Title: Some Like It Spicy
Series: A Perfect Recipe #1
Author: Robbie Terman
Format: eBook, 243 pages
Published: July 15th 2013 by Entangled: Edge
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 3 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Ashton Grey’s restaurant, Sweet Home, is in trouble. Months of empty tables have left her and her partners near bankruptcy, and her father’s prediction of her failure as a chef seems imminent. But a chance encounter could provide Ashton with the publicity she needs to save her restaurant—if the fiery chef is willing to compete on a reality cooking show. But in order to win, she needs to stay focused. No problem…until she meets the head judge.
Celebrity chef Ty Cates is ready to get away from the camera and back to the kitchen where he belongs. Performing as head judge on a reality show is just one more commitment he’d like to get out of, especially after he meets Ashton. Head judges dating contestants is about as taboo as putting ketchup on filet mignon, but from the moment they meet, there’s a simmering heat between them that neither can ignore.
As the competition heats up, they rely on sneaking around, stealing amazing night after amazing night together when the cameras aren’t rolling. When both realize what’s starting to feel like love could easily be a recipe for disaster, Ashton and Ty need to make a choice—get out of the kitchen or turn up the heat.
Ashton's restaurant she opened up with two of her friends is dying a slow death. They need to find a way to drum up business and fast. When a scout for a top chef reality tv show captures Ashton putting a customer in his place with a certain degree of aggressive feistiness, the opportunity Ashton and her friends were looking for just may have presented itself. When Ashton meets Ty, the heartthrob celebrity chef host of the show, winning the competition might not be the only thing she wants. Ty also feels the pull towards Ashton, he has been sick of his celebrity lifestyle and faceless empty model dates. Ashton has a drive and passion that draws him in but fraternizing with a contestant would be horribly damaging for both their reputations if caught. Ashton and Ty are definitely feeling the heat but can they withstand it?
The basis for this story is a cooking reality show and the reality show aspect really exhibits itself in the over-the-top characters and happenings. Ashton herself is very dramatic when taking any kind of criticism and her fellow contestants aren't too stable either. Except for Jolene, a contestant/roommate who becomes Ashton's friend and is almost too calm and accepting of certain circumstances, the other contestants are bi-polar bratty children. It's hard to imagine adults acting the way they do but as I've caught an episode or two of a reality tv show maybe this author isn't too far off the mark. It's all a little wild, crazy, and out there but that also is what makes reality tv entertaining at times.
As I mentioned, Ashton reacts very badly to criticism, which is explained away as issues pertaining to her overly critical father. However, as our lead heroine and who we are supposed to root for it was too much and she came off grating and a little unlikeable with her immature temper. Ty didn't completely have depth of character and came off a little bit cardboard cutout. He is the gorgeous wealthy playboy who suddenly can't find meaning in life anymore and just wants to settle down. Lucky for him, he immediately finds the woman he wants to settle down with. Ty and Ashton work well together but their interactions are also fleeting and rushed due to the secretiveness. There was some good tension with heated glances when they were filming for the show and around the contestants and crew but as far as an in depth and fleshed out relationship, it was lacking.
The reality show gave a reason for our couple to be together and the competitions with their building up of importance kept the story moving along at a good pace but it also produced some problematic instances. There were a couple times that it felt like Ashton was using Ty for information about the show, which put a bad taste in my mouth about their relationship and the fact that they only had to wait four weeks for the show to be over and they could be together with no repercussions. Four weeks was too long to save Ty from being sued for breach of contract or for Ashton to save her reputation and restaurant?
Overall, the story was a mixed bag of over-the-top villains- Morgan the spiteful contestant and Ashton's vindictive disapproving father, bratty chefs, Ty's funny friend Scott who he shares great quips with and because of is able to bust out of his cardboard cutout for awhile, and a main couple who aren't content to just share smoldering glances and risk reputations to be together. If your favorite reality show is on hiatus then you'll definitely want to give Some Like It Spicy a go to get your wild and crazy fix.