by Meg Benjamin
Peace, love, and barbecue—with a big order of sexy on the side.
Sous chef Darcy Cunningham is less than entranced with small-town Konigsburg’s obsession with barbecue. But her future career as a chef de cuisine requires expanding her culinary horizons, so she talks the Barbecue King, a.k.a. Harris Temple, into taking her on as his apprentice.
However, learning Harris’s professional secrets wasn’t supposed to include falling for his spicy blend of smoky sexiness and laid-back charm.
Chico Burnside specializes in flying under Konigsburg’s small-town radar, but lately life has been going a little too smoothly, even for him. Hoping to shake things up a bit, he talks Harris into teaming up for Konigsburg’s first barbecue cook-off. But once shy scientist Andy Wells catches his eye, Chico’s got more on his mind than brisket. Like enticing her out of her shell to show her just how tenderly a big guy can love.
As the competition ignites, so does the romance. Until a natural disaster threatens to derail Konigsburg’s dream team before the grills even get good and warmed up.
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Read an excerpt:
“We’re here,” she said.
He looked up. His truck was parked at the curb. Her porch light gleamed in the darkness. A couple dozen steps, and she’d be home. He pushed the front gate open, then followed her through.
Okay, you’ve got this. No problem. Except, of course, that he didn’t. He hadn’t felt this awkward since middle school.
She turned on the top step, looking down at him, or as down as she could look when they were basically nose to nose. “This is where I say I had a great time and thank you. Which is true. I did have a great time. And I do thank you. But it still sounds sort of weird to me.”
He frowned. “Why weird?”
She gave him a slightly rueful smile. “Because it’s such a routine thing to say. I feel like I should come up with something better.”
He shook his head. “I’ll take it.” His right hand moved to the back of her neck, almost without his thinking about it, and he drew her lips down to his.
Random thoughts drifted through his mind. She was so soft, so warm. How long had it been since he’d touched a woman like this? Kissed a woman when it wasn’t just a prelude to something else, when kissing was the main event?
He moved his hand up to the back of her head, let his fingers slide into her hair, trace the shape of her skull. He changed the angle of the kiss, brought his tongue to her mouth and tasted her.
Honey. Sweetness. A hint of fragrance. Gracious Lord above.
I am not sure what I expected of this book, but it blew me away. It was an awesome combination of sweet, sexy and a little bit of angst. Chico and Andy are my favorite of the two couples in the story. I LOVE unexpected opposites finding love, I’m kind of a sucker for it. I am not a huge contemporary romance fan but if more were written like this, I would be. I was so invested in the characters and their story I was actually a bit sad when the book ended. That doesn’t happen very often to me, so, it’s a sign of a good book! I am glad Meg Benjamin is on my radar now, I really like her writing style. I can’t wait to read more. 🙂
Meg Benjamin is an author of contemporary romance. Her Konigsburg series for Samhain Publishing is set in the Texas Hill Country and her Medium trilogy for Berkley InterMix is set in San Antonio’s King William District. Meg’s books have won numerous awards, including an EPIC Award for Contemporary Romance, a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Indie Press Romance, the Holt Medallion from Virginia Romance Writers and the Beanpot Award from the New England Romance Writers. Meg lives in Colorado with her DH and two rather large Maine coon kitties (well, partly Maine Coon anyway). Her Web site is http://www.MegBenjamin.com and her blog is http://megbenj1.wordpress.com/. You can follow her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/meg.benjamin1), Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/megbenjamin), and Twitter (http://twitter.com/megbenj1). Meg loves to hear from readers—contact her at email@example.com.
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