This book falls into my New Author Reading Challenge.
The cover of this book caught my eye - I don't know why but I think it's really sexy. I think it's the bare feet and long jeans (sorry, Hannah, I know how you are about feet!). Maybe it's that the model looks tall - you know how I am about tall men.
Miranda Wake is a food critic. She's apparently very good at what she does, and has a reputation as a tough cookie. Adam Temple is a chef who's finally opened his own restaurant. At the press soire a few nights before the grand opening, Miranda has a few too many drinks and starts to insult Adam, who replies with a challenge to come into his kitchen to see what it's like from the other side of the table. He doesn't expect her to accept, but she does. The PR people for both Miranda and Adam love it - all the free publicity - and the challenge turns into Miranda spending a month in Adam's kitchen. Miranda plans on writing a tell-all book about her experiences in the kitchen, using the proceeds from the book to finance her younger brother Jess's college tuition.
After a very prickly start, Adam and Miranda realize they're attracted to each other. The scene where he takes her to his home to teach her to cook was soooo sexy! I really liked Adam's character and didn't want Miranda to publish her book. Every time she started having second thoughts, I thought to myself "Don't do it! Don't do it!".
This book had an unexpected secondary romance that I absolutely loved - Miranda's younger brother Jess. He's 19 (I think) and comes home from college due to an unexplained difficulty. As it is revealed that Jess is gay, the romance that blooms between Jess and Frankie, Adam's very good friend/manager, was a delight to read. Miranda's reaction to the relationship was realistic and the events that followed had me rivited. I think I liked the Jess/Frankie storyline as much as I liked Miranda/Adam's!
I thought the very end of the book was a *teensy* bit over the top in a spectacular way, but other than that I really, really enjoyed this book - I give Can't Stand the Heat 4 1/2 stars.
Her next book, On the Steamy Side, just released and I plan to read it very soon.