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On the Steamy Side (Recipe for Love)
By  Louisa Edwards
St. Martin's Press
March 2010

Virginia native Lilah Jane Tunkle relocates to New York to make a fresh start after her English Lit teaching position at the local high school is eliminated during budget cuts. She’s staying with an old friend who’s already settled in New York, and who finds her a job busing tables at Market, the trendy Manhattan restaurant where he works. Lilah is at a crossroads in her life, transforming from timid, small town teacher “Lolly,” to confident, sophisticated New York single woman, Lilah. And just as she ventures out of her comfort zone, she encounters Devon Sparks who changes everything.

Devon is a television cooking show celebrity, an accomplished chef and restaurateur with his own line of cookware. He first encounters Lilah at Chapel, the local, after-hours hangout where restaurant kitchen staff gathers to let off steam, so to speak. When Devon meets Lilah he’s pleased to learn that she has no idea who he is, a refreshing change from women who fawn over his wealth and celebrity. Devon is delighted by her charm and they hit it off immediately.

Devon was asked by his friend and fellow restaurateur Adam Temple, to fill in as executive chef at Market for two weeks while Adam is out of town. Devon agrees, though it’s been a while since he’s actually managed a working, gourmet kitchen, let alone a houseful of discerning diners. He’d never admit it, but he’s more than a little nervous about the prospect. Fueling his concern is finding Lilah busing tables at Market, the morning after spending the hottest, most memorable night of his life with her. And when his estranged, ten-year-old son turns up at the kitchen door with nowhere to stay, at the height of a disastrous dinner service, Devon’s orderly world is officially turned on its ear.

In this second book of her Recipe for Love series, Edwards brings readers back into the friendly confines of Market, the trendy Manhattan restaurant introduced in her first novel. The lovable kitchen staff returns as well, in all of their culinary glory. The plot, the humor, the angst and the romance are superb, and Edwards’ writing style is as crisp and clean as a freshly starched toque-blanche. Reader, party of one, your novel is ready.

Sandra Van Winkle, ReadertoReader.com
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