Series: Sugar City #2
Author: Ophelia London
Published : Entangled: Bliss (November 9, 2015)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 3 1/2 Wine Glasses
He’s sweet trouble...
Natalie Holden wants three things: To be the best chocolate chemist in Hershey, Pennsylvania, to prove her chocolate recipe can help teenage depression, and to get over gorgeous Luke Elliott, the guy she’s had a crush on since birth. Unfortunately, he’s the microbiologist set to debunk her chocolate study. And, of course, he looks more delicious than ever!
Luke Elliott is still bitter over his divorce. Work is his passion now, and landing a huge promotion is just what he needs. What he doesn’t need is a crackpot trying to prove that chocolate cures depression. The last thing he expects is for the crackpot to be Natalie Holden—his “what if” girl from high school—or that she’d still tempt the hell out of him.
They may not see eye-to-eye on her project, but they can’t deny the explosive chemistry that keeps pulling them together. Even when it risks their jobs and the very different futures they both want...
Luke's eyes were on a government position in DC, while all Natalie wanted was to help make the world a sweeter place.
KISSING HER CRUSH by Ophelia London is a cute, fun romance interlaced with lots of humor and delicious chocolate. Even though it's the second book in the author's Sugar City series, KISSING HER CRUSH can be fully enjoyed as a standalone. This is the story of Hershey chocolate chemist Natalie Holden and National Institute of Health trial proctor and microbiologist Luke Elliott. The two had prior history so this story could also qualify as a second chance romance.
I liked both the hero and the heroine. They both had serious issues to work through. Luke was divorced and had been hurt badly by his ex. His work was his total focus as he'd sworn off any permanent relationship. He was the NIH's observer to ensure that the trial was run appropriately. He came into the trial prejudiced against its success. His primary goal was not to be an open-minded witness to the experiment, but to make a memorable impression with the NIH and be offered a permanent job there.
Natalie was a strong woman who had taken responsibility for everyone around her. Her family was very important to her and her brother, who suffered from depression, was her primary motivator to push for the trial of her chocolate recipe. I thought Ophelia handled the subject of depression very well within this tale and it didn't detract from the enjoyment quotient of the story in the least. Natalie wasn't excited about having a proctor for her trial and was doubly on edge, when she discovered that he was also the boy she had fantasized about for years. That same boy had hurt her badly in school by kissing her and walking away like the kiss had never happened. She couldn't believe she was still attracted to him especially when she should be totally focused on making this trial a success for her brother's sake if not for her own.
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from this read:
She kissed her teenage fantasy, the popular boy she used to dream would see something special in her and love her forever. The man kissed her back.
"We're not thirteen and this isn't a locker room."
"Fine, fine. Just remember, I had to watch Dr. Phil with Mom for two months after I had knee surgery. I'm practically a psychiatrist."
"No one who's been into music ever really stops being into it. It's in your soul forever. Maybe it gets buried deep under piles of shit for a while, but it's always there, waiting to make you happy again.
She lifted her chin; her head weighed fifty pounds. "You tried to poison me."
Pretty sure I succeeded in that."
One of my favorite scenes occurred after Luke and Natalie had pulled an all-nighter that evolved into a chocolate make-out party. This is an excerpt as they are discovered by Natalie's lab partner:
"Hey," Natalie said. "You're here early."
"It's almost seven. Why are you covered in chocolate? Your clothes and your...your face. Both your faces."
Luke looked at Natalie, really looked at her. Yep, she was smeared with chocolate like it was camo paint, transferred from his mouth to hers and back again too many times to count.
"We were..." Natalie began. "We were just ---"
"Sampling," Luke cut in. If Natalie had wanted Ivy to know, she would've come straight out with it.
Ivy crossed her arms. "Sampling?"
"Yeah, I'm interested in her...product. So she let me, uh, try some." Wow, he couldn't have sounded kinkier if he'd tried.
"But it's all over the floor on that side of the lab. Like, all over the place. It's even on the wall. How did it get on the ceiling? You must be one sloppy eater."
I found KISSING HER CRUSH to be a well-written, entertaining read. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys lively contemporary romances with lots of sweetness.
Suggested Reading Order:
LOVE BITES (Book #1)
KISSING HER CRUSH (Book #2)