TOP TEN Romances Featuring Culinary Delights

Fall-

 

Top Ten books that feature characters in the culinary and restaurant business…

 Fall-

HUGE thanks to The Broke and the Bookish for this meme.

 Fall-

This week is all about food, bakeries, restaurants, etc ….

I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. 😀

 Fall-

Let’s get started with our TOP TEN Romances Featuring Culinary Delights!!

 

 

Corina's Top Picks

Angels Fall

Hardcover, 391 pages
Published July 11th 2006

Although the last time I read this novel has been a few years ago, I still remember it fondly. when I read Angel’s Falls the first time – I absolute LOVED it!!! As a matter of fact, I bought the audiobook when there wasn’t even an Audible yet. Real CDs.:D

In a word, this novel was everything I expected and came to love from a Nora Roberts standalone. Not only did the novel have one kick-ass mystery, the attraction between the characters SIZZLED. While the characters played off each other perfectly, the hero’s mysterious background coupled with the couple’s palpable chemistry made this book a WINNER!!!

Now about the foodie aspect, since  the heroine ended up working at a diner in the beautiful Teton area of Wyoming, she brought a little city to the rural area, not only in regards to her past but also her cooking skills. Although her expertise was appreciated, changing the status quo was a challenge on its own.

I loved the mystery together with the culinary skills and a dash of romance.

Reece Gilmore has come a long way to see the stunning view below her. As the sole survivor of a brutal crime back East, she has been on the run, desperately fighting the nightmares and panic attacks that haunt her. Reece settles in Angel’s Fist, Wyoming-temporarily, at least-and takes a job at a local diner. And now she’s hiked this mountain all by herself. It was glorious, she thought, as she peered through her binoculars at the Snake River churning below.

Then Reece saw the man and woman on the opposite bank. Arguing. Fighting. And suddenly, the man was on top of the woman, his hands around her throat . . .

Enjoying a moment of solitude a bit farther down the trail is a gruff loner named Brody. But by the time Reece reaches him and brings him to the scene, the pair has vanished. When authorities comb the area where she saw the attack, they find nothing. No signs of struggle. No freshly turned earth. Not even a tire track.

And no one in Angel’s Fist seems to believe her. After all, she’s a newcomer in town, with a reputation for being jumpy and jittery-maybe even a little fragile. Maybe it’s time to run again, to move on . . .

Reece Gilmore knows there’s a killer in Angel’s Fist, even if Brody, despite his seeming impatience and desire to keep her at arm’s length, is the only one willing to believe her. When a series of menacing events makes it clear that someone wants her out of the way, Reece must put her trust in Brody-and herself-to find out if there is a killer in Angel’s Fist before it’s too late.


 

Beard Science
(Winston Brothers #3)

Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 11th 2016

 

Even thought the reason why I loved this book was mostly because of CLETUS, that’s not why this book is on this list. As can be seen in the title of the book, Beard Science was all about the science behind baking.

In short, the heroine, Jennifer the Banana Cake Queen, enjoyed the scientific approach that baking allowed her – which was an entirely new thought process for me. I never thought that baking was so much more different than cooking. In other words precise, and the opposite of improvisation. It made the culinary aspect unique and interesting.

To top it off, Beard Science had two of the most unique and clever characters I read in a long time. Jennifer and Cletus were a couple match made in heaven – utterly perfect and perfectly tuned to each other.

Make a deal with the devil and you might get what you want, but will it be what you need?

Jennifer Sylvester wants one thing, and that one thing is NOT to be Tennessee’s reigning Banana Cake Queen. Ever the perpetual good girl and obedient daughter, Jennifer is buckling under the weight of her social media celebrity, her mother’s ambitions, and her father’s puritanical mandates. Jennifer is officially desperate.

And desperate times call for Cletus Winston.

Cletus Winston is a puzzle wrapped in a mystery covered in conundrum sauce, and now he’s in a pickle. Despite being convinced of his own omniscience, extortion by the exalted Banana Cake Queen of Green Valley has taken him completely by surprise. So… what’s a maniacal mastermind to do?

Likely, the last thing you expect.


 

The Opposite of You
(Opposites Attract #1)

Kindle Edition, 302 pages
Published March 30th 2017

 

I adore food trucks!!!!!

Every since the food truck craze started I enjoyed the quick fast food like experience. However the food has always been much more than just fast food.  While reading The Opposite Of You I was delighted to find out that the heroine intended to buy a food truck and make it successful.

