Title: In the Raw (In the Kitchen: Book One)
Author: Nikka Michaels and Eileen Griffin
Publisher: Carina Press
Pages/Word Count: 209 pages
At a Glance: A really solid, highly enjoyable story that I’d consider reading again
Blurb: If you can’t take the heat…
James Lassiter has had a crush on fellow culinary student Ethan Martin for three years, but has never had the guts to make a move. Putting himself out there is hard, especially when under the thumb–and wallet–of his overbearing parents. Now that bad boy chef Ethan–who is always vying with Jamie for best in class–is struggling with the pastry course, Jamie suddenly has a reason to reach out.
Ethan doesn’t mean to be an ass–okay, so mostly he does–but even though he’s secretly hot for Jamie, he sure as hell doesn’t want help with pastry. Ever since his dad walked out, Ethan has been the one to hold things together and he’s done fine on his own. Except that he can’t get his cake to rise.
Jamie could be the answer to what Ethan’s been missing his whole life–someone to depend on. But with the two competing for the same scholarship, things suddenly get too hot to handle. And if Jamie finds the strength to go for what he wants, he isn’t about to settle for what he needs.
Review: There is something utterly HOT about a man who really knows his way around food, and not just by eating.
Jamie and Ethan are fellow culinary school classmates in the same year, competing for the same elite scholarship. While Ethan is phenomenal at crafting a savory meal, when it comes to the intricacies of pastry, well, he is at a major loss and needs help. His help comes in the form of Jamie, by way of Ethan’s sister, Claire. With Ethan struggling over the pastry class, Claire ends up partnered with Jamie. She deviously works with Jamie to get Ethan to accept his help with figuring out what he’s doing wrong with the delicate pastries.
There’s an instant reaction between Jamie and Ethan because both have noticed the other in both good and bad ways. Ethan is a bit of a bad boy, he’s got ink, and major attitude that annoys the ever living hell out of some of his Chefs, his sister, and definitely Jamie. Jamie is the well put together kind of guy that normally irritates the hell out of Ethan, but he’s attracted to him even if he doesn’t want to be attracted.
While the heat moves from simmer to burn for our sexy chefs, the competition between them for the scholarship in Paris heats up. I’ll share that the book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, which sets up the second book in the series.
This was the first book I’ve read by this writing team, and I’d definitely look for more from them. I really enjoyed Ethan and Jamie as characters, and the few secondary characters were well written. I’d have loved to see more interaction with Jamie and his family and maybe known a bit more about Ethan and Claire’s past. Otherwise, this was a really solid, highly enjoyable story that I’d consider reading again.
I’d recommend this for all those who love a man that knows how to cook, looks sexy in an apron, or sports a bit of the bad boy image with ink. Also, must love that bad boy and sexy chef attitude.
You can buy In the Raw here: