Olivia Nadal is an almost perfect girl with an almost perfect life. She has stunning good looks, an exciting job that pays well, men lining up to date her, and a homey little condo she calls her own. The only thing keeping her from perfection is her utter inability to cook.
Enter Nate Olivarez, a hotshot chef who’s filling in for Olivia’s cooking instructor. Sparks fly when they meet, but a fling with the visiting hottie is the last thing Olivia needs. But as things keep heating up in the kitchen, she can’t help but wonder. Can things work out between her and Nate? Or is the sizzle all set to fizzle?
I started following Chrissie Peria through her food blog and it was just a matter of time until she wrote a story about food.
Olivia Nadal can only cook instant noodles. And with her perfect but unused kitchen, she decides to enroll in cooking lessons with one famous Miss Julia.
Nate Olivares is the tattooed nephew of Miss Julia, who, by a certain circumstance, becomes Olivia’s cooking instructor. He has traveled around due to work and is only in the country temporarily.
Olivia is a great character, who loves her parents (and her shoes). I loved how Olivia has a wonderful sense of family. How she frequently travels to her parent’s house for a visit and entertains her bored dad. She is grounded and is a great contrast to Nate, who goes wherever the waves bring him.
But admittedly, its Nate who steals my attention. I loved how Perria gave Nate a handsome physique (and personality, of course), but also adds a teaspoon of funny consequences to go with it (like butt grabbing from a certain Mrs. M and the fact that he can charm the vendors). His easy going personality contrasts from how focused he is in the kitchen. AND (yes, shouty capitals) you can trust him to go grocery shopping at the wet market!
There are other characters, like Aunt Julia (celebrity cook), Cheryl (the best friend), Jared (the crazy ex) and Billie (the glorified bra and panty model) but I smiled when I saw Jessie’s and his travel blogger girlfriend’s names come up. Its like seeing old friends.
The Kitchen When It Sizzles is a delicious story about learning not just how to cook but also discovering love. It is also about finding your permanent place in the world and in someone’s heart. Its an excellent read, well written and generously sprinkled with flirty and funny dialogues and hot scenes. And since cooking and food play a major part in it, there will be times when certain cravings (like bacon) have to be satisfied. Reading it is like cooking red spaghetti sauce. You start with a little heat, combining the ingredients that are the characters, sprinkle in some spice, stirring them in different situations, until it simmers then boils to a wonderful read.
Disclaimer: This book was given to me for an honest review.