A food truck is for any a dream come true. Seeing her starting out, making mistakes, and going head to head with a rivaling chef was the icing on the cake.

Furthermore her closest competition, a restauranteur across the plaza started a fierce and passionate contest of wills, creativity, and food/menu improvement. Consequently I was the receiver of all things culinary and incredibly tasty sounding dishes. I truly wished that that particular food truck would have been in my city.

It was DELICIOUS!!!!

I’ve sworn off men.

All men.

Famous last words, right? You’re expecting some epic tale of reluctant love and my dramatic change of heart? Well, you’re not going to get it.

I’m stubborn. And headstrong. And I’ve just survived the worst three years of my life. After escaping an abusive boyfriend to live in hostels and cheap hotels while I worked my way across Europe, I’ve come to two conclusions.

The first? Now that I’m back home, I’m going to squander my expensive culinary degree on a food truck that caters to the late night drunk crowd.

The second? I’m going to prove to the bastard across the plaza that my street food is better than his fussy five course monstrosities.

Killian Quinn might be Food and Wine’s Chef to Watch Out For. He might have a Michelin Star. He might have every food critic in the city wrapped around his too-large fingers. But he’s also pretentious and unbearably arrogant and the very opposite of me.

So he can keep his unsolicited advice and his late night visits and his cocky smiles. I want none of it. Or him.

I want the opposite.


 

Shelter Mountain
(Virgin River #2)

Kindle Edition, 399 pages
Published February 1st 2013

 

Shelter Mountain was only my second book by Robyn Carr but  it firmly established her as an auto buy writer for me. Not only were her characters incredibly authentic and genuine, they also were wonderfully down to earth.  Whenever I read her stories, I instantly feel touched by the message that is clearly important to the author.

In this particular book, both main characters worked at a diner that was for the most part the heart and soul of a small town in Northern California. I still remember fondly how much I loved this book. Actually in the same series there is another book about a culinary chef from San Francisco – Harvest Moon (Virgin River #13)  – again it was absolutely satisfying.

In fact, that’s exactly what I felt when reading this series – satisfied and completely and entirely pleased.

John “Preacher” Middleton is about to close the bar when a young woman and her three-year-old son come in out of a wet October night. A marine who has seen his share of pain, Preacher knows a crisis when he sees one—the woman is covered in bruises. He wants to protect them, and he wants to punish whoever did this to her, but he knows immediately that this inclination to protect is something much more. Paige Lassiter has stirred up emotions in this gentle giant of a man—emotions that he has never allowed himself to feel.

But when Paige’s ex-husband turns up in Virgin River, Preacher knows his own future hangs in the balance. And if there’s one thing in the marines’ motto of Semper Fidelis—always faithful—has taught him, it’s that some things are worth fighting for.


 

Bittersweet
(True North #1)

Paperback, 348 pages
Published June 14th 2016

 

Griffin my darling – you were the BEST!!!!

Finally I can gush about my absolutely adorable Farmer Griff. Or Grouchy Griff, as well as Grumpy Griff. Regardless what you call him he is MINE!!!

Obviously I have a “relationship” with this guy.:D

Of course he totally charmed me, with his grumpiness and slow smiles. In addition his cider business was utterly fascinating. Then again having a grumpy farmer Griff explain how to make cider, was deliciously decadent.  That is to say, he wasn’t the only one that had me riveted.  Audrey’s, equally interesting  job, getting locally grown produce on restaurant tables in the city,  is a part of a movement that has been going strong for more than a decade in California, but especially in the Bay Area.

Not surprisingly, the rest of the series is as captivating as book 1. Actually I’m reading book 4 at the moment.:-)

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the orchard.

The last person Griffin Shipley expects to find stuck in a ditch on his Vermont country road is his ex-hookup. Five years ago they’d shared a couple of steamy nights together. But that was a lifetime ago.

At twenty-seven, Griff is now the accidental patriarch of his family farm. Even his enormous shoulders feel the strain of supporting his mother, three siblings and a dotty grandfather. He doesn’t have time for the sorority girl who’s shown up expecting to buy his harvest at half price.

Vermont was never in Audrey Kidder’s travel plans. Neither was Griff Shipley. But she needs a second chance with the restaurant conglomerate employing her. Okay—a fifth chance. And no self-righteous lumbersexual farmer will stand in her way.

They’re adversaries. They want entirely different things from life. Too bad their sexual chemistry is as hot as Audrey’s top secret enchilada sauce, and then some.


 

 

Tijuana's Top Picks

 

 

Royally Screwed
(Royally #1)

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 276 pages
Published October 18th 2016

 

This book is romance personified.  A handsome prince meets his match in a beautiful American while sitting in a bakery.  It truly doesn’t get any better than that!!

I loved the setup for this novel.  Olivia is working in the bakery not only to support her family, but to save a piece of her mother’s legacy.  The bakery is not just a setting for the novel, but it’s her home and mission.  The business actually features prominently in Book 3 of the series as well.   This one is a true culinary romance treat!

Nicholas Arthur Frederick Edward Pembrook, Crowned Prince of Wessco, aka His Royal Hotness, is wickedly charming, devastatingly handsome, and unabashedly arrogant; hard not to be when people are constantly bowing down to you.

Then, one snowy night in Manhattan, the prince meets a dark haired beauty who doesn’t bow down. Instead, she throws a pie in his face.

Nicholas wants to find out if she tastes as good as her pie, and this heir apparent is used to getting what he wants.

Dating a prince isn’t what waitress Olivia Hammond ever imagined it would be.

There’s a disapproving queen, a wildly inappropriate spare heir, relentless paparazzi, and brutal public scrutiny. While they’ve traded in horse drawn carriages for Rolls Royces, and haven’t chopped anyone’s head off lately, the royals are far from accepting of this commoner.

But to Olivia, Nicholas is worth it.

Nicholas grew up with the whole world watching, and now Marriage Watch is in full force. In the end, Nicholas has to decide who he is and, more importantly, who he wants to be: a King… or the man who gets to love Olivia forever.


 

Only With Me
(With Me #2)

Published May 30th 2017

 

Not only is this book a culinary delight, but it is HILARIOUS!!  Oh my gah!!  I bust a gut laughing at Nic’s family.  Food is a central theme, along with Family, Fun, and a super hot couple mixing things up in the sheets!  I highly recommend this sweet treat from Kelly Elliot!

I’ve been told I have quite a gift.

Hey, I don’t just mean in my pants. I’ve got a big brain too, and a huge heart of gold. And I like to use all my gifts to the fullest, the package included. Life is smooth sailing….

Until I find myself stuck between a rock and a sexy roommate, which makes for one very hard… place.

Because scoring an apartment in this city is harder than finding true love. So even if I have to shack up with my buddy’s smoking hot and incredibly amazing little sister, a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.

I can resist Josie. I’m disciplined, I’m focused, and I keep my hands to myself, even in the mere five-hundred square feet we share. Until the one night, she insists on sliding under the covers with me. It’ll help her sleep after what happened that day, she says.

Surprise—neither one of us sleeps.

And even though we agree to return to roomies-without-benefits, I quickly realise I want more than someone to split the utilities with. Now all I want is to spend every night—and every day—with my gorgeous roommate.

Did I mention she’s also one of my best friends? That she’s brilliant, beautiful and a total firecracker? Guess that makes her the full package too.

What’s a man stuck in a hard place to do?


 

Sweet Cheeks

ebook, 347 pages
Published November 14th 2016

 

The title says it all folks!  This book is as sweet as the title suggests.  It features one of my tropes and lots of delectable delights.  And I’m not just talking about the pastry.  Can you say sexy Hollywood hunk and second chance romance?

Yep, it was one delicious read.  I highly recommend you sink your teeth into this one soon!

It all started with the invitation. To my ex-fiance’s newwedding.

I should have ignored it.Thrown it away. Set it afire. But I didn’t.I replied.

With a plus one.

And then my assistant accidentally mailed it.

Enter Hayes Whitley. Mega-movie star. The man who has captured the hearts of millions. But I gave him mine years ago. He was my first love. He was my everything. Right until he up and left to chase his dreams without so much as a simple goodbye.

When he showed up out of the blue ten years later, I should have known to steer clear. I should have rejected his offer to take me to my ex’s wedding. I should have never let him kiss me.

But I didn’t.

And now we’re left wondering if the pieces of the life we once shared still fit together somehow. First loves are hard to forget. The question is, do we want to forget? Or do we risk the chance and see what happens next?


 

From This Moment

Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 5th 2017

 

This is my most recent 5 Star Read!! Melanie Harlow never fails to impress.  While deeply emotional and sometimes sad, this book is also full of love, hope, and really good food.  The heroine meets her love interest while serving him pie.  She now works as a cook at a local B&B.  Food plays a major role throughout.  It’s an amazing read.

Two thumbs up!

