Yessss! Book three is out today, on sale for 99 cents, and there’s going to be a Christmas novella!
Book Title: Ready To Burn (Due South Book 3)
Author: Tracey Alvarez
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 25th, 2014
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
Take one sassy Harland girl…
Shaye Harland, sous chef de-awesome, desperately wants the role of Due South’s head chef. Though a little out of her depth, she can totally cope with the extra demands if she can resist her future brother-in-law when he muscles in on her kitchen. The Hollywood wannabe is nothing but a troublesome distraction and he fries her sex-ometer to a crisp. But as far as romance? Forget it. Love, when she finds Mr. Perfect, will be as sweet as her to-die-for cookies.
Add a bad-boy from LA…
Del Westlake swore he’d never again set foot on the island he calls the “ass end of New Zealand.” With his reputation as a sous chef in one of LA’s hottest restaurants trashed, and his estranged father’s restaurant needing a head chef, Del wants nothing more than to go in, get the job done, and get out. Except his feisty second-in-command carves herself a spot in his heart and completely incinerates his plans.
Watch the sparks fly as they burn it up in the kitchen…
Winning a spot on a TV reality show is just what Del needs to jumpstart his career back in the States. Nothing can get in the way of him winning—not even the woman whose trust he’d destroy if she discovers his secrets. But with a film crew capturing the explosive kitchen chemistry between them, will his bad-boy ways rear up and ruin his shot at becoming Shaye’s Mr. Perfect?
Be a bridesmaid, they said. It’ll be fun, they said.
Oh, Shaye, I feel your pain. Spanx is no fun at the best of times, and when you’re the last of your siblings to still be single? Doubly painful…
Shaye Harland’s older sister’s getting married (Piper from In Too Deep –which you don’t have to have read to appreciate Shaye’s dilemma here, but if you haven’t yet, why the heck not?? ;)), and Shaye’s going to be a bridesmaid. This is all lovely–Piper’s fiance’s a great guy, and he’s been a friend of the family for years. Shaye works for him, actually–she’s sous chef at Due South, the Westlake family pub. Bill Westlake, the family patriarch, is also its chef, and Shaye’s been told by him on more than one occasion that one day the kitchen of Due South will be hers to run. Bill’s sick, though, and Shaye’s been struggling with the extra workload. She’s determined to make it work, however. She can do this–she’s focused, determined, and unshakable in the kitchen, even if her personal life is a bit shaky at best.
Del Westlake is back. Del Westlake, the second son who left the island thirteen years ago to live in California with his mom. Del’s wanted nothing to do with the father who he believes threw a confused and heartbroken fourteen-year-old away without a second thought, and his relationship with his older brother Ryan (AKA Piper’s fiance West) isn’t much better. Del’s been living the high life as a sous chef at one of the hottest restaurants in LA, and has had zero interest in Due South. So why is he suddenly back in town, weeks before the wedding? Shaye hopes against hope it’s just to see if he’ll be a viable kidney donor for his dad.
Yeah, not so much.
Del has no intention of being tested. Unknown to everyone, his personal and professional life has hit rock bottom–at least he hopes it’s rock bottom. Surely it can’t get any worse, right? His one chance for breaking back into the profession he loves is getting onto a restaurant-based reality show, and filling in for his dad at Due South will give him the perfect opportunity. So what if he has to step on a few toes in the process? It’s not like he owes these people anything, right?
But Shaye Harland has such delectable toes. Not to mention a few other choice body parts–and suddenly he can’t stop thinking about what it would be like to crush her pouty lips to his while he…
Nope. Not going to go there. Because he’s not the guy for her, not at all. She’s looking for a Mr. Perfect, and Del’s got nothing but flaws. But hey, life is short and he’s not going to be on Stewart Island for long. Maybe they could scratch a mutual itch while he’s here, and make a few good memories for him to take back to LA? What could go wrong with that plan?
“Let me tell you something else, cupcake. I’m not perfect. I’m just a guy and a pretty ordinary one at that. I belch after a beer, hog the TV remote, and scratch my balls because I damn well can. I won’t pretend to like Pride and Prejudice, I don’t remember birthdays and anniversaries, and the day I get on my knees and grovel for a woman’s affection will be the day I ask Dr. Joe to ring the psych department for a straitjacket.” He stabbed a finger at her. “But I want you, and you want me— and it pisses you off because you can’t bear getting messy with a man who’ll never measure up to your unrealistic expectations.”
(I’m still trying to get over the slight to my beloved P&P, Dang, it’s hard. But for Del, I’ll make the extra effort.)
Ready to Burn definitely did not disappoint–don’t tell Piper and West or Ben and Kezia, but Shaye and Del might just be my favorite couple in this series! Shaye’s creative cursing–to avoid having to put money in her own curse jar at work–was both amusing and hunger-inducing. (Surely I can use “Effing cinnamon sticks!” and “Jittering-freaking-jalapenos!” and “Holy-freaking-guacamole with a side order of cinnamon sicks” at some point this week?) I love the way she thinks (“If he’d been a department store sample strip, she would’ve rubbed him over her body to transfer the delicious smell onto her skin”) and that she’s worked so hard to keep her family going despite tragedy and still manages to carve out a successful professional life for herself on the island. Del is deliciously yummy (refer back to Shaye’s errant thought above) but has some very real flaws–flaws he eventually mans up to and works overtime to try and repair. Okay, he’s not a fan of my favorite period drama, but he does have a standing breakfast date every morning with the annoying bird that wakes him up way too early. How can you not love this guy?
I had to pace myself while reading their story because I wanted to make it last–not an easy feat, because I was so anxious to get to their HEA Tracey Alvarez makes them work for it, and work hard they do–in funny, touching, heartbreaking, and very realsituations and scenes.
Sigh… Such. A. Good. Book.
Next up: a Due South Christmas novella ( Christmas With You ) featuring Del and West’s half sister Carly. Sign me up; I can’t wait until my next trip to the island!
Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
One second Del stood beside her all moody and mysterious, and the next, his hands gripped the railing on either side of her hips. He moved fast—fast enough that she made an embarrassing little eep-ish squawk. Nowhere to go unless she became flexible enough to do a flip over the wooden railing.
Shaye yanked her hands from her pockets and gave his chest a shove. “Back off.”
Even after she added her sous chef do it now or die glare, he stayed, big and bad and way too close. He continued watching her with dark and unreadable eyes, his nostrils flaring slightly as he breathed.
Her hands didn’t know what to do. She couldn’t put them back on those two hard pecs, since every single nerve-ending had soaked up the heat burning through Del’s shirt and transmitted swoony, oh yeah sighs into her brain.
Stupid nerve-endings. Stupid brain.
She wriggled her bottom, so she half sat on the railing, arching away from him. “What are you doing?”
“Showing you the reason.”
The rough timbre of his voice stroked over her. Wickedly dark, decadently rich, scarily addictive. Like chocolate, the quality stuff made of eighty percent pure cacao.
He leaned forward, his face level with hers. “It’s a compelling reason.”
Shaye’s hand shot out to grip his biceps—that or topple backward—but God, he felt amazing. All hard, sinewy muscle and why the hell couldn’t she unhook her fingers?
Her breathing hitched, high and ragged. “My sister’s a cop, and I know how to defend myself.”
“So, show me your ninja moves.”
“Daring a cornered woman to hurt you isn’t very bright.”
One of his hands rasped off the wooden railing and touched the end of her ponytail. He selected a strand and stroked it down her jaw. Shaye licked her lips, unable to suck her gaze from his mouth, which angled closer. Close enough that she could tell the flavor of the last handful of potato chips he’d eaten.
Salt and vinegar. Her favorite.
She strained upward to see if he tasted as good as he smelled…Freaking hell—
Shaye reared back a little, hair slipping from his fingers, her chin narrowly missing his. “Are you going to kiss me?”
Her heart gave a little bunny-hop at the thought and leaped around her ribs.
“Not unless you ask real nice.”
“Ask you?” There was that damn smirk of his again. She should’ve guessed he was playing with her. “When pigs fly.”
A muscle ticked in his jaw, but the smile didn’t falter. “Now you’ll have to say, ‘Please, Del. With a cherry on top.’”
“I’d jam that cherry up your nose before I’d kiss you, Hollywood. Get outta my face.”
His gaze dipped once to her mouth then flicked up. “I can’t go anywhere while you’re grabbing onto me.”
Tracey Alvarez lives in the Coolest Little Capital in the World (a.k.a Wellington, New Zealand) where she’s yet to be buried under her to-be-read book pile by Wellington’s infamous wind—her Kindle’s a lifesaver! Married to a wonderfully supportive IT guy, she has two teens who would love to be surgically linked to their electronic devices.
Fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, she’s the author of contemporary romantic fiction set predominantly in New Zealand. Small-towns, close communities, and families are a big part of the heart-warming stories she writes. Oh, and hot, down-to-earth heroes—Kiwi men, in other words.
When she’s not writing, thinking about writing, or procrastinating about writing, Tracey can be found reading sexy books of all romance genres, nibbling on smuggled chocolate bars, or bribing her kids to take over the housework.
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