzilla, Emerson Coll., Boston

Marcelo, Tif. North to You. Pocket Star. (Journey to the Heart, Bk. 1). Jun. 2017. 300p. ebk. ISBN 9781501169489. $1.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
[DEBUT] Camille Marino cannot lose focus. With a sister to support, no family here in San Francisco to help, and a business to run, she can only count on herself. So when her high school sweetheart Drew Bautista walks back into her life, Camille doesn’t have the time to renew an old passion…no matter how much she may like the idea. Drew is home for only a short while before his deployment, to help his family with their restaurant—and mend his relationship with his father. But when he runs into Camille, he is confident he can make time for her as well. However, when interests start conflicting, Drew and Camille have to determine if it is them against the world or them against each other. Debut author Marcelo does a great job of introducing dynamic characters and setting their story in the City by the Bay, which plays its own significant role.
Verdict Lovers of food trucks and San Francisco will especially get a kick out of this fun contemporary romance.—Jessica M. Strefling, U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, Washington, DC

York, M.K. Necessary Medicine. Carina: Harlequin. Apr. 2017. 251p. ebk. ISBN 9781488028205. $4.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE, M/M ROMANCE
[DEBUT] Surgical resident Neil Carmona knows his desire for a personal life is a pipe dream with his hectic schedule and increasing responsibilities at a teaching hospital. His crush on cardiologist Eli Newcombe is unrequited since Eli is divorced and there aren’t any rumors around that he might be gay. But the more they work together on projects for the hospital, the more their friendship deepens, and an unexpected revelation by Eli in support of a diversity initiative means Neil’s crush might become reality.
Verdict The majority of the book focuses on Neil’s years in residency, with little to no romantic development except for his contemplation of his lack of a love life. Readers looking for an almost innocent romance might enjoy this title, but the slow buildup and the realization of the personal relationship only in the last few chapters may cause some to quit while they’re ahead.—Melanie C. Duncan, West Bibb Lib., Macon, GA


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