It was like seeing a ghost.

When my late husband’s twin brother moves back to our small town, I want to avoid him. Everything about Wes reminds me of the man I lost and the life we’d planned together, and after eighteen long months struggling just to get out of bed, I’m finally doing okay. I have a new job, an amazing support group, and a beautiful five-year-old daughter to parent. I don’t want to go backward.

But I’m drawn to him, too. He understands my grief and anger and guilt like no one else—and I understand his. Before long, that understanding becomes desire, and that desire becomes uncontrollable.

He says he doesn’t care what people think, and love can never be wrong. But life has taught me its cruelest lesson–love doesn’t always win.

If only my heart would believe it.


 

Tied with Me
(With Me in Seattle #6)

Paperback, 264 pages
Published March 18th 2014

 

I can’t count the number of times I’ve reread this culinary delight by Kristen Proby.  It’s one of my absolute favorites of the entire series.  OMG!  Matt couldn’t be hotter if he tried.  That scene in the kitchen with the apron…

Haven’t read this one yet?  What on earth are you waiting for??

It’s a true sweet delight!

A man whose lifestyle is so different from her own…

Nic Dalton’s cupcake bakery is thriving. She serves both rock stars and locals alike, content with her growing business. But one adventurous night out with her best friend, Bailey, turns her life upside down. She meets a handsome stranger who makes her skin sizzle and her heart race. Their one night together is explosive and unexpected, but when he has to suddenly leave without taking her phone number, Nic resigns herself to never seeing him again.

…What will it take to trust and submit to his every desire?

Matt Montgomery is one of Seattle’s finest. He works hard, loves and protects his family fiercely, and is loyal almost to a fault.

And he has a penchant for bondage.

Matt enjoys the way a woman looks wrapped up in his ropes, and makes no apologies for his preferences. When he meets Nic at a fetish festival, the small, beautiful woman catches his eye, drawing him to her. His one night with her was everything he’s ever looked for in a partner, but is cut short because of a family emergency. Even before he sees her again weeks later, he knows he’ll never get her out of his system.

And he’ll do whatever it takes to make her his.


 

17 thoughts on “TOP TEN Romances Featuring Culinary Delights

  1. What great picks! I recently received The Opposite of You in my Bookworm Box so now I’m extra excited to pick it up. And Bittersweet happens to be sitting near the top of my TBR right now. I love me some Sarina Bowen and Griff sounds positively dreamy. Royally Screwed is such a good pick! I’d forgotten all about Olivia and her awesome pie-making skills.

    1. Wow, what a cool coincidence. Can’t wait to hear what you thought of the OPPOSITE and BITTERSWEET.

      The Royally series was a huge hit for me. Logan was my favorite but Henry was my #2.;-)

    1. Any book you read from this one will be a good choice;-) but I get it – choices!!! Too many make it even harder – sigh!!! If you need a rec with which book to start, let me know.

  2. I haven’t read any of these, but I just bookmarked the post for future reference, because I kind of want to read them all! That’s for enabling me…I think haha

    1. Lol – should I apologize for enabling or congratulating you to a growing TBR? I can do both.:-) I can definitely tell you there are books on this list you won’t regret reading – that’s something right?

    1. Jessica, I felt the same about Penny Reid, some are more my taste than others but CLETUS got my rare 5 stars 😱 he is awesome in a way that is unique and quirky. Try him.;-)

      1. You are the second person to say Cletus was your favorite! GASP! I hope I enjoy his book too. I liked Truth or Beard but it just wasn’t my favorite. I had issues with Jessica lol. But overall, I enjoyed it and can’t wait to read the others.

        1. I think my case is even worth – I would say the only book I really loved and enjoyed was CLETUS. I came to the realization that Penny Reid was an author thats more miss than hit. I adored her element series and I’m really looking forward to more of those kind of books. But knitting in the city didn’t do it for me either. So it’s really coming down to taste. And the unique thing about Cletus and consequently Jennifer was that he was manipulative and extremely smart and she totally figured him out. Cletus was unique in that way. Never read another character with his fingers in so many pies.:-)

  3. I loved to see Penny Reid books on these lists, because I am such a fan. I LOVE the True North series, and Bowen really did an amazing job with the scenery and the food in the first book.

    1. I was so happy being able to include CLETUS – he deserved his spot. Or should I say Jennifer deserved her spot. 😀 And I con only agree with you about Bowen’s job of bringing Vermont into her books. Since then, it’s been on my bucket list to visit. 😀

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